Online sales top $300B

The Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce released its quarterly retail sales estimates, and while 2014 posted only a moderate increase in total retail sales, e-commerce clearly continued its march toward dominance.

U.S. retail e-commerce sales for the fourth quarter of 2014, adjusted for seasonal variation was $79.6 billion, an increase of 2.3 percent from the third quarter of 2014.

But online sales jumped 14.6 percent from the third quarter on an adjusted basis. Online sales accounted for 6.7 percent of total sales for the quarter. E-commerce accounted for 7.7 percent of total retail sales (adjusted) excluding foodservice, up from 7 percent just a year ago.

Department of Labor reports include fuel and automobile sales, but stripping those out reveals that retail sales from e-commerce account for 9.6 percent of unadjusted sales for the fourth quarter, as estimated by Internet Retailer.

Total retail sales didn't fare as well, increasing just 0.1 percent for the fourth quarter from the third quarter.

It's been a steady march for online shopping, as the share of retail sales coming from the internet increases quarter over quarter, year over year. This holiday season saw another big jump in the share of sales coming from digital sources and even winter weather is helping this trend.

For more:
-See this U.S. Department of Commerce report
-See this Internet Retailer story

Related stories:
Store traffic, sales down 8% in January
Black Friday reports misleading, analysts looking at wrong data
November foot traffic drops 20% from last year
Thanksgiving weekend store traffic down 5% from last year
Retail suffers double-digit traffic and sales declines in November

Suggested Articles

Costco changes up its menu items, and Alibaba and Guess partner for a physical store.

Janey Whiteside, Walmart's new chief customer officer, is well acquainted with the importance of customer service in modern retail.

Whole Foods will offer deals on Amazon's Prime Day, and tariffs against China are causing pricing hikes.