U.S. Digital Commerce Topped $1T for First Time

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RESTON, Va.—Comscore is reporting that U.S. online retail sales hit a record-breaking milestone in 2022, with digital commerce exceeding $1 trillion in online retail consumer spend for the first time in history. This reflects a 21% increase in spend year-over-year (YoY).

The milestone further documents the rapid growth that online retailers have seen in recent years and highlights concerns about brick and mortar retail outlets that have long been the backbone of advertising for local broadcasters. 

Comscore’s 2023 State of Digital Commerce Report, which analyzed online retail purchases across desktop and mobile devices, found that online retail purchases, excluding travel, hit $1.09 trillion in 2022, with $332.2 billion in online sales occurring Q4 of 2022, up from $260.0 billion in Q3 2022 and $281.3 billion a year earlier in Q4 of 2021. 

In Q4, the biggest spending quarter of the year, dollars spent on mobile devices in the U.S. also grew at a higher rate than on desktop devices, 26% vs 14%, with mobile’s share of total digital commerce reaching nearly 40%.

“At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, digital commerce was at $705.4 billion,” said Comscore’s Ian Essling, senior director of survey insights, Comscore. “A year later, it hit $904.3 billion, and this year we’re over $1 trillion. That level of growth previously took four years to achieve. Consumers are clearly doubling down on what works best for them--seamless, convenient, online purchasing across many different verticals and product types.”

Other highlights of Comscore’s State of Digital Commerce report include: 

  • Online retail spending during the 2022 holiday season (Nov+Dec) broke $230 billion and grew by 20% YoY.
  • Online grocery and apparel were the top spending categories, with $219 billion spent on ‘Grocery, Baby, Pet’ items, $175 billion on ‘Apparel and Accessories’ and $117 billion on ‘Computers and Peripherals’.
  • The top growing digital commerce categories YoY were ‘Event Tickets’ (75%), ‘Digital Content’ (60%) and ‘Apparel and Accessories’ (37%).

 The full report is available here.  

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.