Walmart and Total Ecommerce Sales in the US

The share of US ecommerce sales in Q4 hit a record, surpassing the crazy days of 2020 for the first time.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Total US ecommerce sales in Q4 jumped by 7.2% year-over-year to a record $325 billion, not seasonally adjusted, according to the Census Bureau today.

Ecommerce sales exploded in 2020 during the lockdowns, when many retailers had to close and when people weren’t willing to take the risks and go shopping, while the free-money was being pumped into households.

Over the year from Q4 2019 through Q4 2020, ecommerce sales spiked by 44%, from $179 billion to $258 billion. And each year, they continued to surge, and in Q4 2023, hit $325 billion, up by 82% from Q4 2019.

Walmart, which reported earnings today, is an example of the effect of ecommerce on retail sales. Walmart is the second largest ecommerce retailer in the US, but far behind Amazon. At Walmart US, ecommerce sales soared by 17% year-over-year, while total Walmart US sales, including ecommerce, rose only 3.4%.

Comparable sales (ex fuel), which include ecommerce, grew 4.0% in Q4 year-over-year. Of this 4% growth, 2.4 percentage points were contributed by ecommerce, and 1.4 percentage points were contributed by all other sales, including grocery sales.

Walmart is the largest grocery seller in the US, and grocery sales growth was “mid single-digit,” with “strong growth in fresh food,” it said today. Within the overall US grocery market, it gained share, it said, citing Nielsen.

With ecommerce growing at 17% and with its huge grocery sales growing in the mid-single-digits, sales of the rest of its merchandise at its brick-and-mortar stores – so minus ecommerce and grocery – must have been uninspiring. And it said so in its presentation when it mentioned the “softness in general merchandise.”

US retail trade sales without ecommerce rose only 1.5% in Q4 year-over-year, to $1.58 trillion, according to Census Bureau data today. We note:

  • In Q2 2020, sales stayed down at the same level as Q1 2020, instead of resurging from the seasonal Q1 plunge.
  • In Q2 2021, sales spiked as stores had reopened and another wave of stimulus checks was put to work.
  • In Q2 2022, sales spiked again, this time driven in part by price spikes, with CPI inflation running at 9%, and with many categories of goods experiencing double-digit price spikes.

Since Q2 2022, growth in retail sales without ecommerce has been somewhat languid, as the growth in total retail trade sales was carried mostly by ecommerce (chart above):

The share of ecommerce sales hit a record in Q4 2023 for the first time since Q4 2020, rising to 17.1% of total retail trade sales, not seasonally adjusted, according to the Census Bureau today.

Ecommerce sales had spiked massively during the pandemic, from a share of 12.4% in Q4 2019 to a share of 16.7% in Q4 2020, as brick-and-mortar sales had gotten hit by the pandemic, including many stores having to shut down, and people shifted their spending to ecommerce, even for grocery sales. This 16.7% share turned out to be hard to beat after people started going to stores again. But in Q4 2023, that record fell.

We connected all the Q4s, except 2020, 2021, and 2022, to show the long-term trend line (blue), which produces another crazy chart about the pandemic excesses:

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  80 comments for “Walmart and Total Ecommerce Sales in the US

  1. BobE says:

    In 2020, I didn’t want to go out due to Covid so I ordered online.
    I figured out the correct sizes of clothes and shoes after a few returns.

    Today, my wife says I need a new shirt and pants. My feet tell me they need new shoes.

    I pull up my phone and order everything I need and it is delivered within a day or 2. I order exactly what I ordered in 2021.

    My bias against ordering online has been solved.

    I need a new appliance, I order it online immediately when it dies. I need home improvement items, I order it online as needed.

    I no longer need to try on clothes or battle whether an item is in-stock in my local store.

    The only battle I have is changing brands. Sizing is different so I will go in-store and purchase. Shoes and pants make up most of this.

    • George says:

      This is interesting! Your behavior adapted to the pandemic and remained after the pandemic panic subsided… I know anecdote != data but still I wonder how many Americans have exactly the same experience?

