US Ecommerce Sales (2013–2023)
Data from the US Department of Commerce shows that US ecommerce sales have been growing steadily for over a decade, with significant growth in the previous three years.
In 2022, total US ecommerce sales hit a record high of $1.04 trillion, after recording an 8.5% annual increase. Despite the annual growth rate being less than half of the previous year’s and the slowest in at least a decade, the rise was able to push it over the $1 trillion mark. This is an impressive increase from a decade ago in 2013 when online sales in the US totaled $260.4 billion.
In Q3 2023, US ecommerce sales hit $284.1 billion—the highest-ever sales recorded in a single quarter. It’s also a 7.6% increase from the previous year and a 2.3% rise from Q2 2023. Sales from the first three quarters of 2023 total $833.8 billion, 7.5% higher than the previous year. This suggests that online retail sales in 2023 are on their way to setting a new record.
The latest data also shows that from 2013 to 2022, annual US ecommerce sales multiplied by nearly four times, rising at an average annual growth rate of 17%. The biggest increase was registered in 2020, when overall sales surged by 42.7%—six times the growth rate of 2022.
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US ecommerce growth: impact of COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic that swept across the world in 2020 had a profound impact on US ecommerce sales.
The latest data analyzing quarterly US ecommerce sales show that in the first quarter of 2020, online sales in the US totaled $159.8 billion. The quarter after, it surged 33.5% to $213.3 billion, even as overall retail sales fell by 3.5%. This was also a 54.6% annual increase from the second quarter of 2019.
The surge in online sales in the second quarter of 2020 coincided with the period during which US consumers had to resort to purchasing items online as brick-and-mortar stores shut to stem the spread of the virus. In fact, analysts say this accelerated the shift to ecommerce by as many as five years. This growth is especially noteworthy, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic as US consumer confidence fell to its lowest point around this time of the year.
Apart from a slight dip in Q3 2021, US ecommerce sales have been rising every quarter. That was also the only quarter the US ecommerce market size declined in more than a decade.