E-commerce retail sales in the fourth quarter of 2010 rose a seasonally adjusted 16.1 percent compared to the same period a year before, IHS Global Insight said in a report.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, E-commerce retail sales increased 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of the last year. E-Commerce retail sales are dwarfed by conventional retails sales in terms of total volumes, but the segment has been growing faster than the brick-and-mortar sector.

E-commerce retail sales as a percentage of total retail trade sales reached 4.3 percent in the third and fourth quarter of 2010, the highest percentage since it has been recorded, the report said.

E-commerce retail sales have been outpacing total retail trade sales every quarter since the commerce department began reporting them, the report said.

E-commerce retail sales accounted for $44.12 billion while the total retail trade sales were worth $1.01 trillion. But the report says E-commerce sales are gaining ground and are likely to gain a larger market share as companies look to the Internet to increase their revenue and cut costs.