COVID-19 pushed US adults to spend more time with digital media than ever last year. Consumers spent nearly 8 hours online per day – up over an hour from the year before and 90 minutes from 2018.

As the pandemic continues to disrupt the expectations of consumers and retailers alike, what does the future hold for the most significant industries in the market? If your brand falls into any of these industries, how can you continue to grow and thrive despite the uncertainty?

Apparel & accessories make up 37% of total retail revenue in the US, followed by home furniture at 30% and personal care at 13%.

In this article, we’ll dive into the latest 2021 ecommerce industry stats and trends, how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted various industries, and tips and strategies for brands and retailers in 2021.

Home Goods & Furniture

The home goods and furniture industry has seen massive growth over the past year, due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home mandates. With people spending more time inside their homes over the past year and a half, redecorating and remodeling have become common among many consumers.

Home furnishing ecommerce reached $92.32 billion in sales in 2020, due in large part to brick-and-mortar closures and many consumers feeling wary of in-store shopping. Home furnishings sales were $15.5 billion higher than pre-pandemic estimates projected, despite massive supply chain strain and a sharp decline in foot traffic.

Monthly home furniture sales climbed 79.1% at the height of the pandemic.

This year, we’ll see the home décor industry reach a record $182 billion. The home décor market is expected to be valued at $202 billion by 2024, a 20% increase from 2019.

Pinterest saw a 36% boost in home décor board creation in 2020. With Pinterest’s ad targeting capabilities continuing to expand, brands in the home goods industry that are looking for new ways to reach consumers who are highly likely to be interested in their product should consider Pinterest advertising.

Personal Care, Health, & Wellness

According to Google Trends, consumer interest in the term “self care” skyrocketed at the start of the pandemic in 2020. Personal care retail ecommerce revenue surged 27.1% in 2020 in light of the pandemic and consumers’ increased interest in health and wellness, blasting past pre-pandemic estimates.

Personal care retail ecommerce revenue will reach a record $35.1 million this year, up 10% from $31.9 million in 2020. That’s more than a $16 million increase in annual revenue compared to 2017.

79% of consumers say that wellness is important to them.

Online revenue from the personal care industry is projected to surpass $45 million by 2025. The global wellness market (including health, appearance, fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, and sleep products and services) is worth over $1.5 trillion.

Increased sales of personal care products online during the pandemic also helped propel consumer-packaged goods (CPG) growth last year. Digital ad spend for CPG is projected to grow 16.4% to $22.6 billion this year after seeing just 5.2% growth last year.

Consumer-Packaged Goods (CPG)

The consumer-packaged goods industry is no exception to the unexpected transformations that have happened over the past year and a half.

CPG sales surged right when the pandemic was beginning to take shape in the US. In the time period from March 7-March 21, 2020 compared to the two weeks prior, sales surged by $8.5 billion. According to Nielsen, that’s 15x the category’s average rate of change. CPG grocery items were a leading driver of sales.

CPG now is the third largest category of overall digital ad spend.

After increasing 5.2% to $19.4 billion in 2020, US digital ad spend for CPG is expected to increase 16.4% to $22.58 billion in 2021. Mobile accounts for 73.2% of all CPG digital ad spend.

Video was the fastest growing digital ad format for CPG in 2020, making up almost half (47.5%) of CPG display advertising spend.

Online Grocery

Online grocery soared to new heights last year with more consumers staying home due to COVID-19 safety concerns and store shutdowns. Online grocery sales skyrocketed 53% in 2020 to reach $89.22 billion, a $30.86 billion increase over the previous year. These numbers equated to a total of 131 million digital grocery buyers in the US last year, a 41.9% increase from 2019.

68% of new digital grocery shoppers say they will continue to shop online for groceries in the future.

After such a dramatic increase last year, online grocery sales are projected to see more modest growth this year, increasing 5.2% to reach $93.83 billion. Growth is expected to increase more in 2022 (18.1%) and 2023 (17.0%), with 147.4 million online grocery buyers and $129.72 billion in yearly sales expected by 2023.

Automotive Parts & Care

Online auto care, parts, sales, and accessories sales witnessed record-breaking online growth in 2020 – and more records are expected in the years to come. With COVID-19 pushing shoppers online, US online sales of new auto parts and accessories grew 29.9% last year to surpass $16 billion for the first time ever.

The auto parts and accessories industry didn’t just reach record heights last year – it also surged past pre-pandemic projections. Experts predicted US online sales of new auto parts and accessories would hit $14.1 billion in 2020, but that number actually exceeded $16 billion. Sales are expected to reach $17.7 billion this year.

The auto parts and accessories industry saw an additional $1.9 billion in online revenue due to the pandemic.

Online auto parts and accessories sales are expected to grow to $19.8 billion by 2022 and $21.4 billion by 2023. Digital activity is projected to influence $154.6 billion in auto sales in 2021, up from $140.9 billion in 2020. That’s expected to surge to $161.1 billion in 2022 and $168 billion in 2023.

Apparel & Accessories

Every industry has undoubtedly been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic – but the apparel and accessories industry has felt some of the biggest shockwaves. There’s no denying that the clothing industry saw significant losses in 2020, but the opportunity for apparel and retail brands to innovate and become a consumer favorite has never been higher.

The fashion category as a whole saw some steep declines in 2020, with the global fashion industry’s profit expected to have fallen 93% in 2020 after rising 4% in 2019.

US ecommerce apparel sales are expected to approach $100 billion in 2021 after hitting $91.7 billion in 2020. That’s almost double the growth that was seen from 2019 to 2020, with the pandemic posing a roadblock to this industry last year.

The global apparel market was still worth a whopping $1.5 trillion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $2.25 trillion by 2025 and $3.3 trillion by 2030.

Prior to the pandemic, non-active casualwear made up over half of the overall apparel industry’s annual sales. The athleisure market is now expected to grow by as much as $81 billion from 2020 to 2024 and currently makes up 20% of all apparel sales.

Consumer Electronics

Online electronics sales reached new heights last year and are expected to break more records in the years to come. Consumer electronics saw nearly 16% revenue growth in 2020, with the electronics & media category bringing in nearly $93.8 million in total revenue.

Supply chain strain placed significant pressure on the consumer electronics industry at the height of the pandemic in March 2020. 40% of global electronics brands say consumer electronics were the industry impacted the most by COVID-19.

Computers and consumer electronics represent 22% of all retail ecommerce sales.

Electronics make up the fastest growing digital ad spend category, seeing 18% growth in 2020 after overall spend grew just 1.7%. Computer products and consumer electronics digital ad spend is forecasted to grow 28.2% to hit $14.93 billion in 2021.

Nearly half of all computer and consumer electronics sales now happen online, and consumer electronics are expected to approach $75 million in online revenue in 2021. By 2025, digital revenue from consumer electronics will pass $88.3 billion.

What Next?

Are you an ecommerce brand with big goals for 2021? Our team would love to work with you to help achieve them, whether you’re looking to increase your Amazon sales, improve your paid search presence, or optimize your website and landing pages. Reach out anytime through our consultation page to connect one-on-one with an industry expert who can help identify untapped growth potential for your business.