      • Glen says:

        I was doing mostly eCommerce well before COVID began so to me it was more likely COVID drove the eCommerce holdouts into the fold and exploded the food delivery services.

      • Home toad says:

        These delivery vehicles from online purchases make up most of the traffic on this quiet street. Wish I had your confidence with online shopping, I’d order myself a few treats.

        • Swamp Creature says:

          A lot of these delivery drivers are not bonded nor insured. I’ve seen a lot of them speeding down my street and blocking driveways. Others throwing trash anywhere they feel like. I found some broken wine bottles, from the on-line wine delivery service in my recycled bin the other day. I was going to use Safeway to deliver bottled water but I’ll take a pass for now.

        • Lili Von Schtupp says:

          Amazon drivers may not realize they don’t have the protection one would expect from working for a big company like Amazon.

          About 2 years ago, a driver hopped out of his Amazon van on our steep hill to deliver a package to the neighbor. Whether he forgot to set the parking brake or there was a mechanical failure is likely still being argued. Regardless, physics took over and his van rolled itself down the hill and clear through two vacation bungalos in its path.

          The driver was held liable for the damage as he was a contracted worker, and insurance refused to cover the damage. Lawsuits, yadda yadda. But Amazon wins in the end.

          I live on a one-way road and drivers speed down the wrong way all the time. I warn my favorite ones to slow down and pay attention to the sinage as Amazon won’t protect them in an accident like maybe UPS would. The one who complained about my dog (who was in my house and no way a threat), well, he can go kick rocks.

        • Swamp Creature says:

          Forgot to add that I called the parent company based in Boston, Mass. I told them about the driver throwing broken wine glass bottles in my recycled vegetation bins. They said they were not responsible for the conduct of their delivery drivers as they were independent contractors.

    • HQ says:

      I am with you, BobE. I am renovating a few rooms in my house. The contractor will order lots of things, but I will do the rest. I will buy most everything online: paint, flooring and even a new bedroom set (you buy it online and they deliver and set it up with “white glove” service, whatever that is). I will stock the revamped guest bathroom with items from an online order, and then equip my little tv room with chairs and lights bought online. I will not visit any brick and mortar stores except to buy a bookcase or two from a local woodworking shop (after I browse their website).

      And yes, I am contributing to service inflation. The contractor and I discussed that. According to the stories he told, things are not deflating. For my part I am not getting younger or healthier, and as I spend most of my time at home I want to make it more comfortable. I have no idea when inflation will subside, so I am spending now and possibly wasting money. I held out as long as I could, Wolf Streeters.

      • Bobby Dale says:

        Would recommend that you order building supplies from supply houses/paint stores if you intend to use them for more than 5 years.
        The materials at the big box stores are of lower quality and wear out very quickly.

        • AuHound says:


          I was told the same thing by the water heater and furnace contractors. Here it is Standard Supply. It most likely differs in your area, but a call to any repairman will let you know who it is.

    • joe2 says:

      I prefer to shop in person and actually evaluate what I am buying, but almost all of my shopping now is done on-line. Because the stores which used to sell technical items have closed up and gone on-line. Even the clothes I buy are sports and tactical, usually closeouts at >50% off from LE and Mil outlets.

      I think it is more that technology has changed so many products so radically that you cannot duplicatively stock evolving items at a lot of different physical locations. I think it’s less about people preferring to shop on-line.

      I had to go to the mall recently, hadn’t been in over 2 years, to get a smartphone problem resolved. It was packed and a very pleasant experience dealing with new people. Reminded me of the old days which were far more egalitarian and interesting. Remember going to the Army surplus store, sports store, or the boatyard, or the lumberyard and browsing around and shooting the gab with different people?

    • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

      BobE – just wondering, given this trend, how long do you think it might be before there will be virtually no stores to ‘go into’?

      may we all find a better day.

    • eg says:

      Yeah, I didn’t order much online for home before the pandemic (more of a thing at work) but my habits have changed completely. Much as you describe I buy virtually everything online now except for gas and groceries.

