Digital Commerce 360 editors reveal the most-read ecommerce stories of 2021. These articles cover another challenging year in online retail, with massive supply chain disruptions and merchants struggling to benchmark themselves against the pandemic boom.

2021 had no shortage of ecommerce news. Digital Commerce 360 editors and researchers diligently covered the news and dug into some of the larger trends.

With the Digital Commerce 360 Research team’s wealth of data, it’s clear some of the most popular stories for our reader are data-focused.  Below are the articles published in 2021 that received the most page views in the online retail vertical on

Most-read news stories

  • US ecommerce grows 32.4% in 2020
    Online spending represented 19.6% of total retail sales for the year, according to Digital Commerce 360 estimates. Amazon accounted for more than a third of all ecommerce in the United States.
  • Amazon’s Q3 sales rise modestly but profits plunge amid rising costs
    North American sales were up 10% compared to Q3 of 2020, when the pandemic was raging, but profits fell by almost half as labor and other costs rose. Amazon warns of trouble ahead for the holiday season and says its operating income in Q4 could be zero.
  • Coronavirus adds $105 billion to US ecommerce in 2020
    Online retail sales increased 32.4% year over year in 2020 and are up 39% in Q1 2021. Online retail highlights from the last year showcase retail’s pivot to cater to at-home shoppers.
  • Lord & Taylor emerges from bankruptcy as an online-only retailer
    The iconic apparel retail chain’s new owner is hoping to attract new, younger customers. Lord & Taylor’s past few years were turbulent: fashion startup Le Tote acquired Lord & Taylor in 2019 for $71 million, then the brands filed for bankruptcy in August 2020 and were acquired by The Saadia Group in October 2020 for $12 million.
  • Online shoppers demand same-day delivery
    More online shoppers are selecting same-day delivery at checkout, according to new survey data. Merchants can thank Amazon and the pandemic for shifting consumer expectations.
  • Most Amazon shoppers have eyes only for Amazon
    88% of consumers started their shopping trip at Amazon for their last Amazon purchase, rather than at a search engine like Google or a competing retailer’s site, according to market research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners. That percentage has been trending up steadily for several years and was little affected by the pandemic.
  • Pampered Chef invests in new tech to enhance its online shopping events
    The cookware retailer plans to launch a new virtual shopping platform that boosts its consultants’ productivity and enables consumers to have a more seamless shopping experience.
  • US ecommerce sales increase 6.8% in Q3 2021
    Consumers spent more than $1 in $6 online in the third quarter. Digital penetration for retail purchases dips yet remains higher than pre-pandemic levels. Offline sales grow 11.5% and drive a 10.6% jump in total retail sales in Q3.
  • Ecommerce is 46.0% of all apparel sales
    Digital Commerce 360’s new 2021 Online Apparel report details and analyzes the current state of online apparel with exclusive research, data, interviews and surveys.
  • UPS ranks No. 1 in on-time deliveries during the holiday season
    Two data sources say the carrier had the highest percentage of packages delivered on time this November and December among the three biggest carriers. USPS picked up overflow packages other carriers wouldn’t, which hurt its delivery times.

Most-read in-depth stories

The seven, feature-length stories below received the most page views in 2021 on These  articles, free to Digital Commerce 360 Strategy members, detail the topics our readers found most relevant this year. They include an in-depth piece on gender diversity, how the coronavirus drove innovation in fulfillment and technology upgrades, and how thoughtful website design and personalization can drive more sales.

  • Will supply chain obstacles stifle holiday sales in 2021?
    The pandemic caused a massive breakdown in the global supply transportation system. It’s changing the way retailers think about their inventories.
  • How Apple is complicating the lives of digital marketers in 2021
    Changes to privacy settings in Apple’s iOS mobile operating system make it harder for marketers to track app users and create personalized ad campaigns. Soon, the tech giant will make email open rates practically useless.
  • Amazon under the antitrust microscope
    Amazon and other tech giants are facing growing scrutiny in the U.S. and Europe, with President Joe Biden among those calling for stronger antitrust action. A bill before Congress could lead to Amazon’s breakup, and an invigorated Federal Trade Commission, now led by a vocal Amazon critic, seems sure to investigate the leading online retailer and marketplace.
  • How will online retailers conquer the cookie apocalypse?
    Longstanding online consumer-tracking practices are nearing an end thanks to recent actions by Google and Apple. How will online retailers be affected, especially in the Google-dominated world of web advertising?
  • What retailers need to know about gift card fraud
    The coronavirus fueled a surge in digital gift card sales. As a popular gift during the holiday season, gift card sales will only continue to increase. But gift cards are also an attractive product category for criminals. The following article helps online retailers better understand and block fraudulent gift card purchases online.
  • How retailers are fulfilling orders while still protecting their bottom lines
    By focusing on their internal operations, retailers can reduce shipping and return fees—or find ways to offset them—to make fulfillment a more profitable endeavor.
  • How shoppers say the online shopping experience stacks up
    Most shoppers, at 73%, find online retailers provide a fast and easy way to purchase, but retailers lack in meeting other expectations, such as with providing helpful product recommendations, according to a new survey from Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights. Plus, results from how online shoppers feel about personalization and customer service.