Retail Ecommerce Sales Booming with 44% Year Over Year Growth in Q2

September 11, 2020

On Tuesday, August 18th, the Department of Commerce’s U.S. Census Bureau reported that retail eCommerce sales for the second quarter were up 37 percent from the first quarter of the year. And as measured year over year, eCommerce sales were up 44 percent while the total US retail sales were down 3.4 percent, to $1.1 trillion. The largest jump in dollars since 2001, Q2 eCommerce sales were $62 billion more than Q2 of last year, to $201 billion. And the 44 percent is also the largest percentage jump since 2001. And those percentages could be even higher. While this number includes sales in which the transaction takes place online, the Census Bureau only considers “Non-store Retailers” in their estimates, omitting companies engaged in electronic transactions. For example, storefronts that take payments online are not included in the number of eCommerce sales.

Pandemic Touches Every Industry

With American consumers newly interested in online grocery shopping, Albertsons Companies, which owns Albertsons and Safeway among other supermarket chains, reported that through June 20th, online sales jumped by 276 percent. The pandemic pulled off what Safeway and Amazon couldn’t in 2019 when both companies tried offering online sales with minimal success. While global retail sales are down due to the pandemic, online purchases of clothing are up 76 percent. Sales of homemade goods like masks and home furnishing increased a whopping 146 percent on Etsy’s marketplace. Forecasted to continue growing, demand for communications equipment and cloud infrastructure may face challenges with factories’ stall in production.

And on the other end of the spectrum, U.S. digital travel sales are predicted to drop 44 percent in 2020 compared to mostly stagnant growth in previous years. And China is experiencing a more than 80 percent drop in sales of light vehicles as a result of the pandemic. In addition to health concerns, businesses across the globe continue to worry about the impact the pandemic will have on eCommerce. While not all industries can enjoy the boom in eCommerce growth, the industries that can leverage the increase can follow the path of businesses increasing online sales by more than 100 percent.

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