Although online sales increased 55% year over year in July, online sales growth decreased from June, according to new data from Adobe. But Adobe expects 2020 online sales to surpass the total online sales in 2019 by Oct. 5, 2020.

Online sales slowed month over month in July compared with June, according to new data from Adobe Analytics. Although online sales increased 55% to $66.3 billion in July 2020 compared with July 2019, online sales growth decreased from June 2020 when online sales were up 76% year over year compared with June 2019. The research firm says this is due to stores reopening across the country.

Adobe Analytics data is based on online sales data from more than one trillion anonymous visits to retail sites and more than 100 million SKUs from 80 of the top 100 retailers in the Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000. Adobe collects data on 18 product categories including apparel, electronics, home, grocery, appliance, personal care, office supplies, books, jewelry, furniture and toys, among others.

“July ecommerce growth backed off its record highs as consumers began returning to some bricks-and-mortar stores and spending levels dropped as households tightened their belts due to falling employment levels and looming cutbacks in unemployment benefits,” says Vivek Pandya, senior digital insights manager at Adobe.

Despite online sales growing slower in July than in June, ecommerce sales are still up 55% year over year for the first seven months of the year, resulting in $434.5 billion in online spending, according to Adobe. And Adobe expects 2020 online sales to surpass the total online sales in 2019 by Oct. 5, 2020, “well before holidays season sales begin to ramp up,” Pandya says.

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Buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) also remains strong through the summer. In July, sales that were fulfilled via BOPIS grew 23.3% over June.

And as a new school year quickly approaches, Adobe finds that back-to-school shopping is down for July, compared with the April-June period for back-to-school related purchases. “Work from home and distance learning boosted online purchases of school supplies in April, May and June,” Adobe says.

Despite this, July back-to-school online shopping is up 30% compared with 3.9% year-over-year growth in July 2019. In April, back-to-school online shopping was up 137% year over year, May was up 141% and June was up 61%.

Apparel could be making a comeback

While the apparel industry struggled at the onset of the pandemic, the apparel category’s online sales are up 3.6% in July compared with the previous year, according to Adobe.

And worldwide, apparel and footwear sales made via cross-border ecommerce platform eShopWorld in June rose 110% year over year for apparel and 133% for footwear. U.S.-based brands that use eShopWorld and sell cross-border experienced the highest year-over-year sales growth in Chile (up 339%), Mexico (up 277%) and South Africa (up 175%).

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“Even amid this volatility [of COVID-19], our data show that cross-border apparel and footwear sales saw record growth for a third month in a row in June,” says Tommy Kelly, CEO of eShopWorld. “We expect that growth trend to continue, especially now that online shopping has become a habit for millions more consumers in markets all across the globe.”

EShopWorld works with nearly 100 brands and added 16 brands to its platform in 2019. Its business is on track to double this year, with brands that use its cross-border ecommerce platform to generate $1 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) in 2020 and sales have increased 77-113% each month of this year compared with the same period last year.

The top 10 countries where eShopWorld’s U.S. brands experienced growth in online sales in June include:

  • Chile: up 339%
  • Mexico: up 277%
  • South Africa: up 175%
  • Russian Federation: up 168%
  • Canada: up 158%
  • Turkey: up 144%
  • New Zealand: up 121%
  • Israel: up 109%
  • U.K.: up 98%
  • Australia: up 83%
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