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Report: U.S. Q2 online sales up 31.8%; to account for 14.5% of retail sales in 2020

Consumers shopped heavily online in the second quarter as the pandemic accelerated the ongoing shift to the channel.

Second-quarter retail e-commerce sales in the U.S. grew by almost a third (31.8%) from the previous quarter and were 44.5% year over year, per the US Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce (DOC), according to a report by Emarketer.

Online sales totaled $211.51 billion the quarter (accounting for 16.1% of all retail sales), up from $160.41 billion in the year-ago period. Strong e-commerce growth, however, wasn’t enough to offset losses from brick-and-mortar closures due to the pandemic as total retail sales dropped 3.9% from the prior quarter, the report said.

E-commerce is expected to account for 14.5% of US retail sales this year, up from 11.0% in 2019, according to Emarketer, It also expects that e-commerce will retain its increased share of the retail market going forward.

“Even as stores reopen and brick-and-mortar sales rebound, we forecast that e-commerce will lose just a 0.1% share of total retail sales in 2021, before gaining more than 1 percentage point each year through 2024,” the report said. “By then, U.S. e-commerce sales will surpass $1 trillion and represent 18.1% of total retail sales in the U.S.”

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