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From Jewelry to Children’s Shoes, U.S. eCommerce Spending Continues to Grow

Sarah Quinlan |

Online shopping is providing increasing benefits to value-oriented consumers and luxury shoppers—very important segments, as neither is completely dependent on price.

The disparity between the growth of ecommerce, and the growth rates clocked by the rest of retail have been well-covered—in this space, among others. But new data show that the growth in ecommerce says as much about consumer attitudes as it does about consumer behaviors.

An Aug. 8 press release from comScore showed $49.8 billion in eCommerce spending in 2Q2013, fully a 16 percent growth over Q2 of 2012, translating into 15 consecutive quarters of positive year-over-year growth, and 11 consecutive quarters of double-digit growth in desktop-based retail eCommerce.

The 16 percent growth of eCommerce spending year-over-year is especially significant given that PCE growth through Q2 2013, grew approximately 3 percent over 2012—online shopping continues to make up a larger share of overall consumer spending.

But these numbers, while impressive, need context. MasterCard’s SpendingPulse analysis report shows that in addition to the growth of eCommerce spending, there has not been an across-the-board drop in prices. Certain sectors, like electronics, women’s apparel, and children’s wear showed price erosion over recent months, and the goods in these sectors have grown and benefitted from the competition over price competitiveness online merchants can capitalize on.

And during this same time other categories like jewelry and footwear are growing even as prices are rising, suggesting that shoppers in the U.S. are more comfortable with buying even expensive items that they don’t get to see in person.

Approaching the holiday season, developments in the changing mix of eCommerce and other types of consumer spending will certainly be worth watching.

Topics: Economic Outlook, Retail Trends

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