US: E-Commerce Retail Sales

Fri May 15 09:00:00 CDT 2015

Actual Previous Revised
E-Sales Q/Q Change SAAR 3.5% 2.3% 1.8%

Growth in e-commerce sales picked up in the first quarter, to 3.5 percent vs a downward revised 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter. Year-on-year, e-commerce growth rose to 14.5 percent which is up 5 tenths from the fourth quarter but well down from the 15.6 and 15.0 percent rates of the two prior quarters. Despite the slowing trend, e-commerce as a percentage of total retail sales continues to climb to records, up a strong 4 tenths to 7.0 percent.

E-commerce sales are sales of goods and services where an order is placed by the buyer or where price and terms of sale are negotiated over the Internet, an extranet, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) network, or other online system. Payment may or may not be made online. Retail e-commerce sales are estimated from the same sample used for the Monthly Retail Trade Survey (MRTS) to estimate preliminary and final U.S. retail sales. Advance U.S. retail sales are estimated from a subsample of the MRTS sample that is not of adequate size to measure changes in retail e-commerce sales.

E-commerce is a faster growing segment of the retail sector than retail sales overall. This report provides detail on e-commerce retail sales and data on its share of total retail sales. The growth rates and shares of e-commerce can be used as a benchmark to compare individual companies' growth in e-commerce. E-commerce increasingly is important for retailers' profitability and viability.