  2. Glen says:

    It wild how groceries are trying to move to excommerce. Amazon Fresh, Door Dash, Instacart(+), and all those variations. Literally saved hundreds of dollars saved with promos all while having somebody do personal shopping and delivery for me. Some of those seem to be in the stage of Lyft and Uber were before making money became necessary. I wonder when investors will get impatient there as well with the ones not turning a dime.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      We’ve been buying nearly everything online except groceries – until recently. A few years ago, we started buying some specialty stuff online that we couldn’t get at the store, such as big bags of soybeans for making soymilk and tofu. But recently, we expanded to fresh specialty veggies and fish that we can’t get at the normal store and have to go to the Asian store (which is a hassle for us). And then we expanded. It’s a local ecommerce grocery site with a focus on Asian foods, but they have all kinds of stuff, including great deals on veggies (just about anything is grown in the Central Valley), and we’re now regular buyers of all kinds of stuff there. And so it goes. One item at first, and then the whole store. Choices are great, prices are lower than at the store, and it’s convenient. Minimum purchase required for free delivery — which gives us an incentive to broaden our purchases.

      • CCCB says:

        WOW! I was just sitting in a lobby where a business news channel was running on the tv.

        It’s been a long time since I’ve watched “news” and it was amazing how much misinformation and how many outright lies they threw out there in the hopes of somehow discrediting the current administration. Sadly the other party’s channel does the same, but with the opposite spin. Where is the unbiased news?

        Politics aside, its sad to see how wrong the economic information is that so many people depend on. It seems every news venue puts their own spin on the facts to serve their private agendas and advertisers.

        Ill stick to Wolf Street in the future. Thanks Wolf

        • Ross says:

          “Where is the unbiased news?”

          PBS comes close. My strategy is consume many different sources and average them out.

        • eg says:

          Naked Capitalism as a news aggregator helps, Ross. It balances against what I hear up here on (reliably super-conservative) Toronto talk radio and the Globe and Mail.

      • joe2 says:

        We are lucky to live in an area with lots of Asian and Hispanic and Indian markets. And of course COSTCO/Walmart/BJs. You go to the right store for the right product. Tip: if you can get in, the restaurant-only wholesale supply warehouses are amazing.
        I personally don’t see how you can pick a live fish or crab and have it cleaned and cut the way you want on-line.
        I enjoy browsing around the stores to see what specials and interesting things they have. On-line I don’t see how you can do that. And they can’t put small lots or one-of-a-kind perishable items on-line.
        I don’t think I would buy fresh food on-line. As I mentioned, I prefer to shop in person. I’ve been spoiled by the street markets in Asia and Europe.

  3. Bs ini says:

    The Walmart grocery pickup business is thriving with additional manpower added each week and frequent pickups ongoing . I am at the store frequently and have monitored the business. Inside there are not as many folks with more and more grocery pickup online shop

    • Anthony A. says:

      When my wife was ill before she passed away, I was the “chief cook and bottle washer” for three years. I used the WM pickup service many, many times. It’s excellent, and like you say, getting more use even after the pandemic.

      • ApartmentInvestor says:

        @Anthony A. Have you had any problems with the WM pickup service? I tried it a few times (Pre Covid) when driving to my Sacramento apartment property since there is a Walmart next to Home Depot I stop at in West Sacramento (we don’t have any WM stores near me on the SF Peninsula). All three times I tried it there were problems with my order (the pickers got the wrong items) and dealing with the wrong items took longer than going in and buying the stuff on my own (using the self checkout).

        • MitchV says:

          I’ve been using the WM grocery delivery service for almost 2 years now, and in Canada they introduced a fixed price subscription model for delivery. All the deliveries you want for about $10 per month. It applies to non grocery items that WM stocks as well. I find I am using Amazon less. Initially we had a lot of grocery order issues, that seemed like inventory control problems, but lately their performance has been excellent. Look out Amazon! WM wants your market.

        • Anthony A. says:

          No, I have not had any big problems with orders. Once in a while, they are out of something I ordered but have supplied a replacement and generally that item is a different brand, but OK.

