E-commerce sales from U.S. retailers reached an estimated $43.7 billion in August compared with nearly $37.8 billion a year earlier.

U.S. retailers’ nonstore sales reached $57.500 billion in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, a 10.4% increase compared with $52.101 billion in the same month of 2017, new monthly data from the U.S. Commerce Department shows.

That’s a slightly larger increase than July, when nonstore sales grew 10.0% on an adjusted basis year over year. Nonstore sales grew 0.7% month over month from July to August, the Commerce Department finds. 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 third-quarter results on Nov. 19.

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 second quarter of 2018, for example, e-commerce represented 76.0% of nonstore sales on an adjusted basis, an Internet Retailer analysis shows. That’s compared with 72.5% in the same period a year earlier.

Using those same percentages, this would suggest that in August, e-commerce sales reached an estimated $43.700 billion, a 15.7% increase compared with $37.773 billion a year earlier.


Total retail sales reached $312.388 billion in August on a non-adjusted basis, up 5.0% from $297.427 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. Nonstore sales on a non-adjusted basis reached $55.116 billion up 9.27% from $50.438 billion a year earlier.