US State of Retail and eCommerce Market Report 2022
“The industry remains resilient in the face of ongoing challenges that include not only the lingering pandemic, but also inventory issues due to supply chain disruption, staffing shortages and the…

US State of Retail and eCommerce Market Report 2022

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This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the retail and ecommerce market including retail and ecommerce market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the retail and ecommerce market in the US.

Current market landscape

The top concern consumers currently have when shopping is not the fear of contracting COVID-19 in stores. It is the concern that their online orders will take too long due to shipping delays. This not only shows that consumers have adjusted to the pandemic and are learning to adapt to living in a world where it surrounds them, but also that they realize the convenience factor of online shopping might be compromised due to broader supply chain issues. They must also learn to adjust to such factors out of their control, too.

Consumers are also fearful in general that they won’t be able to find the items they desire due to supply chain issues. In part, retailers have perpetuated these fears with scare tactics in communications, especially at the onset of the 2021 winter holidays. Nonetheless, these concerns could cause them to shop at different retailers or merely purchase fewer goods.

Market share and key industry trends

  • The key drivers that influence where consumers shop include retailers that have stores and a website (53%), offer access to real-time inventory (39%) and have a mobile app (27%), reinforcing the importance of omnichannel retailing. In the COVID era, new drivers have come to the forefront, including enforcement of hygiene and cleanliness policies/ pandemic-related protocols, contactless checkout/delivery/pickup and flexible payment solutions.
  • Amid the pandemic, consumers’ shopping behaviors have changed as they’ve become more aware of – and open to – new ways of shopping. Nearly half of adults have used a pickup service to collect online orders (in store or curbside), 26% have purchased something secondhand and 17% have used BNPL offerings (see Shopping Behaviors).
  • Current challenges facing the retail industry are also a cause of concern for consumers, which could impact how they shop. Concerns are centered around supply chain issues, inflation and safety, both from a protection of personal data perspective and a health-related perspective due to the pandemic.

Future market trends in retail and eCommerce

A potential pullback in consumer spending is one of the biggest threats to the retail industry as inflation compromises consumers’ standards of living and erodes their disposable income. This will also cause them to favor value-oriented merchants to a greater degree, including secondhand retailers, and to look for other ways to save money, such as using buy now, pay later (BNPL) offerings and buying more private label products instead of name brands.

One of the biggest opportunities in the retail industry is to lean into social commerce to a greater degree and in doing so, experiment with emerging ways to connect with customers including livestream shopping and metaverse marketing.

Read on to discover more about the retail and eCommerce consumer market, read our Sustainability and Online Shopping – US – 2022 report, or take a look at our other Retail research reports.

Quickly understand ecommerce market research

  • The continuing impact of COVID-19 on consumer behavior and the retail industry, inclusive of ecommerce.
  • How a recovering economy is impacting consumers’ approach to prioritizing their expenditures.
  • How consumers are shopping across channels by category.
  • Which retailers are winning, and which are struggling.
  • Key drivers of retailer preference.
  • The types of promotions consumers prefer and how this might evolve.
  • Experience with tech at retail and top areas of interest.
  • What consumers are primarily worried about when it comes to shopping.

Covered in this ecommerce market report

Brands include: Gucci, Roblox, Bud Light, Anheuser-Busch, Under Armour, Gala Games, Decentraland, Microsoft, Google, Shopify, Samsung, Walmart, Amazon, GM, Giant Co, Savage x Fenty, Kids Foot Locker, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Trader Joe’s, Primark, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, Popshelf, Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Kohl’s.

This report, written by Diana Smith, a leading analyst in the Retail and eCommerce sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis of market research for ecommerce to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The industry remains resilient in the face of ongoing challenges that include not only the lingering pandemic, but also inventory issues due to supply chain disruption, staffing shortages and the rising cost of goods and services – all issues that will lead to more consumer shopping behavioral shifts. Retailers must maintain transparency when communicating with customers and look beyond monetary ways to offer value while at the same time experimenting with new ways of engaging with them, including the evolving metaverse.

