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How deal-seeking, digital grocery shopping, and other 2023 trends shaped ecommerce in 5 charts

US ecommerce sales will grow 9.3% to reach $1.137 trillion in 2023, per our forecast, thanks to cost-conscious consumers looking for better deals and an increasing number of digital grocery buyers. As 2023 wraps up, ecommerce will go out on a high note, with online holiday sales growth outpacing brick-and-mortar sales.

1. Ecommerce is growing its share of total retail sales

In 2023, tighter budgets drove consumers to shop online, where they could more easily compare prices and search for deals. This move toward online shopping has helped US retail ecommerce sales growth pick back up after a dip in 2022.

Looking ahead, ecommerce sales will grow by double digits through 2027, when they will make up just over a fifth of total US retail sales, per our forecast.

2. Grocery is moving online

Digital grocery was a driving force behind ecommerce’s success in 2023 and will continue to be a major growth contributor over the next five years.

This year, 145.7 million consumers in the US were digital grocery buyers, per our forecast. Brands that want to engage with younger consumers should consider a digital strategy to reach them, as Gen Z is more likely to find new products via a search engine than in-store, per our May 2023 survey.

3. Consumers aren’t just using search engines to find products

Over half (51%) of US consumers start their online shopping search on Amazon, more than those that start it on a search engine (39%), per a September 2023 Jungle Scout report. Other top places to start searches include Walmart.com, YouTube, and Facebook.

If ecommerce brands want to put their products in front of consumers, they will need to be where consumers are browsing and shopping, which includes social media platforms in addition to traditional ecommerce sites like Amazon or Walmart.

4. Younger consumers expect faster deliveries

While a majority (56%) of US consumers are fine with waiting a few days for their online shopping orders, Gen Zers and millennials are more likely to expect next-day and same-day delivery options, according to McKinsey.

Amazon and Walmart—the two largest US ecommerce companies in 2023, per our forecast—have both worked to speed up their delivery times by building out their fulfillment networks.

5. Ecommerce is having a happy holiday

Holiday ecommerce sales growth (11.3%) will outpace both non-ecommerce holiday sales (3.0%) and total retail holiday sales (4.5%) this year, per our June 2023 forecast.

These gains are being bolstered by the rising adoption of mcommerce, which, according to our forecast, will account for nearly 50% of total US holiday ecommerce sales this year.

 

This was originally featured in the Retail Daily newsletter. For more retail insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.