E-commerce is a force to be reckoned with. The U.S. Commerce Department reports that e-commerce sales in the first quarter this year topped $50 billion.
It’s the first time online sales have soared that high outside the fourth quarter, when holiday shoppers are pouring onto websites, an article at InternetRetailer.com reports.
E-commerce sales made up 4.9 percent of total retail sales — $1.08 trillion — in the first quarter, an increase from 4.6 percent one year ago. While total retail sales grew 6.5 percent from last year, online sales jumped by 15.4 percent, Commerce Department figures show.
After excluding retail items that can’t be purchased online — such as fuel and food service sales — InternetRetailer.com estimates that e-commerce accounted for 7.3 percent of all first-quarter retail sales, up from 6.8 percent one year ago.
While the stats are still small when compared to retail’s total numbers, e-commerce will be an important part of retail sales.
And there’s lots of room for improvement in these numbers. As technology improves, e-commerce sales will continue to grow. As more consumers shop online, retailers will have to devote more resources to it.
Retailers should be focused on integrating e-commerce into their overall business. Instead of having a vice president for e-commerce, they should have one vice president who oversees merchandise for all channels.
Source: Internet Retailer, May 2012