Online Retail Experiences Q1 Growth

Retail digital commerce (both desktop and mobile) increased by 20 percent to $100.1 billion in Q1 2017, the first-ever non-holiday quarter to exceed $100 billion, according to comScore’s State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy webinar presentation.

April 6, 2018

Online Retail Experiences Q1 Growth

Total digital commerce has also grown to account for nearly 1 in every 5 discretionary dollars spent by consumers.


Andrew Lipsman, senior vice president, marketing and insights, comScore, was the key presenter during the webinar presentation.

Furthermore, of the roughly $100 billion spent in Q1, nearly 78 percent of consumers purchased products from a desktop while 22 percent used a mobile device. Total digital commerce has also grown to account for nearly 1 in every 5 discretionary dollars spent by consumers, which also saw a 3 percent gain in Q1.

Other key highlights from consumer spending in Q1 include:

  • Desktop sales grew by 14 percent; however, dollars per buyer grew 12 percent and buyers overall grew by 2 percent.

    • Rising retail prices continue to be an economic concern for consumers, with 45 percent of consumers reporting their concern. Consumers are also concerned about unemployment (28 percent) and the financial markets (16 percent).

      • Free shipping continues to drive consumers shopping online; however, the category saw a slight uptick (62 percent) despite being down from Q1 2016 (63 percent). Free shipping is also up 3 percent (to a total of 55 percent) as the most important factor to consumers.

        • Jewelry and video games were the top gaining digital commerce product categories. Fourteen additional product categories also experienced very strong growth rates of at least 15 percent, including toys, music, computer software, flowers, furniture, consumer electronics and more.

          • Video games, toys and jewelry were also the top earners of digital dollars from mobile devices.

            • Apparel and accessories have grown at a faster rate than total online retail sales for 11 of the past 13 quarters. It has also been steadily gaining share of total digital commerce dollars over the past several years, reaching an all-time high of a 17 percent share in 2016 of all online retail spending.

              • Within the apparel category, consumers spent the most per transaction at Nordstrom. Meanwhile, QVC boasts the most transactions per buyer. Macy’s also ranked in the top five for dollars per transactions, dollars per buyers and transactions per buyers.

                • Millennials are 22 percent more likely to visit a website in the apparel category. Popular retailers among Millennials include Forever 21, H&M, Foot Locker, Victoria’s Secret, Nike, Old Navy and Nordstrom.

                  • Home and living digital spending accounted for more than $16 billion in Q1, representing 16 percent of total digital retail spend and growing more than 50 percent since 2017.

                    • Mobile commerce grew 22 percent during the quarter and is the fastest growing category in terms of consumer discretionary spending, outpacing e-commerce and brick-and-mortar.

                      • There is currently a 44 percent gap between time spent on a website and dollars spent for mobile devices.

                        • Nearly 7 out of 10 smartphone users access three or fewer mobile retail apps (up 5 percent compared to last year) in a typical month. Of people with only one app, 33 percent only have the Amazon app.

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