November 21, 2003
Online retail sales rose by 27% during Q3 of 2003, according to a report released Friday by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
By Matt Hines
E-tail sales rose to $13.3 billion during Q3, compared with $10.5 billion for the same period last year. While significant, the growth still lags behind the sector's performance several years ago, when the market was growing at quarterly rates as high as 68%.
However, Q3 revenue total represents the largest figure reported during that period since the department began tracking retail e-commerce sales in 1999.
Q3 2003 e-commerce revenue accounted for 1.5% of $872.5 billion in total retail sales for the period, compared with 1.3% of $822.1 billion in sales for the same period a year ago. Online retail sales in Q3 outpaced those of Q1 & Q2, which were $11.9 billion and $12.5 billion, respectively. Q4 has been the strongest period for retail performance, both online and offline, for the past three years, driven largely by holiday sales.
One area of the market that continues to grow rapidly is the online ticket sales segment. Earlier this month, InterActiveCorp reported that more than 50% of the $1.1 billion in tickets sold by the company's Ticketmaster division during Q3 were acquired via the Web.
Industry watchers are predicting that Q4 of 2003 will deliver the greatest amount of online retail sales for the calendar year. A report published earlier this month by Jupiter Research predicted that holiday retail e-commerce revenue will reach $17 billion, a 21% jump over the same period in 2002.
According to the research, almost 40% of Internet users are planning to do some or all of their holiday shopping online, an increase of 18% from last year. Among the catalysts for market growth listed by Jupiter was increasing confidence among consumers concerning the use of credit cards over the Web.
Back to the Top