E-commerce Retail sales just passed $1 trillion for the first time ever

Digital commerce just passed $1 trillion in a single year for the first time ever, according to Comscore. E-commerce will reach $1.09 trillion in the U.S. in 2022, with the most recent quarter accounting for $332.2 billion, the analytics and measurement company said in an exclusive to Forbes. This does not include travel, which would like to generate a few hundred billion dollars in revenue.

A key driver?

Mobile, which grew twice as much as desktop e-commerce.

“The strong 18% growth in digital commerce seen in Q4 was largely driven by mobile’s 26% YoY jump,” said the latest State of Commerce report from Comscore. “After years of hovering in the low 30s, mobile’s share of total digital commerce dollars has nearly reached 40%.”

The five highest-earning categories are:

  1. Grocery/Baby/Pets: $219 billion
  2. Clothing and accessories: $175 billion
  3. Computers and peripherals: $117 billion
  4. Consumer electronics: $85 billion
  5. Furniture and appliances: $76 billion

The five fastest growing categories are:

  1. Event tickets: 75% growth
  2. Digital content: 60% growth
  3. Clothing and accessories: 37% growth
  4. Video games and accessories: 31% growth
  5. Home and Garden: 25% growth

Growth in digital commerce continues to accelerate, according to Comscore. While it took four years starting in 2013 to add $129 billion to US e-commerce, it nearly doubled in the next four years: another $264 billion. But just two years of the Covid pandemic yielded even more: an additional $300 billion in digital sales.

It’s not just Comscore.

Adobe says its holiday season sales late last year were another record, totaling $211.7 billion in November and December. Discounts, Adobe says, drove additional sales despite increased prices. Comscore’s estimate for the full Q4 2022 period is $239 billion.

One of the big stories in 2022 was the massive growth of event tickets, says Comscore.

With growth of 75% year-on-year, event tickets show the effect of reopening after Covid. Not only is the dollar growing in this area, but online ticket sales are now increasing towards 90% market share. Just a few years ago, in 2019, in-person ticketing still accounted for the majority of sales.

Another area that has seen massive growth is grocery, which has increased by 333% in four years from 2018 to the end of 2022. In the fourth quarter of 2018, Americans spent less than $15 billion buying groceries online. In the fourth quarter of 2022, that figure reached $64 billion – almost half of that on mobile devices.

Social commerce is also growing, says Comscore, with 153% more engagement on retailer and brand-sponsored content on Facebook and 175% increase on Instagram. Relative newcomer TikTok also saw growth: 33% more “actions” in consumer goods categories and 150% increase in direct retail sales. But impressions, which don’t necessarily translate directly to sales, grew a staggering 407% from 2020 to 2022 for US retail and consumer packaged goods brands.

Interestingly, 86% of TikTok users also use – or at least visit – Amazon.

Social commerce, Comscore concludes, is becoming a larger part of the retail ecosystem.

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