2022 is expected to be the first trillion-dollar year for online sales, largely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic

2022 is expected to be the first trillion-dollar year for online sales, largely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic
Crystal Cox / Business InsiderCrystal Cox / Business Insider
  • E-commerce sales hit a record in 2020, signaling the potential for a trillion-dollar year in 2022.
  • Adobe data show online shopping will likely be between $850 billion to $930 billion in 2021.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic gave e-commerce an "extra boost."

E-commerce will have its first trillion-dollar year of sales in 2022 as people continue to shift their spending habits online amid the COVID-19 pandemic, new data from Adobe projects.

The pandemic gave e-commerce sales an "extra boost" as consumers moved online to meet their daily needs, Adobe said in its report. In 2020, online consumer spending hit a record $813 billion, which was a 42% increase from 2019.

For the current year, Adobe predicts online sales will be between $850 billion and $930 billion, paving the way for 2022 to become the first trillion-dollar year in e-commerce. Those sales are likely to come through smartphones, Adobe reported, estimating that the devices would account for more than half of e-commerce spend in 2022.

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck the US about a year ago, consumers have built an online shopping muscle that's likely here to stay. Last week, a Mastercard executive said the pandemic forced e-commerce sales to accelerate by about two years.


In the first two months of the new year alone, consumers spent $121 billion online, a 34% increase from the same time last year, before the pandemic struck. Buying groceries, home improvement products, and sporting goods online has become especially popular, the data show.

This year, retailers will likely continue to ramp up their digital offerings, such as the ability to buy online and pickup in store, which became especially popular during the pandemic. Amid the shift, accounting firm BDO said about half of retailers are planning digital makeovers this year as the future of shopping turns to digital.