          It could be the local labor quality differences based on where your store is that makes a difference?

          Our store tends to service a HCOL area and the help in the store seems to be very good overall. Many of the workers have been there several years from what I can see. I do some in-store shopping now that it’s just me to look after.

    • Between The Lines says:

      No one is going to pick out my produce, especially the bananas.

  4. Swamp Creature says:

    I’m doing a lot of shopping the old fashion way. Remember the Sears catalog. Sears may be gone but a lot of others have taken their place. I’m buying a lot of stuff (except food) via the mail order catalogs. I get all the benefits of on-line shopping + the convenience of browsing on my own time while not glued to a computer screen. I wonder if there is a chart which shows how much retail sales are done in this fashion

    • Matt E says:

      I assume the chart would have a line that starts decreasing at an increasingly rapid pace after early 2000’s, becoming indistinguishable from the X-axis at some point.

    • Swamp Creature says:

      I also use Sears for my appliance maintenance contract. For $59/month they insure all my appliances. What a deal!

  5. Goomee says: still exists and they are very competitive on appliances.

    • William Leake says:

      Nice to see Sears is still selling Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools. I wonder if the quality is still there.

      • ApartmentInvestor says:

        @William the current mostly made in China Craftsman tools are still better than the Harbor Freight mostly made in China tools but the quality is not even close to the old made in USA Craftsman tools. Like Craftsman most of the Home Depot Husky brand tools are made outside the USA but the quality of the current Husky tends to be better than the current Craftsman tools (I own a LOT of tools and use them almost every day).

      • C says:

        Kenmore is not what it once was. I purchased an entire set of kitchen appliances and laundry in 2013, the only appliance that survived 5 years without a repair (some required several) was the refrigerator. Replaced in 2019 with GE, 0 repairs / issues. Dishwasher and oven range were the worst. My old house had no such issues with the older Kenmore appliances.

      • rick m says:

        Kenmore is owned by an investment company, Transformco/ESL Investment. Craftsman is owned by Stanley Black and Decker. I don’t buy modern tools, other than DeWalt cordless, and have the impression that they are built to a price point like almost everything these days. Ridgid tools is two different lines, one professional quality plumbing and pipefitting tools colored red and black and owned by Emerson, and the orange stuff at home Depot that’s Techtronics Ltd, a Chinese company. I do have an orange Ridgid shop vac I got used in 1994 and it still runs fine. who knew?
        About the time that you get all the tools you want, you don’t really feel like using them as much anymore.

        • William Leake says:

          Thanks for the comment replies. I have noticed that the quality of everything I buy has deteriorated, including food. Something with exactly the same name now tastes worse than before, even within a few months. So if I find something I like, I no longer expect it to taste the same in the future. And of course the price goes up as the quality and quantity go down. It’s an ongoing game of bait and switch. It seems this is becoming the standard business model.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          WL – “…why bother to build/maintain a respected brand when it’s easier to buy out, strip, and hollow out an existing one, rinse&repeat…” has been part of the big-business OS for some decades, now (…and the number of truly scratch-resistant ‘respected brands’ seem to be thinner on the ground, these days…).

          may we all find a better day.

  6. Z33 says:

    So WMT hits another ATH. Prices still going up. Revenues going up. Profits going up. Wages going up. Housing will keep pushing up. All more devaluation of the dollar going forward. I don’t blame anyone spending what they have to dump their dollars while it’s still worth a little something.

  7. Brant Lee says:

    Walmart claims they are better suited than Amazon for both store retail and e-commerce because of the many locations of its stores. That sounds reasonable but the fight is on.

    • William Leake says:

      I can see Walmart exceeding Amazon sales eventually. Amazon has severe last mile delivery problems where I live. Not so much with Walmart or Instacart+ (which also delivers Walmart products). Walmart stores are becoming warehouses for products to sell by delivery. If what you want is not in the local store, Walmart has a decent online service for other products.

      Grocery shopping at Walmart online is far superior to the Whole Foods stuff Amazon is pushing. Just buy name brands, much cheaper and usually better than Whole Foods products.

