As online retailers forge ahead into 2023, let’s take one last look back at online retail in 2022.
After three years of COVID-19, consumers continue to shop online with no signs of stopping. For the full year 2022, Digital Commerce 360 projects U.S. online retail sales will top $1 trillion for the first time, reaching $1.03 trillion. That would be a 7.7% increase over $960.44 billion in 2021.
But it was a tough year for online retail. Many retailers struggled to post year-over-year online sales gains, inflation hit record highs, surplus inventory levels soared and supply chain woes persisted.
But despite these challenging macroeconomic factors, online retailers continue to innovate and provide a top online shopping experience. Brands like L’Oreal used artificial intelligence to spot trends. A number of merchants committed to greater representation and continued support of the Black community. And retailers worked to make fulfillment more sustainable.
What’s more, online holiday sales may have been strong enough that merchants can put 2022 down in the win column. Over the Cyber 5 period (Thanksgiving through Cyber Monday) online sales reached $35.27 billion, a 4% year-over-year gain.
Below are more 2022 headlines, both news and in-depth features, that were the most popular on DigitalCommerce360.com.
Thank you for your readership in 2022. We look forward to another exciting year of online retail in 2023.
Most-read news stories in online retail
- Amazon plans Prime Day-like sales event in October
The ecommerce giant will hold an October sales event similar to its annual Prime Day event, sources tell Digital Commerce 360.
- Lowe’s, Home Depot earnings show ecommerce growth, similar omnichannel paths
Home Depot reported sales through its digital platforms grew approximately 6% for Q4 and approximately 9% for the year. That’s well below the 11.5% in Q4 and 18.4% for the fiscal year that Lowe’s reported.
- Coronavirus pandemic adds $219 billion to US ecommerce sales in 2020-2021
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated ecommerce growth years into the future. Other pandemic-caused shifts also have boosted ecommerce sales, such as inflation. Consumers paid $32 billion more online for the same amount of goods during the past two years, new data from Adobe finds.
- Inside the battle against ecommerce fraud
Ecommerce fraud has gotten hard to detect and stop. More than half of fraud attempts against ecommerce retailers are now deemed “sophisticated.” That means professional criminals used state-of-the-art methods to circumvent anti-fraud systems.
- Toys R Us is opening shops in all Macy’s stores
The in-store shops will range from as small as 1,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet for “flagship” locations in several cities. Since buying the Toys R Us brand in early 2021, WHP has worked to re-establish the brand’s physical and online presence.
- Amazon locates its warehouses near big cities
Amazon has dramatically expanded its distribution network in the past decade, placing many new warehouses near population centers so it can deliver online orders quickly. Such major retail competitors as Walmart, Home Depot and Wayfair also have opened new distribution centers as they seek to match Amazon’s fast delivery options.
- Will Crocs Inc.’s acquisition of Hey Dude Shoes help it reach its $5 billion goal?
A complementary union, Crocs looks to widen its reach beyond a loyal U.S. base by continuing to grow its ecommerce business worldwide with Hey Dude.
Most-read in-depth stories in 2022
The seven feature-length stories below received the most page views in 2022 on DigitalCommerce360.com. These articles, free to Digital Commerce 360 Strategy members, detail the topics our readers found most relevant this year. They include an in-depth piece on returns, how consumer brand manufactures need to remake their ecommerce playbook, True Religion’s path to profitability, how retailers can improve their marketing strategy on Amazon, how to manage customer data across platforms, the advantages of advertising on connected TV and how online retailers cater to their young, mobile shoppers.
- Retailers look for answers as returns grow more complex and costly
Returns have become a major headache in ecommerce, cutting into profit and straining resources. The sheer volume of returns also puts additional pressure on an already overloaded supply chain pushing prices higher for shipping, warehousing and labor. Retailers are working hard to reduce the number of returns they receive. And they’re taking multiple approaches to doing so.
- What’s the state of the ecommerce market for consumer brand manufacturers?
Brands were the fastest-growing merchant type in the Top 1000 last year. But the old playbook for digital natives isn’t producing the same explosive results as it has previously. With funding drying up as profitability takes center stage, digital natives will have to reassess their roadmap to compete.
- A peek inside True Religion’s plan to reach $250 million in ecommerce sales by 2025
The iconic denim brand’s CEO and executive vice president of digital sit down with Digital Commerce 360 to discuss how it cut technology costs and overhauled its supply chain to get on the path to profitability. Now, it’s investing in digital tools to attract younger shoppers, such as a mobile app and buy now, pay later.
- Marketing on Amazon is all about keywords and presentation
Retailers find different ways to stand out among competitors when selling on marketplaces.
- There is more than one way to manage customer data
In an increasingly competitive ecommerce landscape, DTC retailers are figuring out how to reach new customers by linking up with larger merchants like Walmart or selling on marketplaces like Amazon — without losing too much control. The key is to take a step back and assess before diving into new ventures or technologies.
- The cord cutters: Retailers move to appeal to consumers on streaming devices
As consumers cut the cord and stream entertainment, retailers are taking advantage of lower costs to reach an ever-expanding audience through CTV.
- How online retailers cater to their young, mobile shoppers
Younger shoppers are on their phones and want to check out fast, with their preferred payment provider on-site or an app designed for their small screens. MVMT, Azazie and True Religion share how they fine tune their mobile shopping experience for young shoppers.