Direct-to-Customer Commerce

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Strategic insights into the direct commerce industry, including ecommerce, direct marketing and related fields

Direct Commerce Sales, thru March, 2013

It’s critical to first, define terms.  By Direct Commerce, I’m referring to electronic & mail order retail sales, as reported by the US Dept of Commerce.

There are several similar reports out today, but they define their reporting term differently.  For example, comScore issued a quarterly report on non-travel ecommerce sales, excluding auctions, etc.  They reported about $50 billion of sales in 2013Q1.

The chart below includes all Retail Sales, compared to Direct Commerce sales, as defined above.  The 2013Q1 sales for Direct Commerce is $94.422 billion, year-over-year growth of 17%.  Direct Commerce now represents 7.52% of total retail sales

As you can see from the narrowing of the gap, Direct Commerce sales is growing almost twice as fast as retail sales, overall.  Retail sales in 2013Q1 grew only 1%, while Direct Commerce sales grew 4.2% in the same quarter (quarter-over-quarter).

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 1.19.20 PM

Filed under: Direct Commerce, News, , , , ,

Dept of Commerce stats on Electronic & Mail Order Sales for 2012

The Dept of Commerce has released it’s final report on Retail Sales for 2012.  Below is a graph of the monthly report for Total Retail Sales (the blue line against the left axis) and Electronic & Mail Order Sales (the green bars against the right axis).

Total Retail sales grew 3.7 percent, over 2011, and totaled just short of 4.9 trillions dollars.  Electronic & Mail Order Sales grew 13.2 percent, over 2011, and totaled 324.4 billion dollars.  Electronic & Mail Order Sales represent 7.4 percent of Total Retail Sales.

I don’t want to over analyze what all of this means.  But it is clear that Electronic & Mail Order Sales (what I call Direct Commerce) is growing faster than Retail Sales over all.  And the growth curves changed noticeably, at the beginning of the last recession (late 2008)

Retail Sales by Month

 

Filed under: Direct Commerce, News, , , , ,

Monthly Retail Sales Numbers

The Economics & Statistics Administration released its, Advance Monthly Sales for Retail and Food Services

Retail sales in October 2010 were $373.1 billion, an increase of 1.2 percent from September and an increase of 7.3 percent from October 2009.  Excluding autos, retail sales were $306.1 billion, up 0.4 percent from last month and up 6.0 percent from last year.

Retail sales peaked back in Nov 2007 at $379.4 billion.  So, you can see we’re getting close to a complete recovery from a pure sales point of view.  Retail sales have been growing at a rate of $1-3 billion per month for most of 2010.

However, Electronic and Mail order sales dipped in Dec 2007, after peaking at $17.6 billion.  Sales wobbled up and down in a very narrow window for a number of months, but surged passed the Dec 2007 peak in Aug 2009 and has not looked back.

In Sep 2010 (the most recent monthly report available), Electronic and Mail Order Sales reach $23.3 billion a full 30% higher than Sep 2009.

Direct Commerce is where the action is, but Brick & Mortar retail is still the name of the game.

Direct Commerce constitutes only 6.321% of total retail sales.

Filed under: Direct Commerce, News, Opinion, , , ,

Direct Commerce sales double since Aug 2003

Direct Commerce retail sales, reported by the US Dept of Commerce as “Electronic & Mail-Order Sales,” have doubled since Aug 2003.

The chart shows total retail sales on the blue line against the left axis.  Direct Commerce sales are the green bars against the right axis.

During this same period, Aug 2003 to Aug 2010, Total Retail Sales have risen only 18.2%.

Perhaps even more significantly, Direct Commerce Sales as a percent of Total Retail Sales has risen to 6.16%, its highest ratio, ever.

Good news, but we also need to be careful not to read too much into this.  Direct Commerce has always succeeded in large part due to its convenience, and in a major recession, those with larger incomes are more concerned with convenience and more able to continue spending.

So, this could be most the effect of the current economic conditions.

Filed under: News, Opinion, , , ,

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