Following the pandemic, we have been witnessing split trends in economic activity. Since June 2020, spending on goods had been surging sharply while spending on services has been trending downhill. A similar split trend has been observed between worldwide total sales and e-commerce. According to e-marketer estimates, total worldwide retail sales declined around 3% in 2020 while total worldwide retail ecommerce sales registered an incredible 27.6% increase. The growth in e-commerce sales was even more striking in the US. According to Digital Commerce 360 estimates, consumers spent $861.12 billion online with U.S. merchants in 2020, up an incredible 44.0% YoY. (The highest annual U.S. ecommerce growth in at least two decades). Total sales, excluding e-commerce, had been almost stable but registered a YoY growth rate of 6.9% when we also include e-commerce sales. (This was the first time when the increase in e-commerce sales accounted for the full increase in retail sales) Although 2021 figures are yet unknown, the demand was still high for consumer goods, and hence, for e-commerce sales, which continued to increase in January 2021, with some categories registering growth rates far higher than the growth rates that we have seen during the boom in the second half of 2020.
Head of Strategic Planning and Marketing