      I use Instacart+, which covers 118 stores. Just make sure the store you use is not jacking up online prices (I know Safeway and Costco do, but they are easily avoided). Instacart will tell you which stores do this and which stores do not. I hate shopping in stores so online shopping is good for me. The tough part is buying fresh fruit and vegetables, but buying fruit is always a crap shoot, in a store or online. Instacart+ will deliver within two or three hours, which beats Amazon’s next day (which often ends up two or three days). If you get Instacart’s five percent cash back credit card and join Instacart+, you get free delivery, and the service fee is almost eliminated by the cash back. It usually costs me net $1.50 to $2.00 for each delivery with a minimum $35 purchase.

      • MM says:

        “jacking up online prices”

        Is it this, or are they simply including the cost of freight in the price?

        I remember looking at a generator at Costco dot com, and then going to my local Costco and seeing the exact same model for 10% ($100) less. But I’m sure it would have cost $100 in freight to ship it.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          MM – …never thought of the incentive of “free freight/returns” with online sales being much different than that ‘free’ first sample of a powerful opioid from the guy on the corner…

          may we all find a better day.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        “I use Instacart+, which covers 118 stores.”

        The neighbor next door uses Instacart+ for all food purchases. Her kids are now all overweight along with her husband. Looks like they are buying mostly junk food. Also, many of the drivers who drop off the food look like they were just released from Rykers Island. I wonder if any of them are bonded or insured. Probably none.

    • ChS says:

      We will see if Walmart can overcome the momentum that Amazon has. I have been shopping at Amazon for years and have a strong familiarity with the shopping experience, return policies, etc. I have purchased a few things through Walmart’s website, but those have been things that Amazon didn’t have, and the experience did not make me want to shift to Walmart. I have purchase several things from Amazon that come the same day and rarely have issues with things arriving on time. I haven’t dabbled with instacart or similar, and, as of yet, haven’t been motivate to.

      • Dirty Work says:

        One of Amazon’s big selling points used to be ease of returns. That’s basically gone now, at least in certain geographical areas where Amazon facilities exist. I get daily UPS deliveries at my business, so returns used to be easy, just print out a label and wait.

        Now, Amazon makes me pay extra for that very same thing. If I want a free return, I have to drive several miles away and use their “Locker” system (while dodging their brilliant employees in the parking lot) in order to get a “free” return.

        Unless I’m ordering something I know I’m not going to need to return, I skip over Amazon these days because of this.

        • MM says:

          Amazon is still way too lenient with returns. We get stuff returned all the time where there’s a totally different product in the box. Or the same model but a different serial # etc.

  8. whatever says:

    As I’ve posted before, I keep trying the retail experience and it is just awful. Nothing in my size. Out of stock. Long lines at check out or incompetent checkers. I pretty much am all on-line and the wife does the groceries so am rarely in a store.

    One exception is Costco, which is usually an interesting experience if you can gird yourself against the mass of humanity.

    I’ll tolerate Hone Depot for a project but will buy online if I can plan ahead.

    • Tyler says:

      I really think it’s about how well they train the workers. I’ve had broken glass in e-commerce orders because the items weren’t packaged properly, but most of the time it arrives undamaged.

      In-store service is also important to have knowledgeable staff, especially when making a big purchase like a TV or grill or lawn mower.

      Watching the in-store and e-commerce compete with each other is interesting too, and wonder if internally in companies there are budget and funding battles.

      • MM says:

        “…wonder if internally in companies there are budget and funding battles.”

        At my company there are. The sales floor managers are always grumpy when I write up the website store pickup orders under my dept (e-commerce) since those sales don’t count towards the store numbers.

    • Dave Kunkel says:

      I always prefer to shop in a store, but it seems that it’s getting harder and harder to find what I need in stock.

      The problem with ordering online is that something you’ve bought online before may be different (cheapened) when you try to buy it again.

    • eg says:

      I can’t stand the Costco parking lot. I will not go (am not a member) but wife does occasionally.

