U.S. e-commerce and other card-not-present channels continue to outperform total retail sales. According to the Department of Commerce, a key measure of U.S. sales activity showed the value of card-not-present transactions increased nearly 11 percent in August 2016 compared to a year earlier. Domestic nonstore sales (which include e-commerce) in August totaled nearly $47 billion. The increase followed year-over-year increases of 14.2 percent in June and 14.1 percent in July.
Nonstore sales are typically lower than e-commerce sales because they include mail order, telephone order and door-to-door sales. The government figures suggest another strong quarter for e-commerce is underway (Q2’s 15.8 percent gain was the largest on a year-over-year basis in two years) while brick-and-mortar sales continue low-single-digit gains.