U.S. ecommerce sales reached $1.03 trillion in 2022, according to a Digital Commerce 360 analysis of U.S. Department of Commerce figures released Friday. That marks the first time ecommerce revenue has topped the $1 trillion level. It’s also well above 2021’s $960.44 billion.
Digital Commerce 360 had earlier forecast ecommerce sales of $1.03 trillion for 2022 in its mid-year U.S. Ecommerce Market Report.
That remarkable level of sales comes with a slight bump in ecommerce penetration to 21.2% for the year from 21.0% in 2021.
Ecommerce sales grew 7.7% in 2022 year over year. That’s a dramatic drop from the double-digit ecommerce growth in each of the past five years. It’s also the slowest growth rate since the 2.8% growth in 2009. Ecommerce sales growth in 2022 was stayed slightly higher than the total retail sales growth of 6.8% that the Commerce Department reported in 2022. That’s the closest yearly total sales growth has come to reach ecommerce sales growth since the Commerce Department started tracking online sales.
Ecommerce’s share of total retail growth in 2022 was 23.8% year over year. That’s down from the 25.2% share of total retail growth in 2021 and well below the record-setting share of 84.2% during the pandemic in 2020.
Did ecommerce sales grow in 2022?
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.
Ecommerce compound annual growth rate (CAGR)
We can see another indication of slowing ecommerce growth looking at the compound annual growth rate. On a five-year basis, CAGR stands at 18.4% at the close of 2022.
But on a three-year basis focused on the post-pandemic period, CAGR is up to 21.9% growth still, thanks to the strong early-pandemic shift to ecommerce.
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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