U.S. ecommerce sales in the fourth quarter of 2022 grew 6.2% to the highest level in history: $299.12 billion compared with $281.58 billion in Q4 2021, according to a Digital Commerce 360 analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce figures released Friday.
Ecommerce penetration was steady at 22.4% in Q4 compared to 22.2% in the year-earlier quarter.
The fourth quarter sales pushed total 2022 ecommerce sales to $1.03 trillion in 2022 – the first time ecommerce revenue has topped the $1 trillion level. It’s also well above 2021’s $960.44 billion.
Total retail sales grew 5.2% year over year in Q4. Ecommerce’s share of that total growth was 26.4% in Q4, up from a 17.6% share a year earlier. It was still well below the 74.6% share of total growth in Q4 2020.
While the record online sales spikes of the pandemic have faded, quarterly ecommerce sales continued to grow throughout 2022.
That growth, however, is clearly slowing.
In 2021 and 2022, ecommerce had its slowest share of total retail growth on record for two consecutive years, an indication that offline sales are catching up with digital commerce after COVID lockdowns.
How is ecommerce penetration calculated?
Digital Commerce 360 studies non-seasonally adjusted Commerce Department data and excludes spending in segments that don’t typically sell online. These segments include restaurants, bars, automobile dealers, gas stations and fuel dealers. U.S. ecommerce penetration reflects the share of dollars consumers could potentially spend online.
The Commerce Department defines ecommerce sales as the sales of goods and services where an order is placed by the buyer or price and terms of sales are negotiated over an internet, extranet, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) network, electronic mail, or other online system. Payment may or may not be made online. The Commerce Department publishes estimates that have been adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes.
Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding.
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