U.S. e-commerce sales grew more than 30% between the first and second quarter of 2020, according to quarterly figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Tuesday, illustrating that the pandemic has pushed more spending online.
Consumers spent $211.5 billion online during the second quarter, up 31.8% from the previous quarter. That’s a significant step up from the first quarter, which saw U.S. e-commerce sales of $160.3 billion, an increase of 2.4% from the fourth quarter of 2019. E-commerce now accounts for 16.1% of all U.S. sales, up from 11.8% in the first quarter.
The data provides the latest picture of how the coronavirus pandemic has turbocharged a shift to e-commerce for many Americans.
In March and April, facing shuttered brick-and-mortar stores, many consumers turned to online retailers for essential goods like paper towels and hand sanitizer, which also led to an uptick in purchases for things like office supplies and electronics. Online grocery orders also surged as many consumers opted to skip trips to the supermarket.