The pandemic’s effect on e-commerce has been profound and new data from Adobe confirms it—U.S. consumers spent $1.7 trillion online during the two years of the pandemic. In the two-year period prior to Covid, Americas spent more than $600 billion less. And online shoppers are not pausing. In 2022 alone, Adobe expects online spending to reach $1 trillion.
As Covid restrictions bound people to their homes in the first year of the pandemic, people’s shopping habits changed significantly. Leading the way, according to Patrick Brown, a vice president at Adobe, are new e-commerce categories like grocery. Even as the effects of the pandemic wane, more people are buying their groceries online.
“E-commerce is being reshaped by grocery shopping, a category with minimal discounting compared to legacy categories like electronics and apparel,” Brown said in a statement. “It highlights a shift in the digital economy, where speed and convenience are becoming just as important as cost savings.”
Electronics, clothing and now groceries, which together account for nearly 42 percent of online spending in the U.S., are driving e-commerce. The Adobe analysis found grocery spending online doubled in 2020 and became a habit for many consumers. Electronics remains the biggest single category, accounting for $165 billion in e-commerce sales in 2021. Digital sales of clothing grew slower in 2021, but still totaled $126 billion.