Ecommerce had another big quarter, as the U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday that online retail sales reached $98.06 billion in the first three months of 2017, a 14.8% increase compared with $85.43 billion in the same quarter a year ago.
Total retail sales excluding foodservice reached $1.163 trillion during the three months ended March 31, a 3.7% increase from $1.122 trillion a year ago. That means e-commerce accounted for approximately 8.4% of total retail sales. However, those figures from the Commerce Department include the sale of items not normally bought online, including fuel and automobiles.
Factoring those items out, as well as excluding sales in restaurants and bars, total retail sales reached $792.09 billion in Q1 2017—a 2.1% jump compared with $775.80 billion in Q1 2016, Internet Retailer estimates. This suggests e-commerce sales represented 12.4% of total retail sales in Q1 this year, up more than 1 percentage point compared with 11.1% share in the same quarter of 2016.
Adjusted for seasonal variations, holiday and trading-day differences, the Commerce Department estimates Q1 web sales reached $105.74 billion, up 14.7% from $92.18 billion a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, e-commerce accounted for 10.9% of total Q1 retail sales excluding foodservice, automobiles and fuel, compared with 11.2% in Q1 2016.