Highlights. COVID-19 lockdowns led to a record increase in online shopping and sales revenue, experts predict upward trends will continue.

  • eCommerce revenue in the second fiscal quarter (Q2) of 2020 increased 54.1% year-over-year (YoY).
  • The e-commerce share of retail revenue in Q2 2020 grew 60.0% YoY. 
  • Worldwide, 60% of internet users shopped primarily online in 2020/21, up 13.2% from 2019; in North America, 90% shopped online in 2020, up 11.1% from 2018.
  • In the United States, seasonally adjusted* e-commerce revenue represented an all-time record 16.4% of all Q2 2020 retail sales.
  • When COVID vaccines became widely available in 2021 (see abbreviated timeline of events) in-store sales growth outpaced e-commerce revenue for the first time since 2001

*Seasonal adjustment accounts for peaks and valleys in the market; all figures in this report are nonseasonally adjusted unless otherwise noted.

Grouped Bar Graph: Online vs. In-Store Annual Retail Sales Growth according to the U.S. Census Bureau

U.S. eCommerce Revenue Statistics

While online retail sales were already on the rise, a spike in early 2020 can be attributed to COVID-related lockdowns and brick-and-mortar store closures. 

  • In Q2 2020, nonseasonally adjusted e-commerce revenue hit a record 15.5% of all retail sales dollars, up 60.0% YoY.
  • Also in Q2 2020, total retail sales declined 3.66% YoY.
  • From Q1 to Q2 2020, e-commerce revenue grew 39.3%, while all retail sales increased 4.74%.
  • E-commerce as a share of retail revenue increased 34.7% from 2019 to 2020.
  • In 2021, e-commerce revenue grew at a 6.06% slower rate than in-store sales, making it the first time in-store sales growth outperformed e-commerce growth since 2001 (when in-store sales grew 82.2% faster).
  • Prior to COVID, e-commerce saw its largest YoY sales growth in 2000 (13.6%).

Line Graph: Quarterly eCommerce Growth, seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted, from 2019 Q2 to 2021 Q3 according to the U.S. Census Bureau

Global eCommerce Revenue Statistics

A worldwide increase in online spending is expected to continue, in part due to the growing availability of mobile technology; some nations continue to experience COVID outbreaks.

  • Latin America saw the largest spike in online shopping (as a share of all retail spending) with 80% growth in 2020.
  • Online spending in Latin America increased 130% faster than in the U.S.
  • ASEAN countries (located in the South Pacific) increased online spending 71% in 2020.
  • Countries in ASEAN and Eastern Europe increased by the largest number of percentage points (5 percentage points each) after North America (6 percentage points).
  • ASEAN countries saw an even greater increase in terms of percentage points (7) in 2021, when the share of online retail revenue increased 58% YoY.

Grouped Bar Graph: Grocery eCommerce Annual Growth from 2018 (15.0%), 2019 (15.1%), 2020 (41.6%), 2021 (25.8%), and 2022 (24.8%) according to Statista with projections from 2023 (38.6%), 2024 (32.7%), and 2025 (32.8%)

Online Grocery Shopping Statistics

In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, online grocery spending increased more than twice as fast as it did from 2017 to 2019.

  • Between 2019 and 2020, total revenue from online grocery shopping increased 41.6%; online produce sales increased 143%.
  • Compared to the 2020 calendar year, the share of fresh produce purchased online increased 41.2% in 2021.
  • From 2017 to 2019, online grocery shopping revenue increased at an average annual rate of 15.1%.
  • In years following the pandemic onset, online grocery shopping revenue has increased at an average annual rate of 25.3% or 67.5% faster than its growth prior to 2020.
  • Projections indicate that online grocery revenue will continue to grow at rates that outpace its pre-COVID growth, with revenues tripling by 2027.

Grouped Bar Graph: Quarterly Online Share of Retail Sales from 2019 Q2 to 2021 Q3 according to the U.S. Census Bureau

COVID-19 Abbreviated Timeline

This timeline is limited to major events that may have influenced U.S. e-commerce.


  • Nov 17 Patient Zero infected.


  • Jan 20 First U.S. coronavirus case reported in the state of Washington.
  • Mar 11 World Health Organization declares a global pandemic.
  • Mar 15  State officials recommend social distancing and quarantine measures.
  • Mar 26  22 U.S. states have issued orders for citizens to remain in their homes.
  • Mar 27  CARES Act approved ($2T+ relief package for families and small businesses impacted by COVID.)
  • Mar 29  Nationwide social distancing guidelines extended through April 30, 2020.
  • May 8 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports 14.7% unemployment, the highest unemployment rate since pre-WWII.
  • Dec 14 First vaccine dose administered in the U.S.
  • Dec 24 One millionth vaccine dose administered in the U.S.


  • Mar 8 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that fully-vaccinated people can safely gather indoors without masks or social distancing measures.
  • Jun 3 New daily cases in the U.S. decline to lowest level since March 2020.
  • Aug 2 70% of U.S. adults have had at least one dose of a vaccine.
  • Dec 1 The first case of the Omicron variant in the U.S. is detected.


  • Jan 19 Free at-home tests become available through COVIDTests.gov. 


  • Apr 10 H.J.Res. 7 is signed into law, officially ending the national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grouped Bar Graph: Quarterly Online Retail Sales from 2019 Q2 to 2021 Q3 according to the U.S. Census Bureau

These data and insights were compiled by the Capital One Shopping team based on publicly available data.


  1. U.S. Census Bureau, Monthly Retail Trade
  2. Morgan Stanley, Here’s Why E-Commerce Growth Can Stay Stronger for Longer
  3. Information Resources, Inc., Fresh Produce in the Era of Inflation and Beyond
  4. Statista, U.S. Food and Beverage E-commerce Revenue
  5. U.S. Department of Defense, Coronavirus: Timeline
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, David J. Sencer Museum COVID-19 Timeline
  7. The Wall Street Journal, First Covid-19 Vaccine Given to U.S. Public
  8. Social Science Research Network, Will Robots Automate Your Job Away?
  9. United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, COVID-19 Boost to E-commerce Sustained into 2021