U.S. online retailers generated $121.460 billion on the web in the third quarter, a 14.3% increase compared with $106.241 billion in Q3 2017, the Department of Commerce reported today.
This is a slightly lower growth rate than e-commerce for 2017 as a whole, when U.S. online sales rose 15.6% to reach $449.88 billion in 2017, compared with $389.11 billion in 2016. It’s also a slightly lower growth rate than the second quarter, when online sales from U.S. merchants grew 15.4%.
All figures are reported on a non-adjusted basis.
Total retail sales grew 4.9% in Q3, 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 $897.485 billion. That would mean e-commerce represented 13.5% of total retail sales. That’s slightly more than Q2, when e-commerce represented 13.3% of total retail sales, according to Internet Retailer estimates.
For all of 2017, online sales accounted for 12.9% of total retail sales, according to Internet Retailer estimates.
Meanwhile, e-commerce platform and marketing provider Salesforce Commerce Cloud recently released its Q3 Shopping Index, which found that online sales grew 17% globally in Q3. Online traffic, Salesforce says, grew 11% and spend per shopper online grew 6%. Salesforce’s findings are based on its analysis of online shopping activity of more than 500 million consumers across the world.