Desktop-based e-commerce sales were up 13 percent year-over-year in the first quarter of 2013, according to a recent report by comScore.
The comScore report found that retail e-commerce sales produced over $50 billion dollars last quarter. The study found that e-commerce sales have seen double-digit growth for 10 consecutive quarters. While growth this quarter was strong, comScore found that it was slightly down from the previous two quarters.
“The first quarter of 2013 was fairly strong for online retailers, with total e-commerce sales surpassing $50 billion for only the second time on record,” said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni.
“While the year-over-year growth rate of 13 percent remained healthy, it was a point or two below that of the preceding quarters.”
According to the report, sales growth was down one percentage point on a quarter-over-quarter basis. E-commerce sales growth was also reported to be down two percentage points since Q3 2012. Fulgoni surmised that the slowdown was caused by payroll tax increases, which took effect in 2013.
ComScore’s report found that digital content and subscriptions, apparel, sport/fitness, consumer electronics, and consumer-packaged goods saw the greatest amount of e-commerce sales growth this quarter. The report shows that all categories saw over 20 percent growth year-over-year.
Overall, e-commerce sales were reported to account for over 10 percent of discretionary dollars spent. The percentage is the highest share ever recorded, according to comScore.
ComScore found that e-commerce sales will continue to progress for the rest of the year. However, the firm warns that one potential caveat for growth could be the government enactment of a state sales tax on all e-commerce sales.
The company says that the implementation of a potential e-commerce state sales tax would remove the web’s price advantage and cause a slowdown in overall sales.
“As job growth continues and consumer sentiment remains positive, the outlook for e-commerce in 2013 remains bright,” continued Fulgoni.
“One wild card is the possible enactment of legislation requiring state sales taxes to be collected on every e-commerce transaction – which would reduce the Internet’s traditional price advantage and possibly dilute the channel’s growth rate.”
The U.S. Senate recently approved a proposal that makes it easier for states to implement sales tax on goods bought on the web. Officials in the U.S. House of Representatives are expected to vote on the bill later this year to see if it will be enacted.
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