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Consumers buying more online less often

The number of orders placed by consumers online fell in the first quarter of 2012 compared to 2011, but customers who did go online to shop spent more than they did in the previous year, netting an overall gain in sales for online retailers in the first three months of the year.

This is according to a new index of small and mid-sized online retail businesses by Dydacomp, which was prepared for and reported by Internet Retailer, compiling more than $200 million in retail sales from more than 1,500 e-commerce operators.

For online auto parts retailers specifically, gross sales, number of transactions and size of transactions were all up, even against negative trends by other categories.

Adding to gross sales growth in the first two months of 2012, online auto parts retailers for the first quarter were up 10.41 percent, contributing to a 3.85 percent increase for all online retailers.

Despite the number of transactions dropping 2.64 percent for all online retailers, auto parts experienced growth of 10.04 percent in the number of transactions through March of this year. Most of the experienced growth came in the first two months of the year, with retailers only improving 0.95 percent in March 2012 compared to 2011.

Order size did not change much in Q1 2012 compared to 2011, increasing only 0.33 percent over the same period of last year, with all retail channels growing 6.66 percent in the quarter and 6.16 percent in March alone.

For a full breakdown of all e-commerce categories collected by Dydacomp, check out the article on InternetRetailer.com.

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