US Ecommerce 2020

Coronavirus Boosts Ecommerce Forecast and Will Accelerate Channel-Shift

About This Report
Coronavirus effects have radically altered the US retail and ecommerce landscape, with surprising changes in consumer behavior and category and retailer performance.

Executive Summary

The coronavirus is the biggest disruption to consumer retail spending patterns in recent history, far eclipsing the dramatic events of 2008’s Great Recession. As a result, our previous forecasts of retail and ecommerce spending growth have undergone substantial revisions.

How will the coronavirus pandemic affect our total US retail spending forecast?

Our February 2020 forecast anticipated modest growth of 2.8% to $5.621 trillion in US total retail sales. Due to the pandemic’s massive demand shock, store closures and stay-at-home orders, we now forecast that total US retail spending will decline 10.5% to $4.894 trillion.

How much will US consumers spend on ecommerce and at brick-and-mortar in 2020?

US consumers will spend $709.78 billion on ecommerce in 2020, representing an increase of 18.0%. Brick-and-mortar retail spending, however, is expected to decrease 14.0% to $4.184 trillion.

What effect will channel-shifting behavior have on ecommerce’s share of total US retail sales in 2020?

We expect that ecommerce will reach 14.5% of total retail sales in 2020, representing both an all-time high and the biggest share increase in a single year.

Which product categories are seeing the fastest ecommerce growth?

Both food and beverage and health, personal care and beauty were the fastest-growing ecommerce categories prior to the pandemic. We’ve raised our forecast for food and beverage sales from 23.4% to 58.5% and health, personal care and beauty sales from 16.6% to 32.4%.

How will the top 10 ecommerce retailers fare amid the pandemic?

The majority of the top 10 will increase their market share from 58.2% to 60.1% as consumers shift toward essential goods retailers that provide reliable delivery and click-and-collect fulfillment. Amazon will grow its share by 1 percentage point to 38.0% to remain the strong No. 1.

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report explores US ecommerce spending, highlighting our recent forecasts and how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting them.

KEY STAT: US ecommerce sales growth will surge to 18.0% this year, the highest on record since we began calculating this metric in 2008.

Here’s what’s in the full report


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Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. US Retail and Ecommerce Sales
  1. Top Ecommerce Categories and Retailers
  2. Key Takeaways
  1. Read Next
  2. Media Gallery

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Andrew Lipsman and Cindy Liu


Kathleen Hamblin
Chart Editorial Manager
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Vincent Yip
Forecasting Analyst