August 2, 2013, 1:55 PM

Online spending swells 15% in Q2

Sales of health and beauty goods and mobile commerce lead the way, IBM reports. Meanwhile, store sales grew just 4.6% in Q2, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

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Online sales growth outpaced store sales growth once again in the second quarter, new research from IBM Corp.’s online retail index shows.

Online spending increased 15% in Q2 compared with Q2 2012, IBM says. Store sales grew 4.6%, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

IBM culls its estimates by examining data from more than 500 of its retailer clients that use its Coremetrics and Cognos Consumer Insight analytics software. IBM does not release total dollar online sales estimates in its analysis.

Mobile growth was strong, with 19.4% of online sales being conducted with a mobile device in Q2, up from 15.2% in the same period a year earlier. 27% of all visits to retail sites stemmed from a mobile device in Q2, up from 20% in Q2 2012, IBM says. Apple devices continue to dominate mobile retail traffic, with the iPad generating more traffic than any other mobile device at close to 11% of total traffic to retail sites—compared with 6.9% in Q2 2012. The iPhone closely follows, generating 10.5% of total traffic to retail sites, with Android devices trailing.

Sales of health and beauty products increased more than 55% in Q2 compared to Q2 2012. That increase is despite the average order value for the category falling nearly 5%, indicating retailers offered deeper discounts and promotions on summer merchandise, IBM says. It did not immediately provide more details about growth for the product category.

Additionally, markdowns helped increase online apparel sales by 21% year over year in Q2, IBM says.

Online sales of home goods increased by more than 56% year over year, according to the index. IBM says this may be a result home sales growth. Existing home sales grew 15.2% year over year in June, according to the National Association of Realtors. The housing market's growth, IBM says, helped spur a 26% rise in average order value for the category to $413.23 from $327.96 a year earlier.

 

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