2021 Online Retail Forecast Report
Online Retailing Excels When It Is Needed Most
There’s an old saying that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity, and never was that adage more apt than for the fortunes of online retailing since early 2020, particularly for large omnichannel retailers. Those who had spent years positioning themselves for omnichannel success saw a huge payoff last year. Those who were prepared for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, who had invested considerable resources and effort to build and support a scalable, seamless omnichannel enterprise were amply rewarded.
And we don’t just mean Amazon, whose retail sales soared by 41% in 2020 and 45% in 1Q21. Target reported its online-originated sales increased by 145% in 2020, to $17 billion, and accounted for 18% of its total sales, double its share in 20192. Walmart’s reported its U.S. ecommerce sales increased by 78% in 2020, to $43 billion, and accounted for 11.6% of its total domestic sales compared to 7.0% in 2019. Walmart’s annual capital investment in ecommerce and supply chain has been more than double the amount spent on store openings and remodels for several years3.