E-Commerce Sales Grew 50% to $870 Billion During The Pandemic
The US Department of Commerce Retail Indicator Division, released its’ Quarterly Retail E-Commerce Sales 4th Quarter 2021 report on Friday February 18th, 2022. The report represents the most granular e-commerce category sales data provided by the US Department of Commerce, and is the only view that completely separates e-commerce from other types of non-store sales, such as mail-order. For the first time, the report is now a standard data product, having previously been an experimental release.
E-Commerce sales were $870 billion in the US in 2021, a 14.2% increase over 2020 and a 50.5% increase over 2019. E-Commerce represented 13.2% of all retail sales in 2021 in the US.
The fastest growth category of e-commerce sales over the past two years were furniture, building materials, and electronics which cumulatively grew more than 200% since 2019. Food and beverage e-commerce grew 170%, representing 9.6% of all grocery sales in 2021 according to eMarketer. Apparel was one of the few categories of e-commerce to grow slower than the industry average at 39%.
It will come as no surprise to anyone that a global pandemic accelerated the adoption of e-commerce sales in the US. Even with the acceleration, the US retail sector is still in the very early innings of digital disruption, barely representing 13% of retail sales, compared to a more digitally mature market such as China, where e-commerce sales represent more than 46% of all retail sales according to eMarketer.
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