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07/11/2022

FTI Consulting: U.S. online retail sales to top $1 trillion in 2022

Marianne Wilson
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U.S. online retail sales will surpass $2 trillion by 2030, according to to FTI Consulting's Retail & Consumer Products practice.

U.S. e-commerce sales will pass an important milestone this year —thanks to the pandemic.

Online retail sales will reach $1.07 trillion in 2022, up 11.7% from last year, according to FTI Consulting's Retail & Consumer Products practice. That’s some three years earlier than the group’s pre-pandemic forecast, which predicted that online sales would exceed the $1 trillion mark in 2025. The pandemic caused approximately $400 billion to move to the e-commerce channel in 2020 and 2021, compared to FTI Consulting’s pre-COVID forecast model

Online’s share of U.S. retail sales (excluding auto and gas) will reach 22.1% in 2022, up from 20.8% in 2021 and 15.2% in 2019, according to the forecast. U.S. online retail sales will surpass $2 trillion by 2030, while total online market share will approach 31% by the end of the decade. This represents a compounded annual growth rate for online sales of nearly 8.5% over the rest of the decade.

While e-commerce will continue to grow, the growth will start to moderate.

"The rocket-like growth of online retail during COVID-19 certainly will moderate,” said J.D. Wichser, leader of FTI's retail and consumer products practice. “Online sales in the past two years were driven by necessity — shopping from home due to stay-at-home living and work conditions — as well as more discretionary income due to government stimulus, a speedy jobs recovery and increased savings. This will modulate over time, exacerbated by recent inflationary pressure, which is expected to slow total retail spending over the second half of 2022 and is quickly becoming the primary source of stress for consumers, who don't know how long it will persist."