Thursday, August 18, 2011 at 9:41 am.

Reality check: E-commerce is still less than 5% of retail sales

And that’s in the U.S., not North Korea. (PDF release via the U.S. Census Bureau.)

The growth opportunity ahead for Amazon and other top-shelf e-commerce companies is still gigantic.

Total retail sales for the second quarter of 2011 were estimated at $1,041.7 billion, an increase of 1.2 percent (±0.5%) from the first quarter of 2011. The second quarter 2011 e-commerce estimate increased 17.6 percent (±2.5%) from the second quarter of 2010 while total retail sales increased 8.1 percent (±0.2%) in the same period. E-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2011 accounted for 4.6 percent of total sales.

Related: Amazon survey explores the future of “Subscribe and Save”