Online Sales Surge 55% Year-Over-Year in July: Adobe Report

2020's online spend could exceed yearly total for 2019 by October.

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Need to Know

  • According to the Adobe Digital Economy Index, online shopping in the U.S. rose to $66.3 billion in July, a year-over-year increase of 55%.
  • Adobe estimates online shopping for all of 2020 could exceed 2019 totals by October.
  • The company also reported that states that have reopened after COVID-19 lockdown measures saw year-over-year increases in online purchasing that was 8% lower than their still-closed counterparts.
  • Overall e-commerce numbers are down from June, which saw 76% year-over-year growth.

Analysis

Online sales in the U.S. continued to surge in July compared to a year prior, with the Adobe Digital Economy Index reporting a 55% increase over the course of the month, with sales totaling $66.3 billion.

The numbers, which were aggregated from Adobe Analytics data, showed a slight dip from June 2020, at which time online sales were 76% higher than the same month in 2019. This could be due to the gradual reopening of bricks-and-mortar stores in some U.S. states, where year-over-year online sales growth was 8% lower than in still-closed states. Rhode Island, New Mexico, Oregon, and Vermont saw the highest increased spending, year over year, for July, while Kansas, Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Iowa saw the lowest.

Consumer confidence in returning to stores was reflected in the Adobe report’s data on buy online, pick up in-store purchases, with the month of July seeing an uptick in that choice of 23.3% over June. Overall, 31% of consumers preferred in-person or curbside pickup over delivery.

Shoppers are also continuing to purchase goods for work-from-home scenarios, with year-over-year sales of computers, in particular, growing by a whopping 288% in July. Online sales of general consumer electronics, meanwhile, stayed flat; grocery sales grew just 3%.

“It’s important to note that while the growth in e-commerce is down from June, 55% growth in July year-over-year is still really strong,” John Copeland, Adobe VP of marketing and customer insights, said of the July 2020 report. “E-commerce isn’t new, and before COVID-19, it was seeing much slower growth. The fact that even while states are starting to open up, the numbers remain so much higher than typical proves that things will never really go back to ‘normal.’ E-commerce is more embedded into our lives than it has ever been before and that is irreversible.”

Adobe’s reported 55% growth for July (and its larger reported growth for June) is reflective of the numbers being posted by various individual companies for Q2, all of which showed massive growth year-over-year. L’Oreal, the cosmetics giant, reported an online sales spike of 65% for the second quarter of 2020; that company has invested heavily in its digital presence lately, including the launch of shoppable livestreams in June. Wayfair, too, posted massive digital growth, with the online housewares retailer—no doubt benefitting from work-from-home and lockdown measures imposed by the coronavirus—saw $4.3-billion in sales for Q2, a year-over-year increase of nearly 84%.

The Adobe index reported that, overall, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an extra $94 billion spent online since March 2020. Due to these surging numbers, Adobe predicts that digital purchasing in 2020 could surpass the total online spend for all of 2019 by October 5. ​

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