2009 online spending falls

2009 online spending falls

After years of double-digit annual increases in e-commerce spending, Americans spent slightly less online in 2009 than they did in 2008.

Reston-based comScore Inc. says U.S. online retail spending was $129.8 billion in 2009, down from $130.1 billion in 2008. The full-year decline came despite a modest increase in fourth-quarter spending compared to a year earlier.

Online spending totaled $39 billion in the final quarter of the year, up 3 percent.

“The fourth quarter helped end what has been a disappointing year for online consumer spending on a more positive note,” says comScore chairman Gian Fulgoni. “As we head into 2010, there is reason for guarded optimism for online retail spending to continue to gain share of consumers’ wallets.”

Fulgoni says high unemployment and a consumer shift from spending to saving will probably crimp growth this year.

In the final quarter of the year, the modest gain was driven by more online shoppers, while spending per buyer declined.

The first year-over-year quarterly drop in online spending occurred in the fourth quarter of 2008, the first quarterly decline in e-commerce spending since comScore (NASDAQ: SCOR) has been keeping track.

By Jeff Clabaugh - Washington Business Journal
11:25 AM

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