  9. Aaron says:

    Wolf. If e commerce is up, what accounts for ups’ and fedex’s volumes being so much lower than the last few years?

    Are the sales comparisons not inflation adjusted? Or, if they are, is amazon taking a large enough share and using their delivery service to that much effect?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      1. the big ecommerce operator, such as Amazon and Walmart, operate their own transportation and delivery infrastructure, and they’re constantly expanding it in leaps and bounds, with their own staff, fleet of planes, trucks, and vans, and through their contractors. They’re relying less and less on common carriers. Did you miss that somehow?

      2. There are lots of local/regional ecommerce operations that run their own delivery services with their own vans. For example, we buy some of our fresh and Asian food online from Weee, which operates its owns delivery vans in the SF Bay Area and few other regions on the West Coast. These companies with their own delivery services or contractors are everywhere.

      3. Companies selling bulky big-ticket items, such as appliances, couches, used vehicles, etc., deliver via their own services or contractors – not UPS and FedEx. If you buy a car online, it’s delivered to you on a special flatbed truck, or you can pick it up yourself at designated lot.

      4. I know from shipping the mugs that FedEx jacked up its rates a LOT over the past three years, though they backed off a little in the second half last year because shippers like me got pissed off. And then they still added their holiday period premium. And UPS is even worse. So it makes sense that all ecommerce operators that have the scale and means would try to avoid those extortionary shipping costs and deliver it themselves or through contractors.

      • Aaron says:

        Hmm. So maybe the base trend over a couple decades might have slow increases in say, overnight shipping, but many of these other e-commerce increases are using longer delivery, or are more specialized for local sales. So in either case, as these alternative logistics become more specialized, they can either be more lean, or better meet customer needs.

        So…a company like fedex is running on fluff from the post pandemic shipping boom, but that fluff is being eaten up. The market is being the market.

        I actually work for fedex, but it’s so hard to get any real idea of their thinking. They just show us a 5 minute video once a month, that either showcases some DEI initiative, or has a bunch of corporate speak that says nothing more than “we’re doing stuff!”

        Also, I must say I love your articles, and the comment section is the best. It’s the only site I actively search out.

        • Aaron says:

          Hmm. So if this right, INCREASED e-commerce actually leads to increased competition for fedex and ups. So, could we expect them to be forced to be more specialized or die as time goes on?

          Makes me think of older days when milk and eggs got delivered to your door like the news paper.

      • MM says:

        I’ll also add that many retailers ship with USPS. We do for small & lightweight items.

        USPS’s new(ish) ground advantage service is comparable to UPS ground in transit times, but costs significantly less.

  10. DRM says:

    Not Walmart, which I do use for online purchases, but even Lowes has a nice experience for pickup. You order it, go and walk just inside, show a code on your phone where they have pickup bins. A door pops open and you grab your stuff and walk out. They have some pretty large bins. Not suitable for full sheets of plywood or such, but for lots of other stuff. They also have free delivery above usually $45 of purchases. I have used that for tools or other things I need. Much nicer than going all over the store to find your items and then waiting on checkout.

  11. Eider says:

    I’m not much of an e-commerce shopper except for used books. I was disappointed yesterday when I went to Fred Meyer to get a new electric kettle for the spouse. One type in store and it was garbage. Actually going to order online. Positive- I picked up pork butts for $0.99/lb – into the freezer for sausage making when the fresh basil and oregano are on the go.

    I’ve worn Levi 501 raw denim jeans 80-90% of the time for years. There is enough variation between pants of the same size that I always try them on even though they “shrink to fit” after a few uncomfortable “wear wet until dry” days. Either I buy at D&B Supply or occasionally check for sales at Fred Meyer or JC Penny the once in a blue moon I’m in the area. 1.5 pairs or less per year -patch the fronts with the back lower parts of pairs that have truely failed.
    Carhartt pants should never be bought online. Way too variable.

