Ecommerce spending in the US grew 13% year-over-year in the third quarter to $47.5 billion, a softening from Q2 when the growth rate hit 15%, according to comScore’s State of the US Online Retail Economy report.
“There was a bit of a dip in consumer sentiment,” commented Andrew Lipsman, VP of industry analysis at comScore. “The bottom hasn’t fallen out or anything too bad, but there’s a lot of exogenous forces that maybe are making people feel a little less positive about spending.”
Rewinding to 2008 and 2009, there was a lot of softness as growth rates dipped into the negatives or flatlined at zero percent. In the past few years, the growth rate picked back up and reached the mid-teens.
“This year has been kind of an interesting year in ecommerce,” Lipsman said. “I’ve probably never seen a year with such mixed trends where there are some really positive indicators and then some things that are also a bit concerning.”
Seasonality plays a powerful part, as well, with fluxing growth rates in the summer due to uplifts in the housing and auto industries. Consumers may shell out more cash on higher ticket items, which has a negative impact on discretionary items and subsequently compresses spending thereafter.