RESTON, Va.–Retail e-commerce sales grew 13 percent in the first quarter, to $50.2 billion, continuing a streak of growth that has lasted over the past 14 consecutive quarters, according to digital research firm comScore.
“The first quarter of 2013 was fairly strong for online retailers, with total e-commerce sales surpassing $50 billion for only the second time on record,” said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni in a statement. The year-over-year growth rate of 13 percent remained healthy, Fulgoni said, but it was a point or two below that of the preceding quarters, a possible explanation being the payroll tax increase that went into effect this year. “That said, as long as job growth continues and consumer sentiment remains positive, the outlook for e-commerce in 2013 remains bright. However, one wild card is the possible enactment of legislation requiring state sales taxes to be collected on every e-commerce transaction—which would reduce the Internet’s traditional price advantage and possibly dilute the channel’s growth rate.”