US Ecommerce Sales (2011–2021)
Data from the US Department of Commerce shows that US ecommerce sales have been growing steadily for over a decade, with significant growth in the previous two years.
In 2021, total US ecommerce sales reached $870.7 billion, a 14.3 percent year-over-year increase from $759.6 billion in 2020. It’s significantly less than the US ecommerce growth rate of 2021, during which total sales increased by 31.8 percent year-over-year.
Despite the slowdown, total US ecommerce sales in 2021 still marked the highest on record. This is an impressive increase from a decade ago in 2011 when online sales in the US totaled $199.3 billion. A year later, it breached the $200 billion mark for the very first time. From 2011 to 2021, annual US ecommerce sales multiplied by over four times.
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US Ecommerce Sales: COVID-19 Impact
The coronavirus pandemic that swept across the world in 2020 had a profound impact on US ecommerce sales.
The latest figures show that in the second quarter of 2020, online sales in the US totaled $203.8 billion. This marked a whopping 31.9 percent increase from the previous quarter and a 43.8 percent year-over-year surge.
This coincided with the period during which consumers worldwide had to resort to purchasing items online as brick-and-mortar stores shut to stem the spread of the virus. In fact, analysts say this accelerated the shift to ecommerce by as many as five years.
This growth is especially noteworthy, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic as US consumer confidence fell to its lowest point around this time of the year.
US ecommerce sales continued to increase in the quarters after. The best-performing quarter so far has been in Q2 2021, when online sales soared to a record high of $222 billion.
Unsurprisingly, the largest ecommerce company in the US also witnessed skyrocketing sales in 2021. According to the latest figures from Amazon, the company’s total sales in 2021 hit $469.8 billion—a 22 percent increase from 2020 and surpassing the $400 billion mark for the first time.
With that said, not only are ecommerce sales increasing but so is the US ecommerce market share of total retail sales. The ecommerce market share in 2021 came in at 13.2 percent of overall retail sales. In comparison, just five years ago in 2016, this figure was at 7.9 percent.