Insider Intelligence delivers leading-edge research to clients in a variety of forms, including full-length reports and data visualizations to equip you with actionable takeaways for better business decisions.
In-depth analysis, benchmarks and shorter spotlights on digital trends.
Learn More
Interactive projections with 10k+ metrics on market trends, & consumer behavior.
Learn More
Proprietary data and over 3,000 third-party sources about the most important topics.
Learn More
Industry KPIs
Industry benchmarks for the most important KPIs in digital marketing, advertising, retail and ecommerce.
Learn More
Client-only email newsletters with analysis and takeaways from the daily news.
Learn More
Analyst Access Program
Exclusive time with the thought leaders who craft our research.
Learn More

About Insider Intelligence

Our goal at Insider Intelligence is to unlock digital opportunities for our clients with the world’s most trusted forecasts, analysis, and benchmarks. Spanning five core coverage areas and dozens of industries, our research on digital transformation is exhaustive.
Our Story
Learn more about our mission and how Insider Intelligence came to be.
Learn More
Rigorous proprietary data vetting strips biases and produces superior insights.
Learn More
Our People
Take a look into our corporate culture and view our open roles.
Join the Team
Contact Us
Speak to a member of our team to learn more about Insider Intelligence.
Contact Us
See our latest press releases, news articles or download our press kit.
Learn More
Advertising & Sponsorship Opportunities
Reach an engaged audience of decision-makers.
Learn More
Browse our upcoming and past events, recent podcasts, and other featured resources.
Learn More
Tune in to eMarketer's daily, weekly, and monthly podcasts.
Learn More

US Ecommerce by Category 2020

How the Pandemic Is Reshaping the Product Category Landscape

About This Report
The coronavirus pandemic has dramatically altered the US retail and ecommerce landscape, with varying impacts in retail category growth.
Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The coronavirus pandemic has been the most disruptive event to the retail sector in decades. Supply chain interruptions, huge swings in consumer demand, and shifts in retail channel preferences have dramatically altered the complexion of commerce in 2020.

How will the coronavirus pandemic affect total US retail sales?

We forecast that total US retail spending will decline 10.5% to $4.894 trillion. US ecommerce sales will surge 18.0% to $709.78 billion, while brick-and-mortar retail sales will experience a historically significant decline of 14.0% to $4.184 trillion.

What share will ecommerce command of total US retail sales?

We expect that ecommerce will reach an all-time high of 14.5% of total retail sales in 2020. If gasoline and auto sales are stripped from the “total retail” denominator, ecommerce’s share will jump to 20.1%.

Which ecommerce product categories are growing the fastest?

Household essentials will set the pace for ecommerce growth in 2020, with food and beverage sales poised for a 58.5% surge, while health, personal care and beauty sales will jump 32.4%.

How is Amazon faring across ecommerce product categories?

Amazon will account for 38.0% of US ecommerce sales this year. Its largest category will be computers/consumer electronics (26.2% of Amazon's US sales). Its highest penetration category will be books, music and videos (78.8% of US ecommerce sales), and its fastest-growing category will be food and beverage (61.8%).

WHAT’S IN THIS REPORT? This report is a follow-up to our US ecommerce sales forecast, focusing on how the coronavirus pandemic will impact retail ecommerce sales at the product category level.

KEY STAT: Books/music/video will be the most penetrated category for ecommerce this year at 62.7%, the first retail category to become an ecommerce majority.

Here’s what’s in the full report


Exportable files for easy reading, analysis and sharing.


Reliable data in simple displays for presentations and quick decision making.

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. The State of US Retail Ecommerce Sales
  3. Amazon’s Ecommerce Category Penetration
  1. Ecommerce Categories in the Spotlight
  2. Key Takeaways
  3. Read Next
  1. Sources
  2. Media Gallery

Charts in This Report


Andrew Lipsman


Bianca Carasus
Cindy Liu
Senior Forecasting Analyst
Nicole Perrin
Principal Analyst
Amy Rotondo
Research Manager, US
Vincent Yip
Forecasting Analyst
Already have a subscription?Sign In

Access All Charts and Data

Gain access to reliable data presented in clear and intelligible displays for quick understanding and decision making on the most important topics related to your industry

Become a Client