Executive Briefing

Riding out the e-commerce dip

Are we in the early stages of an e-commerce recession? Or just a few short-term bumps?

We have known for a long time that much of the accelerated growth in US e-commerce adoption during the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic was forced and temporary — a “pull-forward” of future growth.

Chart: E-commerce share of US retail sales, seasonally adjusted

What’s new now is that we’re feeling the other end of the wave: The trough where we’re lapping the one- and two-year marks of big events.

These include the initial pandemic lockdown (two years ago in March and April), the vaccine-fueled “reopening” resumption of consumer and retail mobility (last spring), and the last wave of consumer stimulus checks (last March).

Add record inflation to the mix — and now concerns of an imminent recession — and it’s no surprise that consumers and markets have changed their behavior, resulting in some unexpected curves.

The New Consumer Executive Briefing is exclusive to members — join now to unlock this 900-word, four-chart post and the entire archive. Subscribers should sign in here to continue reading.

Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

I’m a longtime tech and business journalist, and I’m excited to focus my attention on how technology continues to profoundly change how things are created, experienced, bought, and sold. The New Consumer is supported entirely by your membership — join now to receive my reporting, analysis, and commentary directly in your inbox, via my member-exclusive newsletter. Thanks in advance.

Join: $60 / Quarter Join: $200 / Year More Options