PRIMETIME

With Amazon leading the way, e-commerce is approaching 10% of all US retail sales

Taking over.
Taking over.
Image: Reuters/Tony Melville
By
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Americans buy a lot of stuff online. But perhaps not as much as you think.

In the first quarter of 2018, of just over $1.2 trillion total in retail sales, only $114 billion, or 9.3%, came from e-commerce. Based on estimates from research firm eMarketer, TechCrunch reports that Amazon’s sales now account for nearly half of all US e-commerce sales.

The growth in e-commerce sales has been fairly linear since the US Census began collecting data in 1999. E-commerce sales grew from 8% of sales in 2016 to 8.9% of sales in 2017, a similar pace recorded in previous years. Given current trends, e-commerce sales are projected to surpass 10% of overall retail sales in the fourth quarter of 2018 (seasonally adjusted).

Given all the attention Amazon Prime Day now receives, it might seem like e-commerce is taking over the US economy. But American shoppers still spend nine out of every 10 dollars offline.