Ever since the internet brought about the ability to shop from home, online sales have been steadily increasing for the past two decades. Thus far this year, online sales have exceeded 14% of total retail sales, more than the 8.6% average over the preceding five years. The growth with online sales this year has been primarily driven by the pandemic, which has forced consumers out of retail stores and onto their computers.
Consumers are expected to resume spending patterns when retailers slowly start to reopen as the pandemic diminishes. Even as consumers return to retail stores, some analysts expect online sales to gradually continue rising. The ease and feasibility of online shopping became commonplace for consumers this year, entrenching many with new shopping habits.
Source: Federal Reserve