At the start of the pandemic, e-commerce consisted of 11.4% of total retail sales in the U.S. One year later, by the end of March 2021, that number had risen to 13.6%. Putting that into perspective, COVID-19-fueled online shopping more than doubled e-commerce’s market share growth in a typical year. As a result, online sales volume nearly quadrupled from Q1 last year to Q1 of 2021.
COVID lockdowns and store closures were the biggest reason for this accelerated shift in online shopping. According to CoStar Group, some 12,200 retail store closures occurred, limiting access to in-store shopping and a resulting in push to buy online. Yet even now, with most stores open again, online shopping shows no signs of slowing down. According to the National Retail Federation, the entire retail market stands to make significant gains. In 2021, NRF estimates retail sales will grow by 10.5-13%, and online sales will account for up to 23% of the market, or $1.09 trillion.
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