US e-commerce shrinks for the first time ever

Online consumer spending has declined in the US for the first time in the Internet’s history, according to online research company comScore.

In a report published yesterday, comScore found that US consumers spent $8.19 billion online in November to date. That was down 4% from $8.51 billion during the same period of last year. Never before has a year-on-year comparison yielded a negative rate of change.

“With consumer confidence low and disposable income tight, the first weeks of November have been very disappointing, with online retail spending declining versus year ago,” said comScore’s chairman Gian Fulgoni.

The company added that it expected the amount US consumers spend online in the coming holiday period to be unchanged from last year at $29.2 billion.

“Despite the recent reprieve that plummeting gas prices have given American consumers, the depressed and volatile stock market, declining housing prices, inflation and the weak job market all represent dark clouds hanging over their heads this holiday shopping season,” Fulgoni explained.

Yesterday, web watcher Nielsen Online revealed that in the UK, mobile web use grew by 25% between the second and third quarters of this year.

Further reading

Mobile web usage soars in the UK
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Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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