Growth Rate of U.S. E-Commerce Sales Hits 3-Year High

Posted by Administrator | Posted in Misc | Posted on 26-03-2011-05-2008


According to data published on, the growth rate of e-commerce sales in the U.S. hit a 3-year high in the fourth quarter of 2010 (seasonally adjusted). E-commerce sales in Q4 of 2010, compared to Q4 of 2009, were up 16.1%, the highest increase since Q4 of 2007 when year over year growth was 18.4%. The graph below shows year over year quarterly growth rates for each quarter since 2002.

Growth of Total U.S. Retail Sales versus E-Commerce
E-commerce sales have now grown by double-digits for 5 quarters in a row, following 6 quarters of low single-digit or negative growth in 2008 and 2009.

That’s good news for online retailers, but consider Amazon’s sales growth in 2010 of 40% compared to total e-commerce growth of less than half of that. Amazon has grown due to a number of shrewd strategic initiatives, like persuading its competitors to sell products through its marketplace, launching its own products like Kindle, and mastering the blocking and tackling¬†necessary to outrank and outperform competitors (like conversion optimization, site performance optimization, content optimization, and achieving vast operational¬†efficiencies).

The rising tide will continue to lift all boats in e-commerce, and I expect e-commerce as a whole to continue to grow at an accelerated pace. The long-term winners will be those who go beyond best-practices and recognize that innovation and creative thinking is well-rewarded in e-commerce.

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