U.S. online retailers generated $114.42 billion on the web in the first quarter, a 16.4% increase compared with $98.29 billion in Q1 2017, the Department of Commerce reported today.
The year is off to a good start for e-commerce, as this is a slightly higher growth rate than e-commerce for 2017 as a whole, when U.S. online sales rose 16.0% to reach $453.46 billion compared with $390.99 billion in 2016.
All figures are reported on a non-adjusted basis.
Total retail and food services sales for Q1 grew 5% to reach $1.394 trillion compared with $1.328 trillion a year earlier, according to the Commerce Department.
These retail sales figures from the Commerce Department include the sale of items not normally bought online, such as fuel and automobiles. When factoring these items out of the total retail sales figures, which Internet Retailer believes is the most accurate way to measure the impact of e-commerce on retail as a whole, total retail sales reached $829.86 billion, a 4.70% increase compared with $792.61 billion a year earlier.
That would mean e-commerce represented 13.8% of total retail sales in Q1 compared with 12.4% of total retail sales in Q1 2017.
For all of 2017, online sales accounted for 13.0% of total retail sales, according to Internet Retailer estimates.
Meanwhile, new research from Adobe Analytics estimated first-quarter U.S. e-commerce sales grew 14.1% compared with the first quarter of 2017. That’s according to the firm’s Digital Dollar report—a new year-round report that tracks revenue trends.
Adobe’s data is based on an analysis of more than 1 trillion visits to more than 4,500 retail sites and 55 million SKUs, and it measures online transactions at what Adobe considers to be 80 of the largest 100 U.S. web retailers.
Additionally, Salesforce recently released its Shopping Index report with similar Q1 2018 findings, including 14% e-commerce growth over Q1 2017. Salesforce’s findings analyzed shopping activity of more than 500 million consumers across the world. Shoppers spent on average 5.6% more per e-commerce visit in Q1 2018 versus Q1 2017, according to Salesforce’s data.
Stephanie Crets contributed to this report.