As you know, I have been following the emergence of new behaviors during the pandemic very closely, especially online commerce. So for frequent readers, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that the pandemic has been an accelerant for e-commerce. There were already early indications –USPS saw a 60 to 80 percent increase in the number of boxes it had been ferrying during May 2020.
More concrete confirmation came from Amazon saw its revenues go up 40 percent year over year to $88.9 billion. Amazon is a good proxy for the rest of the commerce. For example, Walmart saw its U.S. eCommerce sales grow 37%, while Sam’s Club eCommerce sales grew 35%.
Michael Sivak, of Sivak Applied Research, took data from various sources and estimated that during the second quarter of 2020, inflation-adjusted e-commerce sales in the US were up 43.3 percent compared to the same three months in 2019.
|Change from a year ago|
|Q/2020||eCommerce Sales||Traditional Sales|
Traditional sales were down by 10 percent. In comparison, despite a big boom in eCommerce sales, from 2015 to 2019, it didn’t siphon off as much from the traditional sales channels. E-commerce sales in the United States in 2019 amounted to 11.0% of all retail sales, versus only 0.9% in 2000. During the second quarter of 2020, e-commerce sales represented 16.1% of total sales in the US.
From Target to mom-and-pop operators are seeing steady growth in their digital revenues, and it is pretty clear – pandemic has finally turbocharged the online commerce, and it will come at the expense of the traditional retail.