What percentage of U.S. retail sales are made online? A decade ago, ecommerce accounted for 8% of total retail purchases. Online sales now represent nearly 20% of spending through all channels.

Consumers spent $870.78 billion online in the U.S. in 2021, up 14.2% from $762.68 billion the prior year, according to a Digital Commerce 360 analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce data. While last year’s ecommerce growth was less than half of the record-breaking 31.8% retailers collectively registered during 2020, it’s on par with pre-pandemic growth levels. And when digital revenue in 2021 is compared with 2019, online spending soared by 50.5%.


What percent of all sales are online?

Total retail sales through all channels increased a record 14.0% last year to $4.55 trillion from $3.99 trillion in 2020, according to Commerce Department numbers. Those figures include merchandise purchased in stores, through catalogs and call centers and via other offline channels but exclude spending in segments that don’t typically sell online such as restaurants, bars, automobile dealers, gas stations and fuel dealers. That marks the highest-ever recorded growth in total retail sales and is nearly double the next-highest bump of 7.3% in 1999. This means ecommerce now accounts for 19.1% of total retail sales, which is flat from the same online penetration in 2020 but up significantly from 15.5% in 2019.

Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding.


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