Omnichannel Shopping Comes of Age; The ongoing shift toward online shopping and away from physical stores accelerated during the early months of the pandemic, but old habits die hard

September 2021 – NPD – The pace of in-store shopping is growing gradually as sales shift back a bit from online to brick-and-mortar stores. The stay-at-home advisories, store closures, and other pandemic restrictions that pushed consumers to do a lot more online shopping last year subsided this year as vaccination rates increased and people started venturing back into the world again.

In fact, in July of this year, e-commerce sales growth rate fell below in-store sales growth rate for the first time since pandemic restrictions became widespread in the U.S. last year, shown by our Checkout service, which tracks and reports actual consumer receipts. In 2020, total discretionary retail sales grew 9%; the e-commerce channel contributed 87% of that growth. Moving into 2021, the retail sector continued expanding — year-over-year sales grew 13%. However, in-store sales contributed 61% of that growth.

Although online sales growth has slowed this year compared to last, online sales are still 38% higher than in July 2019, before the pandemic. Most in-store formats experienced strong year-over-year growth, especially convenience stores and gas stations, department stores, restaurants, specialty apparel and footwear, and beauty.

Read more at NPD.