Posted May 10, 2012 3:37 pm by with 0 comments

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Do you sell things online? Yes? Great, cause I have some terrific news for you. Online retail spending is up 17% year-over-year. comScore says that in Q1 2012 alone, online retail spending hit $44.3 billion.

It’s weird, everyday I hear people talking about the bad economy and how it’s killing businesses but here’s online retail showing double-digit growth for the sixth consecutive quarter.

Scan this chart and feel good about yourself:

Now, if I was a glass half empty person (hush, you), I could say that it’s a nice rise since 2007 but not phenomenal. But when you look at the slump in 2008 – 2009, then the rise after that, it’s very uplifting. Don’t you think?

comScore’s Gian Fulgoni agrees with me;

“While the economic recovery continues to be painfully slow, the channel shift to e-commerce appears to be accelerating. This presents opportunities but also challenges for brick-and-mortar retailers if they can’t hold onto their offline market share in the digital world. E-commerce has reached critical mass in several product categories, and it will be important to monitor these sales trends by category in order to correctly gauge the impact e-commerce is having on overall retailer performance.”

Critical mass, huh? Winners this past quarter include Digital Content & Subscriptions, Computer Software, Consumer Electronics, Jewelry & Watches and Event Tickets. They all shot up at least 17% over last year. Honing in on the last two, we can see America returning to her old ways spending money on entertainment and luxury items.

comScore says that 48.8% of the transactions in the first quarter of 2012 included free shipping. This is the largest they’ve seen for a non-holiday period. We know that shipping costs is one of the things that trips up online buyers so finding away to make shipping free is bound to swing more sales your way.

Then we come to my favorite portion of the show – the tablet! 38% of tablet owners used it to buy online in the past month. You’ll never guess which category took the prize for top sales. Apparel!

So here’s to all the folks that sell things online, from handmade iPod cozies to macaroni and cheese by the case, it’s time to rejoice. Treat yourself to a break and a treat, then get back to work. Those numbers won’t keep climbing without help from you and yours.