In-store retail sales reach pre-pandemic levels as e-commerce slows

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The steady and gradual growth of e-commerce accelerated dramatically during the pandemic, raising the amount spent by consumers to shop online to almost equal the amount spent by consumers in stores. Now, with the opening of physical stores in the United States, online revenue growth is slowing. At the same time, physical store sales increased, reaching 64% of all retail sales in September 2021, according to The NPD Group.

“Physical stores are more relevant today than they were before the pandemic,” said Marshal Cohen, chief retail advisor for NPD. “Consumers no longer shop primarily out of necessity and are limited to online purchases that have failed to meet certain expectations – choice is put back into the equation and they are hungrier than ever for the in-person shopping experience. . “

In the first year of the pandemic, between April 2020 and March 2021, year-over-year e-commerce revenue growth exceeded 40% each month, but it has mostly remained below 10% since then. . In-store gains from a year ago entered double-digit territory, starting in March 2021, having declined only slightly in two of the six months that followed.

Even with the challenges posed by the pandemic, Black Friday retained its ranking as the first day of in-store shopping of the holiday season last year. Black Friday also maintained a top three position in terms of e-commerce activity for the season, while Cyber ​​Monday lagged behind Amazon’s Prime Day event in October 2020 in as the first day of vacation online shopping.

“Retailers can no longer be one-dimensional sellers,” Cohen said. “If it is not already evident, the 2021 holiday season will only underline the importance of having online and physical entities interconnect, in order to optimize the connection of consumers. “

SOURCE: The NPD group


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