[Techtaffy Newsdesk]

ComScore released its Q2 2012 U.S. retail e-commerce sales estimates, showing that online retail spending reached $43.2 billion for the quarter, up 15 percent versus year ago. This represents the eleventh consecutive quarter of positive year-over-year growth and seventh consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

“While the second quarter’s 15-percent growth rate couldn’t quite match the especially high growth rate from the first quarter, it was nevertheless almost four times higher than the growth in overall consumer spending, a sign of continued strength in the e-commerce channel,” said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “That said, although e-commerce remains strong, we are taking a cautious view of the second half of the year in light of some renewed signs of economic uncertainty and a stubbornly high unemployment rate. In fact, consumer perception of the economy has recently deteriorated, with 56 percent now viewing economic conditions as poor, up from a level of 49 percent three months ago. So, even as commerce increasingly shifts to the online channel, any significant future pullback in overall consumer spending could dampen the strong double-digit growth rates we’ve been experiencing for the year-to-date.”

Other highlights from Q2 2012 include:

  • The top-performing online product categories were: Digital Content & Subscriptions, Consumer Electronics, Flowers, Greetings & Gifts, Computer Hardware and Apparel & Accessories. Each category grew at least 16 percent vs. year ago.
  • 42 percent of e-commerce transactions included free shipping, representing a seasonal pullback from the Q4 2011 high of 52 percent.

[Image Courtesy: Joyus]