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Sales reverting to pre-pandemic levels

It looks like online commerce went back in time.

Because according to the US Census Bureau, the share percentage of retail sales generated online in the US is receding – and may soon get back to how it was in 2019.

A glimpse of the past: Before the outbreak, the share of sales made online in the US sat around 11.9%, and peaked at 16.4% in Q2 of 2020, at the height of the pandemic.

The curve flattened and started going downwards, sitting currently at 14.5%.

And you shouldn’t blame the economy: Yes, people became cautious, but overall spending hasn’t tanked. The main cause is simple – people just want to go outside.

Store visits are up and spending shuffled from merchandise and non-essential products during the pandemic to “outdoor experiences” such as entertainment and travel.

Why we care: We might be entering a period of consolidation of online and offline shopping.

Take this and other signals into account if you’re running ads for an e-commerce business before you make any overly ambitious investments.