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US ecommerce could be a trillion-dollar market by 2022

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Next year could be the first trillion-dollar year for ecommerce (opens in new tab) in the US as the pandemic has changed how consumers shop according to a new report from Adobe (opens in new tab).

To compile its 2020 Digital Economy Index (opens in new tab), the firm analyzed data from Adobe Analytics which covers over 1tn visits to retail sites in the US as well as over 100m SKUs in 18 product categories to show how online shopping increased in the country from March of last year through February 2021.

Over the course of last year, consumers in the US spent a total of $844bn online and during the pandemic, online shopping (opens in new tab) saw a huge boost of $183bn. This additional $183bn was nearly the size of the last holiday shopping season when US shoppers spent 188.2bn online between November and December of last year.

At the same time, this additional spending during the pandemic produced a “rare step change in online spending, equivalent to a 20% boost”, according to Adobe.

Ecommerce is here to stay

At current growth rates, Adobe expects the 2021 calendar year to bring in somewhere between $850bn and $930bn. However, the company expects 2022 to be the first trillion-dollar year for ecommerce in the US.

So far in the first two months of 2021, US consumers spent $121 billion online which represents 34 percent growth year over year. One reason consumers are spending more online this year is due to the fact that more businesses are offering them the option to buy now, pay later (opens in new tab). For instance, last September PayPal (opens in new tab) introduced a new short-term installment offering for customers in the US called Pay in 4 (opens in new tab) that allows them to pay for purchases between $30 and $600 over a six-week period in four installments. 

Perhaps a downside to increased online spending in the US is how branded shopping days such as Memorial Day, Labor Day, President's Day and others lost importance. According to Adobe, Memorial Day 2020 commerce grew 20 percent less than other days that week resulting in $32m less revenue while the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday 2020 contributed nine percent less to revenue share during the holiday season, equivalent to $600m.

Another new trend that emerged during the pandemic that is likely here to stay is buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS (opens in new tab)) or curbside shopping. In a survey of more than 1,000 US consumers conducted by Adobe, 30 percent said they prefer curbside/in-store pickup over standard delivery options.

Only time will tell whether the US ecommerce market will continue to grow but even with vaccines now being widely distributed, consumers have grown accustomed to shopping online or using curbside to avoid the crowds.

Via TechCrunch (opens in new tab)

Anthony Spadafora
Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.