Online retail spending grew 30% in the first quarter over the first quarter of last year, comScore Networks Inc. reported today. Retail buying online reached $10.1 billion in Q1 up from $7.75 billion in last year’s Q1. The fall-off from Q4 was only 7%, comScore reports.
Travel spending online had even greater growth, up 87% from last year’s first quarter and up 39% from last year’s fourth quarter. It reached $6.97 billion.
Sports and fitness equipment experienced the highest growth over Q1 of last year, with sales reaching $258 million in the quarter, 145% higher than the year earlier and 14% over the fourth quarter. Next highest was home and garden with sales of $458 million, 130% over Q1 2001 and down 2% from Q4 2001.
Here are the categories as reported by comScore (sales in millions and percent growth over Q1 2001):
Computer hardware: $2,394, +44%
Office supplies: $1,691, +35%
Apparel, accessories: $1,288, -1%
Consumer electronics: $744, 34%
Event tickets: $581, 103%
Books: $557, -5%
Home and garden: $458, +130%
Health and beauty: $308, +44%
Sports and fitness: $258, +145%
Computer software: $236, -12%
Total: $10,072, +30%
Notably, comScore reported that online apparel sales were flat vs. last year, while books declined 5%. “Historically these have been major categories online, but they were also early entrants to e-commerce,” said Dan Hess, comScore vice president. “Given their maturity online, it stands to reason that strong growth will be harder to produce in the months and years to come.”
ComScore`s sales figures are based on the buying activity of a representative cross-section of more than 1.5 million Internet-using individuals, who have given comScore permission to confidentially monitor their browsing and buying behavior.