- Online retail sales, excluding travel, surpassed $1 trillion last year “for the first time in history,” according to Comscore’s State of Digital Commerce report. While online non-travel sales totaled $1.09 trillion last year, e-commerce sales in Q4 reached its “highest quarter ever” at $332.2 billion.
- The top grossing digital commerce categories in 2022 were food, pet and baby goods ($219 billion), followed by apparel and accessories ($175 billion) and computers and peripherals ($117 billion), the report found. While apparel and accessories spending rose 37% year over year, video games and accessories online purchases rose by nearly a third (31%) and home and garden online sales rose by a quarter.
- Mobile sales increased by more than a quarter (26%) in the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to the previous year. Mobile sales now comprise 38% of overall digital commerce sales, the report said.
After the coronavirus pandemic pushed consumers to shop more online, e-commerce sales have continued to grow in recent years. A March 2021 Adobe report found that the shoppers spent a total of $844 billion since March 2020. It also predicted that e-commerce spending would reach $1 trillion last year.
Comscore’s findings exceeded a prediction from FTI Consulting. Last July, FTI Consulting forecast that e-commerce retail sales would reach $1.07 trillion last year, just shy of Comscore’s $1.09 trillion calculation. The firm previously projected that online retail sales wouldn’t attain that milestone until 2025.
E-commerce spending reached record highs during the 2022 holiday season. According to an Adobe report, consumers spent $211.7 billion online from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31, up 3.5% year over year. Among the top product categories during the holidays were toy sales, video games, apparel and accessories.
Comscore’s report also showed some signs that shoppers were hunting for deals as inflation shrank their buying power. While the retail keyword “bargain” spiked 97% between 2021 and 2022, the terms “bulk” and “budget” also increased 32% and 30%, respectively.
Though inflation appears to be slowing down, retailers feel the pinch as shoppers seek markdowns to reduce spending. A recent Deloitte survey of 50 retail executives found that two-thirds of respondents anticipate pricing to be more of a deciding factor to consumers than retailer loyalty. Overall, Deloitte said that reduced spending power will impact retail sales this year.