E-commerce sales from U.S. retailers reached an estimated $42.9 billion in July compared with $36.6 billion a year earlier.

U.S. retailers’ nonstore sales reached $56.600 billion in July on a seasonally adjusted basis, an 8.7% increase compared with $52.071 billion in the same month of 2017, new monthly data from the U.S. Commerce Department shows.

That’s a smaller increase than in June when nonstore sales grew 9.1% on an adjusted basis year over year. Nonstore sales mainly take place online but also include other channels, such as mail and telephone orders, door-to-door sales and sales through vending machines.

Internet Retailer uses the monthly nonstore figures disclosed by the Commerce Department as an early indicator of the health of the e-commerce market. The Commerce Department only reports e-commerce sales on a quarterly basis. The agency will release its second-quarter results on August 17.

A historical look at the correlation between U.S. retailers’ nonstore sales and e-commerce sales shows that e-commerce is a growing portion of nonstore sales. In the first quarter of 2018, for example, e-commerce represented 75.8% of nonstore sales on an adjusted basis, an Internet Retailer analysis shows. That’s compared with 70.3% in the same period a year earlier.

Using those same percentages, this would suggest that in July, e-commerce sales reached an estimated $42.903 billion, a 17.2% increase compared with $36.606 billion a year earlier.


Total retail sales reached $300.116 billion in July on a non-adjusted basis, up 4.9% from $286,027 billion a year earlier, according to Internet Retailer’s analysis of Commerce Department figures. These figures factor out goods not normally purchased online, including food services, gasoline and automobiles.