September 7, 2012, 1:11 PM

Web sales perk up in August for small retailers

Sporting goods and books once again show the strongest gains.

Paul Demery

Managing Editor, B2B E-commerce

Lead Photo

Total web sales in August rose 6% from a year earlier among small and mid-sized retailers indexed by Dydacomp, a provider of order management software. Sporting goods and books continued to stand out as they have in prior months, rising in August by 32% and 23%, respectively.

“Retail activity for August 2012 was strong, with our small merchants reporting a total of $217 million in sales, a 6.21% increase year over year,” says Fred Lizza, CEO of Dydacomp. The increase in sales coincided with a trend toward higher sales per order, with average order size in August rising 4.19% year over year while the number of orders rose only 1.94%, he adds.

Among retail categories with declining sales in August compared with a year earlier were home furnishings, down 14.73%; clothes, down 7.89%; and toys, down 10.03%.

The Dydacomp SMB Index, prepared for Internet Retailer, is based on data compiled from more than 1.5 million orders per month at more than 1,500 e-commerce operators across more than 15 product categories—accounting for about $200 million in combined monthly retail sales; the retailers are users of Dydacomp’s order management software.

Following are the dollar volumes in gross merchandise sales (in millions) across all retail channels for each product category in the index for August 2012, with the percentage changes over August 2011, and the change for the year to date through August 2012 over the same period of 2011:

● Advertising Specialties/Promotional Items, $0.93, -11.62%, -5.34%

● Auto Parts, $14.41, 7.39%, 9.42%

● Books, $34.69, 22.80%, 23.12%

● Clothes, $17.85, -7.71%, -6.89%

● Consumer Electronics, $8.26, -5.98%, -1.49%

● Educational Training Materials, $2.39, -9.54%, -5.63%

● Food/Health, $29.79, 7.40%, 5.56%

● Home Furnishings, $3.34, -16.60%, -2.46%

● Jewelry, $0.90, -41.06%, -22.41%

● Music/Video/DVD, $1.10, -14.50%, -9.29%

● Sporting Goods, $11.58, 32.58%, 24.55%

● Tobacco Products/Alcohol, $1.16, -23.45%, -2.97%

● Tools/Hardware, $1.18, -4.68%, -7.36%

● Toys, $31.48, -10.03%, -3.37%

● Other, $57.21, 16.65%, 6.44%

● Total, $216.91, 6.21%, 5.64%

Following are the average order values across all retail channels (including contact centers and a small number of physical stores that use Dydacomp’s software) for each product category in the index for August 2012, with the changes in average order size over August 2011 and the changes for the year to date through August 2012 over the same period of 2011:

● Advertising Specialties/Promotional Items, $75.31, 7.67%, 5.06%

● Auto Parts, $231.44, 5.09%, 2.96%

● Books, $126.23, 10.31%, 14.71%

● Clothes, $116.66, 0.19%, 4.98%

● Consumer Electronics, $241.71, -1.50%, 3.85%

● Educational Training Materials, $175.72, 0.73%, 4.77%

● Food/Health, $119.16, 2.51%, 2.89%

● Home Furnishings, $194.71, -2.20%, 0.58%

● Jewelry, $402.13, -31.16%, 0.55%

● Music/Video/DVD, $113.67, 2.04%, 0.53%

● Sporting Goods, $198.96, 18.28%, 12.41%

● Tobacco Products/Alcohol, $103.09, -27.41%, -4.34%

● Tools/Hardware, $184.84, 0.58%, 1.68%

● Toys, $160.73, -1.26%,-0.55%

● Other, $130.79, 9.83%, 3.31%

● Total, $140.68, 4.19%, 4.63%

Following are the number of transactions across all retail channels for each product category in the index for August 2012, with the percentage changes over August 2011 and the changes for the year to date through August 2012 over the same period of 2011:

● Advertising Specialties/Promotional Items, 12,304, -17.91%, -9.90%

● Auto Parts, 62,246, 2.18%, 6.28%

● Books, 274,845, 11.32%, 7.33%

● Clothes, 153,028, -7.89%, -11.31%

● Consumer Electronics, 34,175, -4.56%, -5.15%

● Educational Training Materials, 13,581, -10.20%, -9.93%

● Food/Health, 250,042, 4.77%, 2.60%

● Home Furnishings, 17,176, -14.73%, -3.03%

● Jewelry, 2,232, -14.38%, -22.83%

● Music/Video/DVD, 9,674, -16.21%, -9.77%

● Sporting Goods, 58,197, 12.09%, 10.81%

● Tobacco Products/Alcohol, 11,274, 5.45%, 1.43%

● Tools/Hardware, 9,806, -5.23%, -8.89%

● Toys, 195,868, -8.88%, -2.83%

● Other, 437,426, 6.21%, 3.03%

● Total, 1,541,874, 1.94%, 0.97%

Dydacomp notes that performance numbers in its SMB Index tend to be lower than broader e-commerce market figures because the index does not include growth at the largest online retailers. In addition, information in the index includes a small percentage of sales processed in stores and contact centers using Dydacomp’s order management software, and in many cases such sales are declining, the company says.

 

 

 

 

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