Aug 11, 2020 - Economy & Business

Adobe: E-commerce growth slows as stores reopen

An illustration of a laptop and credit card
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

E-commerce sales are still way up compared to a year ago in the U.S., but growth moderated in July as more traditional stores reopened, according to fresh data from Adobe.

Why it matters: Undoubtedly some of the shifts to online shopping will be permanent, but the numbers suggest that consumers want to do a certain amount of their buying in-person.

  • U.S. online shopping in July totaled $66.3 billion, according to the Adobe Digital Economy Index.
  • That's up 55% from a year ago — but lower than the bump in June, when spending was $73.2 billion, up 76% year-over-year.

By the numbers: The pandemic has resulted in $94 billion in extra spending online since March, Adobe found.

  • At current growth levels, 2020 online shopping will exceed all of 2019 by Oct. 5. 
  • States that already reopened saw an 8% smaller year-over-year increases in online sales in July as compared to states that still had stay-at-home orders at the beginning of the month.
  • The trend toward buying items online and picking them up at the store continues to be significant but has waned, declining 21% from May to June. Such sales are still more than double those of a year ago.
  • Rhode Island, New Mexico, Oregon and Vermont saw the highest year-over-year spikes in online spending. Kansas, Hawaii, Oklahoma and Iowa showed the smallest gains.

What they're saying: Adobe senior digital insights manager Vivek Pandya attributed e-commerce's retraction from record highs in July to both reopenings and "spending levels dropp[ing] as households tightened their belts due to falling employment levels and looming cutbacks in unemployment benefits."

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