December 5, 2012, 9:42 AM

Web sales increase 12% in October at small retailers

Sporting goods surge, with growth of 40%, Dydacomp says.

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Marking their sharpest rise of the year so far, online sales increased 12.20% year over year in October among small and midsized retailers indexed by Dydacomp, a provider of order management software. As in prior months, sporting goods and books led the way. But sporting goods—second in growth rate to books in September—surged ahead in October with a growth rate of 39.80%. Books took second place with 23.43% growth.

Several other categories also experienced notable sales increases. “Food and health products bumped up again in October after a flat September, indicating growth was largely driven by price increases,” says Fred Lizza, president of Dydacomp. “Among other larger-volume categories, toys, which had been declining virtually every month in 2012, showed year-over-year growth as we enter the holiday shopping season.”

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. Dydacomp compiles figures only from retail operations in business for at least a year.

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

● Advertising Specialties/Promotional Items, $1.05; 1.83%, -5.05%

● Auto Parts, $14.20; 13.91%, 9.29%

● Books, $34.14; 23.43%, 22.80%

● Clothes, $26.02; -0.02%, -4.86%

● Consumer Electronics, $8.18; 6.36%, -0.02%

● Educational Training Materials, $2.25; -5.29%, 1.27%

● Food/Health, $30.81; 5.30%, 5.01%

● Home Furnishings, $3.66; -3.59%, -1.64%

● Jewelry, $0.62; -36.66%, -25.52%

● Music/Video/DVD, $0.96; -4.76%, -9.73%

● Sporting Goods, $10.36; 39.80%, 9.02%

● Tobacco Products/Alcohol, $1.21; 4.61%, 25.01%

● Tools/Hardware, $2.34; 3.91%, -1.88%

● Toys, $32.39; 6.64%, -6.32%

● Other, $56.21; 20.82%, -1.28%

● Total, $224.40; ­­­­12.20%, 6.76%

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 October 2012, with the changes in average order size over October 2011 and the changes for the year to date through October 2012 over the same period of 2011:

● Advertising Specialties/Promotional Items, $75.66; 0.71%, 4.60%

● Auto Parts, $240.39; 5.64%, 3.48%

● Books, $119.62; 12.14%, 14.16%

● Clothes, $113.66; -1.49%, 3.24%

● Consumer Electronics, $234.69; -0.32%, 3.70%

● Educational Training Materials, $148.68; 4.84%, -0.76%,

● Food/Health, $119.73; 5.88%, 3.24%

● Home Furnishings, $146.20; -17.63%, -3.62%

● Jewelry, $579.58; 36.29%, -0.42%

● Music/Video/DVD, $98.17; -4.71%, 0.42%

● Sporting Goods, $184.94; 29.21%, 13.62%

● Tobacco Products/Alcohol, $104.74; 5.11%, -2.90%

● Tools/Hardware, $215.09; 4.39%, 1.92%

● Toys, $140.85; 4.64%, -0.59%

● Other, $130.50; 4.76%, 3.53%

● Total, $134.40; 5.40%, 4.44%

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

● Advertising Specialties/Promotional Items, 13,921; 1.11%, -9.22%

● Auto Parts, 59,053; 7.83%, 5.61%

● Books, 285,372; 10.07%, 7.57%

● Clothes, 228,913; 1.49%, -7.84%

● Consumer Electronics; 34,849, 6.70%, -3.59%

● Educational Training Materials; 15,114, -9.65%, 2.05%

● Food/Health, 257,340; -0.55%, 1.72%

● Home Furnishings, 25,040; 17.05%, 2.06%

● Jewelry, 1,068; -53.52%, -25.20%

● Music/Video/DVD, 9,735; -0.05%, -10.10%

● Sporting Goods, 56,038; 8.20%, 10.03%

● Tobacco Products/Alcohol; 11,598, -0.47%, 1.05%

● Tools/Hardware, 10,880; -0.46%, -8.08%

● Toys, 229,992; 1.91%, -0.70%

● Other, 430,742; 15.33%, 5.30%

● Total, 1,669,655; 6.45%, 2.23%

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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