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Quarterly U.S. e-commerce retail sales 2009-2020

In the last quarter of 2020, adjusted U.S. retail e-commerce sales amounted to over 206.6 billion U.S. dollars. Retail e-commerce sales in the United States are estimated from samples used for the Monthly Retail Trade Survey and exclude online travel services, ticket sales agencies and financial brokers. Online retail sales currently account for one tenth of total retail and approximately 5 percent of annual e-commerce revenue in the United States. The largest B2C e-commerce merchandise category is clothing and clothing accessories, including footwear. Online retail refers to customers buying goods or services from a seller online. Some online retailers are based on brick-and-mortar stores, whereas others are purely online retailing corporations. Most notable examples for online-based companies are market leaders Amazon and eBay. Prerequisites for online shopping are an internet connection and a valid method of payment. After purchasing, products are usually shipped to a designated address, picked up in-store or made available for digital distribution. Online retail provides 24 hours access to customers, as well as the possibility to shop around with ease and compare prices. Online retail sites often feature customer-written reviews in addition to the standard product information.

Retail e-commerce sales in the United States from 1st quarter 2009 to 4th quarter 2020

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Release date

February 2021


United States

Survey time period

Q1 2009 to Q4 2020

Special properties

Estimates are adjusted for seasonal variation, but not for price changes. Total sales estimates are also adjusted for trading-day differences and moving holidays.

Supplementary notes

**Revised estimates
Estimates are based on data from the Monthly Retail Trade Survey and administrative records. Unless otherwise specified, all estimates are revised based on the 2014 Annual Retail Trade Survey and the final results from the 2012 Economic Census.

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Statistics on "E-commerce in the United States"

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