The pandemic accelerated ecommerce sales by nearly two years, according to eMarketer. At the height of 2020, the researcher anticipated total ecommerce sales would reach $674.88 billion. By the end of the year, it added $100 billion to the figure, making it $794.50 billion.
That finding is part of a more comprehensive roundup of how the pandemic changed eMarketer’s 2020 sales forecasts for various industries in retail and ecommerce between February and November.
Consumer electronic ecommerce sales in particular were strong as people worked, learned and socialized from home. Emarketer initially expected sales here to be $150.10 billion, but has since revised that to $179.35 billion.
Another positive shift compared to pre-pandemic estimates happened in furniture and home furnishing ecommerce sales, which eMarketer anticipated would reach $76.80 billion, but now forecasts it to be $92.32 billion.
Health, personal care and beauty ecommerce sales also grew significantly. The researcher’s previous forecast was $58.70 billion, but now it sees it reaching $73.52 billion.
Emarketer expected food and beverage online sales to be $32.20 billion, but as shoppers flocked to digital grocery shopping, it raised its forecast by 41.3 percent to $45.47 billion.
Click-and-collect sales also surged in popularity, causing the researcher to revise its forecast in sales this year from $50.66 billion to $58.52 billion.
Negative shifts were observed for sales in brick-and-mortar retail, auto retail, digital travel and apparel retail. The most dramatic downward adjustment that eMarketer made was for in-person retail sales. First anticipated to reach $4.946 trillion, it’s now down to $4.711 trillion—a $234.50 billion loss.
Digital travel sales were initially expected to reach $215.74, but now sit at $115.27 billion. Apparel retail was in line to reach $483.40 billion in sales, but eMarketer says it will be $394.89 billion.