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Ecommerce is growing. But how fast?


Everyone knows that the ecommerce industry is growing.
But do you know how fast? Or what percent of all the retail sales it takes?

United States Census Bureau published Quarterly E-Commerce Report on November 17th, 2010.
This is the latest statistics on ecommerce available for United States.

The U.S. Census Bureau, pre-eminent collector and disseminator of timely, relevant, and quality data about the people and the economy of the United States, conducts a population and housing census every 10 years, an economic census every five years, and more than 100 demographic and economic surveys every year, all of them evolving from the first census in 1790.

3rd quarter of 2010 shows rather good results with 41,5 billion USD retail sales in ecommerce. It accounts for almost 4.2% of the total retail sales in US.

What is interesting is that the estimated ecommerce sales increased 14.1 percent in Q3 of 2010 compared to Q3 of 2009 while total retail sales increased 5.8 percent in the same period.

This proves that ecommerce is growing much faster than the overall retail market.

You can follow the growth of the share of ecommerce sales over time in this graph:

Estimated Quarterly U.S. Retail E-commerce Sales as a Percent of Total Quarterly Retail Sales:
1st Quarter 2001 – 3rd Quarter 2010

Red line shows estimates that are not adjusted.
Blue line shows estimates adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.

It will be really interesting to see how holiday shopping season (with Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner) will affect these numbers for the last quarter.

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