Wayfair (W -0.45%) earnings rocketed well beyond Wall Street's forecasts as consumers turned to the online retail in droves during the coronavirus pandemic, generating "unprecedented demand" for its products.

With most physical retail stores closed and Amazon.com having prioritized fast shipping only for essential goods early on during the crisis, Wayfair saw the number of active customers grow 46% to 26 million compared to last year.

Furniture being delivered

Image source: Getty Images.

Way out results

Wayfair reported that second-quarter revenue jumped almost 84% in the period to $4.3 billion, a $2 billion increase over last year and well ahead of the $4.06 billion analyst consensus estimate. Adjusted earnings per share of $3.13 per share trampled all over expectations that the online retailer would post profits of just $1.04 per share.

It ended up generating over $1 billion in free cash flow and ended the quarter with more than $2 billion in cash and equivalents in the bank.

To handle the outsized demand it is seeing, TheFly.com reports Wayfair will be adding 1,000 new employees to its rolls to help handle the load.

Its repeat customers placed 12.7 million orders for the period, more than double the number last year, and over two-thirds of the total orders placed. Delivered orders also more than doubled during the quarter to 18.9 million.

However, it seems while customers were ordering more often, they were ordering lower-cost items, as the online retailer's average order value fell to $227 in the second quarter compared to $255 per order a year ago.