In a brief report looking at the top 50 metro areas in the U.S., Square, a payment processing tool for online ordering, highlights which cities have seen the biggest percent increase in new sellers moving online in response to the pandemic. The list is headlined by Albuquerque, New Mexico; Durham, North Carolina; Portland, Oregon; Minneapolis and Richmond, Virginia—all cool kid cities by any measure.

The study defined adoption by the percent increase in sellers who took their first payment using Square’s online store during the period, which included January and February, as well as March and April of 2020.

Filling out the rest of the top 10 was Philadelphia; San Francisco; Denver; San Jose, California; and Kansas City, Missouri. Going through the rest of the list, there were few surprises as most other e-commerce-adopting cities tended to mirror various “best of” lists, including those looking at desirability among younger workers. Asheville, North Carolina; Seattle; Bend, Oregon; Madison, Wisconsin; and Greensboro, North Carolina, were also amid locations in the top tier of U.S. cities.

Square’s report also included a few first-person accounts from independent business operators, including a fast-casual restaurant in Kansas City that pivoted to online sales for ready-made meals, baked foods and wine.

David Rusenko, Square’s head of e-commerce, suggested that this shift is here to stay beyond the height of the pandemic. “Even when cities reopen, consumer sentiment and behavior will vary, with many still preferring curbside pickup and delivery. Businesses must continue catering to these expectations.”

The full report and list is available at