(By Balachander) U.S. retail e-commerce quarterly sales topped $50 billion for the first time ever in a three-month period, driven by increases in the number of buyers and spending per buyer, a new report showed.
For the final three months of 2012, comScore Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) reported that sales increased 14 percent to $56.8 billion, a ninth straight quarter of double-digit growth.
U.S. retail e-commerce sales grew 15 percent to $186 billion for the full year, the strongest annual growth rate since before the recession, the provider of digital analytics services said.
"With e-commerce growth rates consistently in the mid-teens throughout the year, it is clear that the online channel has won over the American consumer and will increasingly be relied upon to deliver on the dimensions of lower price, convenience and selection," said comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni.
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Fulgoni is optimistic that 2013 will build on the momentum of 2012.
Number of buyers rose 6 percent and spending per buyer increased 8 percent for the fourth quarter, comScore said.
U.S. retail e-commerce spending reached double-digits for the first time in the fourth quarter, rising 10 percent.
Earlier this week, eMarketer reported that global e-commerce sales topped $1 trillion for the first time in 2012, jumping 21.1 percent.
eMarketer forecasts B2C ecommerce sales to grow 18.3 percent to $1.298 trillion worldwide.
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Sales in North America rose nearly 14 percent to $364.7 billion in 2012, and eMarketer expects the figure to increase 12.2 percent to $409.05 billion in 2013.
According to eMarketer, B2C ecommerce sales in the U.S. grew 13.8 percent to $343.43 billion in 2012 and will rise 12 percent to $384.80 billion in 2013.