Mar 16, 2021
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2022 to be first $1 trillion year for US e-commerce

Mar 16, 2021

According to a new report from Adobe, in line with current growth trends, next year is expected to be the first in which annual e-commerce sales exceed $1 trillion in the United States.


The “Adobe Digital Economy Index: Covid-19 Report” reveals that the onset of the coronavirus pandemic resulted in an extra $183 billion in e-commerce sales in the 12-month period running March 2020 to February 2021, when U.S. consumers spent $844 billion online.
According to the study, the boost in revenue – driven by the massive shift of shopping online as consumers sought to meet their daily needs from home – was almost as much as the total of $188.2 billion in e-commerce sales seen in the 2020 November-December holiday period.

In the calendar year 2020, U.S. e-commerce spending totaled $813 billion, up 42% compared to 2019. In the first two months of 2021, U.S. consumers spent $121 billion online, representing a 34% increase year over year.  
Considering present growth rates, Adobe therefore expects e-commerce spending to be in the range of $850 billion to $930 billion in 2021, while 2022 will be the first $1 trillion year for the channel.
“The pandemic produced a rare step change in online spending, equivalent to a 20% boost, and future growth is expected to build off of this gain,” explained Adobe in a release.
The report further highlighted a range of more specific trends within e-commerce. The Buy Now, Pay Later payment method, for example, saw 215% year-over-year growth in the first two months of 2021. Consumers using this service are also making orders that are 18% larger, while the frequency with which retailers are offering the option has also increased, as they attempt to respond to the needs of consumers dealing with financial uncertainty.
In terms of delivery options being offered by online retailers, buy-online-pickup-in-store has continued to see strong growth in the new year, increasing 67% year over year in February 2021.  
By category, online sales of home improvement products grew 60% in the first two months of 2021, reflecting the fact consumers are spending more time indoors. Growth in apparel sales, however, trailed behind other categories, posting a year-over-year increase of 22% in January and February 2021.
Both groceries and sporting goods have consistently seen solid growth during the pandemic, with the former posting an increase of 230% in online sales in the period February 1 through 21, 2021, compared to January 6-26, 2020, while the latter achieved a rise of 75% in the same period.
The Adobe Digital Economy Index is based on the analysis of more than 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail sites and over 100 million SKUs.

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