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Online Sales Continue Strong Rise as Holidays Near

In-store mobile shopping boosts third quarter growth.

As the holiday season gets closer, shoppers seem ready to spend online, on their computers and in stores using their mobile devices.

That’s according to researcher comScore, which finds that online sales grew 15 percent, year over year, during this year’s third quarter. Sales reached $41.9 billion, making 2012’s third quarter the 12th consecutive quarter of double-digit growth.

Online sales grew 15 percent, year over year, during the second quarter, when online sales reached $43.15 billion. First-quarter online sales were up 17 percent, year over year, reaching $44.28 billion.

Mobile’s increasing role in online sales

Mobile shopping proved important during the quarter, as 37 percent of U.S. shoppers say they used their smartphones in stores to compare prices of the items they were considering buying—that’s a 5 percent increase compared to the last two quarters, comScore reports.

“The [third quarter] growth rate of 15-percent growth remained in line with the prior quarter, and provided confirmation of the strength in the ecommerce sector, despite a few negative headwinds in the macroeconomic environment during the quarter,” says Gian Fulgoni, the chairman of comScore. “Such performance offers some optimism as we approach the holiday season, especially given recent improvements in consumer sentiment. With the housing market beginning to show signs of recovery in addition to increasing—if still underwhelming—job growth, there appears to be a strong footing to support a very healthy online holiday season.”

Digital content and subscriptions, electronics, event tickets, clothing and accessories, and computer software were the top-performing categories during the third quarter, the organization adds.

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About the author

Olga Munoz
Olga Munoz is editor of In addition to writing news and feature articles about e-commerce, selling trends, online marketing and other topics of interest to online sellers, Olga manages the site's social media efforts. A journalism graduate of Chico State, Olga says her favorite part of being a journalist is learning interesting facts that help put stories into perspective, attending industry events and meeting interesting people "that leave you smiling, even in tough situations." Opinions expressed here may not be shared by The Online Seller and/or its principals.

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