The Census Bureau released their “Advance Monthly Retail Trade Report” yesterday projecting sales activity for Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order at almost $240 billion for the first 11 months of 2010, up 13.3% from 2009 data.
The Census Bureau report estimated sales activity for the entire Nonstore segment (NAICS code 454) at almost $318 billion. This Nonstore segment includes Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses NAICS: 4541, Vending Machine Operators NAICS: 4542, and Direct Selling Establishments NAICS: 4543. Over the last few years, the Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order sub-group accounts for approximately 75% of the combined category, suggesting almost $240 billion in sales.
The Census Bureau report did not include sales that took place over the Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. Statistics from comScore show that online spending on Cyber Monday reached an unprecedented $1 billion, a 16% jump when compared against the same day last year. The figure also represents the first time single day online spending has exceeded the $1 billion threshold. Similarly, eMarketer reported strong online sales on Cyber Monday — in fact, over the entire Thanksgiving weekend.
As more sales shift online, the sales tax collections missed by states will grow, resulting in more ad hoc attempts by the state to collect those taxes. The Main Street Fairness Act offers a clear, low-impact way to address the imbalance.