For the first time in 20 years of ecommerce research, Digital Commerce 360 releases forecasts and projections of ecommerce sales in the same calendar year. The first-ever 2020 U.S. ecommerce Market Report covers brand new exclusive research on 2020 ecommerce, including full-year ecommerce and retail projections; ecommerce growth by category; a projection on U.S. marketplaces growth; and trends that will stick beyond the pandemic.

In a typical year, Digital Commerce 360 spends months analyzing data around the previous year’s ecommerce landscape. How did online retail leaders perform? How did online shopper behavior change? How much did ecommerce grow in relation to store sales? We’ve done this extensive research—in this way—for more than 15 years.

But this year is different. Many retailers have had to rewrite their business playbooks and learn new strategies on the fly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, after we published in April the 2020 annual rankings of the largest online retailers in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America (all based on 2019 web sales), we immediately began an in-depth analysis of 2020. This resulted in our first-ever U.S. Ecommerce Market Report, which includes online retail growth projections and in-depth analysis of 2020.

Here’s just a handful of facts from the just-released 45-page U.S. Ecommerce Market Report:

1. U.S. ecommerce sales will grow 40.3% to reach $839.02 billion in sales.

2. Online sales will account for 21.0% of total retail sales, up from 15.8% in 2019 and 14.3% in 2018.

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3. Retail chains will end the year with a collective 76.8% growth in ecommerce.

4. Amazon.com Inc.’s sales represent nearly a third—32.0%—of all U.S. ecommerce sales growth in 2020. While it’s a big share, it’s down from 43.8% last year.

5. 40.3% is the highest annual ecommerce growth in the U.S. in at least two years. What’s more, ecommerce accelerated by two years and reached sales it would have otherwise reached in 2022. COVID-19-related buying shifts added $153 billion to online retail this year.

Ecommerce sales will reach $839.02 billion by the end of 2020 with an incredible 40.3% growth from 2019, Digital Commerce 360 estimates. That’s the highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades. (We only have data on ecommerce growth dating back to 2001, which is when the Commerce Department began publishing online retail sales.) What’s more, this year’s growth is nearly triple the average 15.2% online retail growth since 2010, according to Digital Commerce 360’s analysis of U.S. Commerce Department figures.

That’s not all: Ecommerce accelerated two years. If it weren’t for the boost from the pandemic, the nearly $840 billion in online retail sales in 2020 wouldn’t have been reached until 2022. That means U.S. retailers had a COVID-19-related $152 billion boost in ecommerce sales this year

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Ecommerce was already the fastest-growing sector of retail long before 2020. Then, the coronavirus pandemic hit, which kept consumers at home, shut down retail stores nationwide and shifted consumers’ shopping priorities.

The first-ever 2020 U.S. Ecommerce Market Report covers brand new exclusive research on 2020 ecommerce, including full-year ecommerce and retail projections; ecommerce growth by category; a projection on U.S. marketplaces growth; and trends that will stick beyond the pandemic.

Included in the new 2020 U.S. Ecommerce Market Report:

  • An overview of how the pandemic impacted retail this year, including ecommerce and retail sales and growth projections
  • A ranking of the largest 250 North American retailers, based on projected 2020 ecommerce sales
  • Ecommerce growth projections for 13 merchandise categories
  • 2020 online retail growth projections for the top five retailers in 13 categories
  • A list of bankrupt retailers in 2020
  • Analysis of U.S. marketplaces growth
  • A projection of U.S. ecommerce growth in 2021

The 2020 U.S. Ecommerce Market Report is available as a downloadable PDF for $499. It is also included in our Gold and Platinum memberships, which provide full access to all of Digital Commerce 360’s published reports and certain online retailer databases. Learn more here.

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