Based on 2021 sales data from 570 IndieCommerce and IndieLite websites, these independent bookstores averaged a 387% increase in their online sales revenue when compared to pre-COVID sales in 2019. A major factor in the increased sales revenue last year was the percentage of online customers who completed an online purchase, which increased by 123%. This is illustrated in the year-over-year graph below.
As mentioned in our last E-commerce Update, we did end up seeing highly elevated sales throughout the holiday shopping season, but the peaks and valleys in sales revenue and the e-commerce conversion rate looked more like 2019. The elevated online sales combined with the return to the 2019 pre-Covid pattern reinforce our belief that bookstore customers will continue to purchase online from independent bookstores at these elevated numbers. This continued growth in online sales will be a significant revenue source for independent bookstores in 2022.