The impact of the pandemic on US e-commerce sales in 2021

CEO Insider

In 2020, e-commerce sales in the US registered a significant growth compared to previous years. This growth was accelerated due to the pandemic. At the end of 2021 e-commerce sales in the US will also reach a significant number, according to the forecasts but it is said that this number will be lower than 2020. Data from eMarketer reveal that in 2021 e-commerce sales will make up 15.5% of the $5.856 trillion in total retail sales. E-commerce sales in the US during 2021 will reach $908.73 billion, according to eMarketer.

The product category with the fastest growth in e-commerce sales during the first months of 2021 seems to be apparel and accessories. According to eMarketer apparel/accessories at the first months of 2021 grew 18.9% reaching 183 billion dollars in total retail e-commerce sales. This growth shows that consumers during the lockdown in 2021 bought many products of this category through online purchases. It seems that this trend will continue until the end of 2021. The food and beverage product category holds the second place in US retail e-commerce sales with 18,1% growth during the first months of 2021 compared to 2020. In this sector the retail e-commerce sales reached 53 billion dollars. It is worth mentioning that the growth of e-commerce sales for apparel and accessories surpassed that for food and beverages.

E-commerce sales for health products, personal care and beauty registered a 16% growth at the first months of 2021 compared to 2020 with the total retail e-commerce sales reaching 85 billion dollars. The auto products category and the toys and hobby category come next with 13,5% and 13,1% growth respectively in 2021 compared to 2020. The share in total retail sales at the first months of 2021 for toys and hobby product category was 45,4% and it is the third highest among all the product categories after computer and consumer electronics products (53,2%) and books/music/video products (69,1%).

The books/music/video product category saw a 12,5% growth at the first months of 2021 compared to 2020 with the total e-commerce retail sales reaching almost 54 billion dollars. Furniture and home furnishings category comes next with 12,3% growth at the first months of 2021 compared to 2020. The total retail e-commerce sales for furniture and home furnishings reached almost 106 billion dollars at the first months of 2021.

Four more product categories are included at the list. The computer and consumer electronics category saw 9,1% growth, pet products registered 7,1% growth, while cosmetics and beauty products saw 9,7% growth. Lastly, office equipment and supplies saw 8,5% growth at the first months of 2021 compared to 2020. The total retail e-commerce sales during the first months of 2021 for computer and consumer electronics reached 195 billion dollars, for pet products reached 16 billion dollars, for cosmetics and beauty products reached 13 billion dollars and for office equipment and supplies reached almost 19 billion dollars.

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