Article courtesy of eMarketer here
The pandemic has accelerated ecommerce growth in the US this year, with online sales reaching a level not previously expected until 2022. In our Q3 US retail forecast, the top 10 retailers by ecommerce sales will tighten their grip on the retail market.
US ecommerce sales will reach $794.50 billion this year, up 32.4% year-over-year. That’s a much higher growth rate than the 18.0% predicted in our Q2 forecast, as consumers continue to avoid stores and opt for online shopping amid the pandemic.
“We’ve seen ecommerce accelerate in ways that didn’t seem possible last spring, given the extent of the economic crisis,” said Andrew Lipsman, eMarketer principal analyst at Insider Intelligence. “While much of the shift has been led by essential categories like grocery, there has been surprising strength in discretionary categories like consumer electronics and home furnishings that benefited from pandemic-driven lifestyle needs.”
Ecommerce sales will reach 14.4% of all US retail spending this year and 19.2% by 2024. When excluding gas and auto sales (categories sold almost exclusively offline), ecommerce penetration jumps to 20.6%.
“There will be some lasting impacts from the pandemic that will fundamentally change how people shop,” said Cindy Liu, eMarketer senior forecasting analyst at Insider Intelligence. “For one, many stores, particularly department stores, may close permanently. Secondly, we believe consumer shopping behaviors will permanently change. Many consumers have either shopped online for the first time or shopped in new categories (i.e., groceries). Both the increase in new users and frequency of purchasing will have a lasting impact on retail.”
Online shopping is so strong that it will more than offset the 3.2% decline in brick-and-mortar spending this year, which will drop to $4.711 trillion. As a result, total retail sales in the US will remain essentially flat.