Some E-Commerce Statistics

In today’s post I want to pull together a few statistics regarding online selling in the U.S. Unless otherwise stated this data comes from two reports: U.S. Department of Commerce Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales Report (http://www.census.gov/mrts/www/data/pdf/08Q1.pdf) (1st Quarter 2008) and U.S. Census Bureau E-Stats (http://www.census.gov/estats), May 17, 2008.

What makes selling online different than selling through traditional channels? The U.S. Census Bureau defines e-commerce sales as “sales of goods and services where an order is placed by the buyer or price and terms of sale are negotiated over the Internet, an extranet, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) network, or other online system. Payment may or may not be made online.” Thus, e-commerce is the sales of goods and services that take place in a virtual (or electronic) marketplace. By this definition, e-commerce sales in the U.S. represented 31.2% of manufacturing shipments and 2.7% of retail trade sales in 2006.

There are several types of transactions that occur online:
• Business-to-Business (Examples might include GM buying auto parts from a supplier.)
• Business-to-Consumer (Examples include Amazon.com or BestBuy.com.)
• Consumer-to-Consumer (Examples include EBay.com and other auction sites.)

The bulk of e-commerce is conducted as business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau E-Stats report, B2B e-commerce totaled $2,716 billion representing 93% of online sales in 2006. Most of the remaining 7% was in the form of business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce. In 2006, B2C e-tail (electronic retail) sales totaled $107 billion dollars. In 2007, B2C e-tail sales totaled just over $127.7 billion or 3.2% of total retail sales.

Between 2005 and 2006 (the most recent data available for total e-commerce in the U.S.), e-tail sales grew at a 22% rate. According to the same report, over 90% of e-tail sales were from the two industry groups: Nonstore Retail and Motor Vehicles & Part Dealers. Most of those Nonstore Retail sales came through Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses . This latter group includes the sales of goods from traditional retailers if they have separate Internet business units. The leading merchandise category for e-tail sales was Clothing and Clothing Accessories. Two other leading categories were Music and Videos (71%) and Electronics and Appliances (69%).

Other selected Statistics:

Selected industry categories (percentage of total U.S. manufacturing value of shipments devoted to e-commerce):
• Transportation equipment (2006: 54.9%; 2001: 43.9%)
• Computer and electronic products (2006: 31%; 2001: 17.1%)
• Food products (2006: 28.7%; 2001: 11.9%)
• Chemicals (2006: 31.2%; 2001: 12.4%)
• Wood products (2006: 13.1%; 2001: 5.6%)

Durable Goods in 2006 (50.1% percent of distribution of e-commerce revenue)
• Largest percentage going to motor vehicles, parts, and supplies (29%)
• Lowest percentage going to lumber and construction materials (0.7%) and Metals and minerals, excluding petroleum (0.7%)

Nondurable Goods in 2006 (49.9% percent of distribution of e-commerce revenue)
• Largest percentage going to drugs and druggist sundries (25.8%)
• Lowest percentage going to groceries paper and paper products (1.5%) and farm products, raw (3.1%)

Selected industry statistics regarding service industries (percent of distribution of e-commerce revenue):
• publishing industries (11.8%)
• securities and commodities contracts intermediation and brokerage (6.4%)
• travel arrangement and reservation services (7.4%)
• accommodations and food services (8.4%)

Selected International Statistics and Sources

Ecommerce sales in Latin America:
Country | 2007 | 2006 | % growth
Brazil | 4,899 | 3,541 | 38%
Mexico | 1,377 | 868 | 59%
Venezuela | 821 | 490 | 68%
Caribbean (except Puerto Rico) | 818 | 585 | 45%
Argentina | 739 | 619 | 19%
Chile | 687 | 472 | 46%
Central America | 499 | 360 | 39%
Puerto Rico | 445 | 384 | 16%
Peru | 218 | 145 | 50%
Columbia | 201 | 175 | 15%
Others | 203 | 165 | 23%

Books, music, movies 21.4%
Tourism and travel 16.9%
Electronics 13.9%
Software 12.3%
Appliances 9.1%
Services 7.7%
Flowers, gifts 6.7%
Food 4.3%
Games 3.1%
Spare parts 2.8%
Furniture 1.8%

Source: Visa Inc. “B2C Electronic Commerce in Latin America and the Caribbean: Beating All Odds.”, from Visa Predicts E-commerce in Latin America to surpass $16 billion this year, Sante J. Achille Jul 11, 2008, http://www.multilingual-search.com/visa-predicts-e-commerce-in-latin-america-to-surpass-16-billion-this-year/11/07/2008

Canada:

Canadian e-commerce grew 26% in 2007. E-tail sales grew 38% in 2007. E-tail sales accounted for 10% of total e-commerce activity. Source: Statistics Canada. Found on http://www.internetretailer.com/dailyNews.asp?id=26179.

Some European stats on e-commerce by country (2006) can be found here:

Annual Information Society Report, http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/eeurope/i2010/docs/annual_report/2007/sec_2007_395_en_documentdetravail3_p.pdf

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