Consumer e-commerce spending reached $214.4 billion in 2008, reflecting a 7% rate of growth compared to 2007, according to figures from ComScore Inc. That’s down from 20% growth in 2007 and the slowest rate of growth since ComScore began tracking such data in 2001.
Several product categories generated double-digit increases in sales during 2008. The fastest growing categories ranked in order were video games and consoles, (up 29%); home and garden furniture, (up 25%); sports and fitness, (up 25%); and event tickets, (up 13%).
Several categories experienced double-digit declines in sales last year compared to 2007. The combined music, movies and video category declined 23%.
Other categories experiencing sharp declines included computer software (excluding PC games), (down 18%); jewelry and watches, (down 12%); office supplies, (down 10%); and the combined category for flowers, greeting cards and gifts, (down 10%).
The average U.S. Internet user viewed more than 2,000 ads per month during 2008, including static and rich media advertising, excluding video ads, according to ComScore.
Internet traffic grew 51% for job search in 2008. Web sites for coupons and sites targeting women, each saw an average 46% increase in Web site visitors. Political sites and gay and lesbian sites, experienced 43% and 41% increases in Web site visitors, respectively.