January 7, 2011, 3:39 PM

Online sales increase 26% in Q4, Mercent says

Sales increase 36% in 2010, including a 59% jump for sales coming from Google.

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Same-seller sales increased 25.5% for Mercent Corp.’s online retailer clients in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to the previous year, the interactive marketing services provider said this week. Sales in the third quarter of 2010 had increased 37% year over year.

Mercent helps retailers sell through such online marketplaces as Amazon.com and eBay.com, along with Google Product Search and other shopping portals, and comparison shopping engines. Same-seller sales on Amazon’s marketplace increased 46% in the fourth quarter year over year. Same-seller sales on Google Product Search increased 28% in the fourth quarter, Mercent says.

“Online retail sales achieved double-digit growth across all channels this holiday season, with sales peaking on Cyber Monday,” says Mercent CEO Eric Best, referring to the Monday after Thanksgiving. “It was a strong holiday season that started before Thanksgiving, the result of early and aggressive retail holiday promotions capturing a willing and eager-to-buy online consumer.”

For 2010, Mercent says sales increased 36.2% over 2009, with Amazon marketplace sales growing 51% and sales from Google Product Search, accessed from the shopping tab on Google.com, increasing 59%. “Retailers first saw a return to significant growth in online shopping in the fourth quarter of 2009,” Best says. “2010 proved to be a breakout year for many online retailers and we believe the industry will continue to see strong online retail sales growth through 2011.”

In another report this week, search marketing firm PM Digital said revenue from paid search ads for its clients increased 47% in December compared with the same month a year ago. The firm’s clients reported that Dec. 13 was their top day for revenue and order volume. Dec. 17, also known as Free Shipping Day, brought in an 80% increase in revenue year over year.

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