Online retail spending increased in March 2009 compared to February 2009 (month over month) according to Coremetrics, a provider of online marketing and business optimisation solutions.
Consumers who shopped online in the in March purchased nearly 12 per cent more items compared to the previous month, while the average dollar value increased by more than four per cent, suggesting that not only were consumers buying more items online, they were actually spending more money on average than they had just the month before.
Unsurprisingly, year-over-year retail metrics for March remain down across the board compared to March 2008. The average number of items per order, average order value and shopping cart conversion all fell significantly – 8.1 per cent, 6.3 per cent and 3.4 per cent respectively – compared to March 2008.
“The constant barrage of bleak economic news essentially wore consumers out earlier in the year. But in March, as the stock markets started to show some signs of life, consumers regained a measure of confidence about their purchasing power,” said John Squire, chief strategy officer for Coremetrics.
“We’re seeing online purchasing behavior that is strongly tied to consumer attitudes about the bigger economic picture, and the best retailers out there are finding ways to appeal to consumers who are spending their money more thoughtfully.”
Health and beauty retailers were big winners in March, with the average number of items per order increasing by 6.9 per cent and the average dollar value of their orders increasing by 5.3 per cent. Furthermore, consumer engagement with these sites, measured by page views per session and the average time they spent on sites, rose by 3.2 and 12 per cent respectively from February.
Jewellery retailers also reported marked increases in the average number of items per order and their corresponding average dollar value, which rose by 13.8 and 13.4 per cent respectively.
Intimate apparel retailers reported flat to slightly positive results in the average number of items per order and their corresponding average dollar value, which rose by 0.2 and 0.3 per cent respectively, while page views (1.4 per cent) and average time on site (two per cent) rose slightly.
Sports apparel and gear spending was slightly down, with the average number of items per order decreasing by nearly two per cent, while the average dollar value of their orders decreased by 1.3 per cent. Furthermore, consumer engagement with these sites, measured by page views per session and the average time they spent on sites, decreased by 10.8 and one per cent respectively from February.