Total U.S. sales of goods online continues a trend of growing twice as fast as total sales of retail goods. Compared with the first quarter of 2010, e-retail sales grew 2.6 percent, while total retail sales grew only 1.1 percent. Similarly, compared with the second quarter of 2009, e-retail sales grew 14 percent, compared with a lackluster 7.5 percent growth for the economy as a whole.
Total retail still dwarfs ecommerce in sheer volume. In 2010, second quarter e-retail sales were $39.7 billion, compared with total retail sales of $971.4 billion. In 2009, second quarter e-retail sales were $34.8 billion, compared with total sales of $903.8 billion.
This data, released by the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce in August, was adjusted to account for seasonal variations. The government started collecting this data in 2000, when ecommerce sales for the second quarter totaled $6.5 billion, a 511 percent gain over ten years, or 51.1 percent per year.
According to a report from Daily Finance, the AOL Money site, four online retailers- Amazon, Dell, Staples, and Costco-made up 26 percent of second-quarter online spending from "heavy" users, that is, the most active 20 percent of Web shoppers. Those customers bought an average of $615 in goods during the second quarter, versus a $30 average for the lower half of online shoppers.
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