  12. Miatadon says:

    I buy some items on line using eBay and Amazon. I’m not a complete Luddite, just a partial one. Too often the package that arrives contains a disappointment. And a hassle to send it back.
    There are components to shopping that are lost with eCommerce, mainly being able to inspect the purchase, but more importantly, to interact with other human beings. As we isolate ourselves from other people, our mental health takes a hit. And depression and anger, and crazy right-wing politics result.

    • Dirty Work says:

      Can’t speak for others, but MY right-wing politics are a direct result of interacting with other people.

      • John H. says:

        Dirty Work-

        Good one!

        A family friend, who retired from his job as an old-fashioned stock broker, made us laugh once when he said (with apparent seriousness):

        “It was a great business… I really liked the commissions. But I couldn’t stand all the customers.”

    • William Leake says:

      One of the big advantages of shopping online is not having to interact with store workers. I see the delivery guys for about ten seconds. That’s enough.

  13. Natron says:

    Man I’m gonna miss the big online fight scenes w black Friday mobs knocking each other down over cheap huge TVs. :D

  14. Tyler says:

    I really think e-commerce is really taking off. They are having a tough time with the logistics of returns and refunds, and this hurts profits.

    Another bright spot is the speed of shipping for online sales, I remember it used to take a full two days via FedEx for a Target order. Now they have local warehouses and sometimes it arrives about a day faster.

    I noticed Amazon uses gig drivers for deliveries around here in Minnesota sometimes, I wonder how they get reimbursed for their personal car use, if at all.

    Walmart though should try drone delivery like Amazon is trying in some areas of the country- pretty wild stuff!

    Great article.

  15. Tom says:

    I enjoy meeting & talking with my small town neighbors.
    I always look local before online.
    When we lost our house to a fire,
    a lot of these folks showed up, rolled up their sleeves,
    and helped.
    Moonshine from my mechanic at xmas time…..not gonna get that from wallyworld.

    • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

      Tom – …strange that the attitude of an ‘rugged individualist’ ‘murican (at least in this context) seems to be more firmly-lodged in urban/suburban areas with extensive civic infrastructure…

      may we all find a better day.

  16. spencer says:

    The selections available with on-line stores rather than brick and mortars is unsurpassed. And you get a confirmation e-mail with the purchase, a notification of shipment (and updates, e.g., delivery confirmation).

  17. AZCACTUSPETE says:

    Walmart for us for almost all the groceries; store pick up; works very well and is super easy if you have plastic totes in your trunk or SUV for the workers to stack the sacks in. Amazon for many things but we shop them more now. And we have no issues with Amazon delivery or returns. We drive a short way and drop off the return; normally at the UPS store; and we have our credit instantly. Like some of the “guys” who are commenting we like to walk the aisles at Costco from time to time but only in the off hours which around here are around 4-6 PM when everyone is home or getting home. And the Home Depot discount areas are good too; you know the wide isle with all the temporary displays. Otherwise, we order just about everything on line and only seem to have issues with returns when it comes to individual companies and not the big boys who seem to have this down and are getting far better at it. They know that this is now the “long game” and that they must make it easy for their repeat customers.

    • MM says:

      “We drive a short way and drop off the return; normally at the UPS store; and we have our credit instantly.”

      Refunds from returns are not supposed to happen this quickly. Its not good that Amazon has created this expectation.

      Its simply sustainable; the return needs to be checked. How does Amazon know you didn’t just return an empty box?

      • MM says:

        simply not* sustainable…

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          MM – …likely for as long as Amazon suffers this at or at less than the tax% break traditionally allowed to brick’n mortar for inventory ‘shrinkage’ (shoplifting theft).

          may we all find a better day.

  18. Imposter says:

    Walmart brick and mortar sales could be seeing a buying power diminished consumer in non urban areas.

    Groceries are required for life.
    Other plastic junk, not so much.

    When my fixed income was “at first just ghostly, turns a whiter shade of pale”, I shop to get food and forget the plastic junk.

    Keep in mind, this is just one old guy’s local perspective but I see a lot of old folks at Walmart. Crowed in grocery isles, but empty isles in the rest of the store.

