Established retailers biggest winners during 2020 online sales boom

The top 500 retailers in North America generated a combined $849.5 billion in online sales in 2020, according to a report released Tuesday by Digital Commerce 360, Inc. reports, but the profits accumulated during this e-commerce boom disproportionately went to established brands like Walmart, Target and Amazon. 

Online sales increased for businesses of all sizes, but these top 500 companies were able to take market share from their smaller competitors. 

Demand for essential goods will increase again in the near future, says Fareeha Ali, research and editorial director at Digital Commerce 360. That should allow for smaller businesses to catch up and attract more customers.

Small businesses should take note of the customer service strategies large companies enacted during the pandemic, she says, such as using interest-free payment plans like Klarna and Afterpay, and making curbside pickup a permanent feature. 

She also advises smaller businesses to be transparent with customers about shipping issues. 

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