Office Hours

Ecommerce at highest-ever level, Spokane below average in 'digital deals'

Two shopping related items caught our attention.

First, the online retail industry had a very successful second quarter. For various reasons more folks are shopping online than ever before. Ecommerce sales rose 17.6 percent over last year, jumping to $47.5 billion in the second quarter, according to figures from the Census Bureau released this week.

That's also a modest, but notable 3 percent gain in ecommece sales from first quarter of 2011. All U.S. retail sales only rose 1.2 percent from the previous quarter. 

So, doing the math, the Census Bureau said ecommerce accounted for a 4.6 percent share of all retail sales, the highest it's ever reached.

The second item was a survey from Scarborough Research measuring the volume of coupon shopping done in U.S. metros. Notably, across the country the survey finds coupon shopping for household groceries is up 24 percent since 2006. It found the largest single source of shopping coupons is: The Sunday newspaper.

The survey also tried to identify which cities had the highest level of "digital coupons" use. That refers to shoppers who rely on email or web based promotions and follow up with direct purchases, either with national stores on with local retailers.

On the whole, the survey said 27 percent of adult consumers engage in digital-coupon shopping.

And Spokane is lower than that number. According to Scarborough, 18 percent of adult consumers in Spokane County use digital coupons.

Grand Rapids and Detroit rank highest, at 36 percent. Portland scored 31 percent adoption; Seattle is at 27 percent, according to the survey.




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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.




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