  19. SoCalBeachDude says:

    MW: Palo Alto Networks’ stock sinks toward worst day on record upon ‘abrupt pivot’

  20. SoCalBeachDude says:

    MW: Amazon to join Dow Jones Industrial Average, reflecting ‘evolving nature of American economy’; Walgreens removed…

  21. BH says:

    I’m currently residing in Colombia, but for my last three month stint in the US I still preferred to do my grocery shopping in person. Seeing my mom’s experience ordering groceries online with Walmart, it seemed like there was always something wrong with the order. They’ll reimburse you of course, but it’s just the hassle of having to try to order it again or go out of your way to make a special trip for that item.

    I’ve certainly given Amazon my fair share of business though. Like others have said, there are certain things, like jeans, I prefer to shop for in person, but there are other clothing items like gym wear and casual wear where the “try now and pay later or return it” model works so well.

    Here in Colombia there are a couple delivery services like Doordash that are reasonably priced (most delivery fees aren’t more than $2, before the optional driver tip) and I use it primarily for the occasional take out order, but I’ve bought a few home goods from there as well when the nearest supermarket either doesn’t have it or it is priced so exorbitantly. (Colombia imports a lot and thus is subject to a lot of tariffs on electronics and other goods)

    Also, regarding some earlier comments regarding delivery companies such as FedEx and UPS losing business to the large retailers having their own distribution network, I wouldn’t worry about it so much. Every other business not Walmart or Amazon still has to rely on them to ship the products they make. They might (and have) have to increase shipping rates to make up for lost business to e-commerce, but they’re not going anywhere.

  22. Matt B says:

    Apparently I’m the outlier here but I only buy things online if I can’t get it in-store. The store shopping is always better than looking at a computer screen – I find things while browsing that I never would have found scrolling through 100 pages of pictures on a website.

    Being able to actually pick something up and see the actual seize, weight and such is nice. If I want to see the reviews I can just scan the barcode with an app. I like interacting with other humans. It gives me a reason to stop watching TV and get out of the house – I usually walk or bike there. And I like being able to have the item today and not wait and pay for shipping. I’m also not supporting Jeff Bezos’s evil empire.

  23. Hubberts Curve says:

    One of the biggest problems with e-commerce is theft from porch pirates. This has been amplified by Amazon delivering things fairly late in the evenings. Sometimes we get deliveries at 8 or 9 at night which makes for easy pickings by porch pirates, because people don’t realize that they have a package until the next morning.

    • MM says:

      Package theft is the biggest challenge for my little corner of the internet.

      That, and scammers have figured out they can use their credit card’s / Paypal’s / etc dispute feature to defraud sellers and get free stuff.

      As e-commerce gains in popularity, fraud & package theft will only become bigger issues until the payment processors figure out a solution.

  24. ru82 says:

    My wife does not like to shop at stores. She loves online shopping. Clothing, furniture, consumables, Kitchen things, outdoor stuff, b-day gifts.

    I say 90% of our shopping is online and 70% goes to Amazon and 30% to Walmart.

    We easily spend a range of $3K to $6k a year on Amazon. At least $2k to $3k a year at Walmart online and have it delivered.

    FYI….most of Amazon items when using prime free day 2 shipping does not arrive in 2 days anymore. I would say the average is 3 to 4 days now. I would say we send something back once every two weeks. It does not fit or it does not look or function like the online description.

    I would say we get boxes on our porch 2 to 3 days a week. Our recyclable trash bin is always fuller than our non-recycle trash bin.

  25. Swamp Creature says:

    I buy a lot of used computer and photographic equipment for our business on Ebay. Some of it is discontinued models which you can’t get in retail stores. I have been very satisfied with the quality of the products I’ve purchased this way, not only the price but the responsivness of the sellers, and the support of Ebay’s customer service. I have never had to return a single item without a full refund. I’m batting 100.

  26. WIZ says:

    WOLF – looking at the chart at the beginning of the article it is unclear if the increase in revenue is due to volume or price and of course a combination of the 2 – but what is the weight of each factor? – do you have data that would break it out?

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