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Chart of: US Ecommerce Sales

US Ecommerce Sales (2012–2022)

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 $1.03 trillion, after recording a 7.44% 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 2012 when online sales in the US totaled $231.4 billion. 2012 was also the first year total online sales breached the $200 billion mark. 

The latest data also shows that from 2012 to 2022, annual US ecommerce sales multiplied by nearly five times, rising at an average annual growth rate of 16.4%. The biggest increase was registered in 2020, when overall sales surged by 42.4%—six times the growth rate of 2022. 

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US ecommerce sales: impact of COVID-19

Chart showing US ecommerce sales from Q1 2020 to Q4 2022

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 $159.9 billion. The quarter after, it surged 32% to $211 billion, even as overall retail sales fell by 4.2%. This was also a 52.7% 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 slight dips in the third quarter of 2021 and the fourth quarter of 2022, US ecommerce sales generally been growing every quarter. The best-performing quarter so far has been in Q3 2022, when online sales soared to a record high of $262.2 billion.

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