A blockbuster fourth quarter contributed to the strongest year-over-year growth for U.S. e-commerce in six years, according to a report released this morning from the U.S. Commerce Department.
Consumers spent $453.46 billion on the web for retail purchases in 2017, a 16.0% increase compared with $390.99 billion in 2016. That’s the highest growth rate since 2011, when online sales grew 17.5% over 2010.
It was a strong year for the broader retail market in the U.S., as total retail sales reached $5.076 trillion for the year, a 4.4% jump from $4.863 trillion in 2016. That’s a significant improvement from 2016, when total retail sales grew 2.9% over the year prior.
These retail sales figures from the Commerce Department include the sale of items not normally bought online, however, including 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 $3.496 trillion, a 3.8% increase compared with $3.369 trillion.
That would mean e-commerce represented 13.0% of total retail sales in 2017, a marked increase from 11.6% in 2016.
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