Just as April showers bring May flowers, a 4.3% downturn in April web sales preceded an 8.6% rise in May for small and mid-size retailers indexed by Dydacomp, a provider of order management software.
“The May 2012 Dydacomp SMB Index showed its single largest year-over-year monthly growth rate in the past year, for both gross sales and number of orders,” says Fred Lizza, CEO of Dydacomp.
The growth in May came from a 6.7% increase in the volume of orders, as average order size inched up 1.8%, he says. This is a change from prior months’ patterns, which showed the number of orders fairly constant amid larger rises in average order size, he adds.
“Books continue to be a high-growth category despite the dominance of Amazon.com and the popularity of e-readers, recording a 22% year-over-year increase in total sales in May,” Lizza says. “We believe this growth is influenced by many religiously affiliated organizations that publish unique content not available through mainstream distribution channels.” Amazon is No. 1 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
Sporting goods showed the largest increase in sales, up 33%; auto parts, up 16%, showed strong growth after several years of recession-driven decline, Lizza says. “On the down side, two of the largest verticals, clothing and toys, showed small declines,” he adds.