Diana Smith, Associate Director, Retail and eCommerce
Diana Smith
Associate Director, Retail & eCommerce

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
    • COVID-19: US context
    • Economic and other assumptions
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast, including ecommerce, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 2: Retail and ecommerce outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Key social issues and consumer values will comprise a greater “share of heart,” and thus share of wallet
    • Inflation could come for consumers’ disposable income
    • Invest in the supply chain
    • The new meaning of customer service
    • Experiment in the virtual world
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Market Size and Forecast

    • Retail industry remains resilient despite constant headwinds
      • Figure 3: Total US retail sales and forecast, including ecommerce, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 4: Total US retail sales and forecast, including ecommerce, at current prices, 2016-26
    • eCommerce growth continues, but pace of growth decelerates as consumers return to physical stores
      • Figure 5: Total US retail ecommerce sales and fan chart forecast, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 6: Total US retail eCommerce sales, at current prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 7: eCommerce share of total sales, 2016-26
      • Figure 8: Estimated quarterly US retail ecommerce sales – percent of total sales; change versus prior month and year, Q3 2020 – Q3 2021
  4. Segment Performance

    • Sales for all store types improve
      • Figure 9: Estimated percentage change in sales of total retail and food services, by kind of business, January – November 2021
  5. Market Factors

    • Living nearly two years with a pandemic
      • Figure 10: Attitudes toward COVID-19, 2022
    • Unemployment improves, while consumer confidence remains deflated
      • Figure 11: Consumer confidence and unemployment, 2021
    • Inflation at highest level in three decades
      • Figure 12: US inflation rate, December 2020-November 2021
      • Figure 13: Disposable Personal Income change from previous period, February 2020-November 2021
    • Supply chain issues challenge retailers and worry consumers
    • Younger, digitally native consumer groups to comprise 60% of US population in four years
      • Figure 14: Population by generation, 2016-26
  6. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Maintain channel-agnostic, consistent approach
      • Figure 15: Attitudes toward pricing and product consistency by channel, 2021
    • Explore emerging forms of ecommerce
    • Metaverse and NFTs
      • Figure 16: Interest in and usage of NFTs and emerging forms of payment, 2021
      • Figure 17: Gucci Garden on Roblox
      • Figure 18: Bud Light launches Bud Light N3XT Collection of NFTs
      • Figure 19: Under Armour creates NFTs of Stephen Curry’s shoe to celebrate his record number of three-pointers
    • Social commerce including livestreaming
      • Figure 20: Attitudes toward ecommerce and social media, 2021
      • Figure 21: Samsung Galaxy S22 livestream
    • Elevate the convenience of delivery
      • Figure 22: Walmart expands InHome delivery service
    • Continue to evolve the purpose of the physical store
      • Figure 23: Amazon announces Amazon Style, its first physical apparel store
      • Figure 24: Savage x Fenty by Rihanna expands into physical retail
      • Figure 25: Walmart’s “Time well spent” store concept
    • Consumers speak up on retail experiences
    • What it means to them
    • What they think makes a good shopping experience
    • What they think makes a poor shopping experience
    • What they would like to see improved
  7. The Consumer: Fast Facts

  8. Shopping Method by Category

    • Products shopped for
    • Stabilization is underway for most categories, but they all remain below prepandemic levels
      • Figure 26: Products shopped for – prepandemic versus amid pandemic, 2020 versus 2021
      • Figure 27: Products shopped for – percentage point difference throughout the pandemic, 2021
    • Shopping method and channel approach
    • Multichannel shopping is the norm in all cases
      • Figure 28: Multichannel shopping versus single-channel shopping, by category, 2021
    • Pandemic brought significant channel shifting from stores to digital
      • Figure 29: Percentage of total purchases made online, 2021
      • Figure 30: Online shopping frequency, 2021
      • Figure 31: Devices used to shop online, 2021
      • Figure 32: Where purchases occurred – by channel, by item, before and amid COVID-19, 2021 and 2020
    • Consumers speak up on what they are (and are not) buying online
      • Figure 33: Method of shopping, select categories – 2021
  9. Retailers Shopped

    • One-stop shops take precedence during pandemic; dollar stores gain ground
    • What this means
      • Figure 34: Retailers shopped – Any shopping (net), 2021
      • Figure 35: Dollar stores take different strategies to protect their businesses in the future
    • Most consumers are visiting their favorite retailers in person
      • Figure 36: Retailers shopped, by channel, 2021
    • There are generational differences in preferred retailers and method of shopping
      • Figure 37: Retailers shopped in-store, by generation, 2021
      • Figure 38: Retailers shopped online, by generation, 2021
  10. Shopping at Malls

    • Malls are seeing some improvement, but is it enough?
      • Figure 39: Mall visitation comparison levels, 2021
    • Unique stores drive most visits
      • Figure 40: Reasons for visiting malls, 2021
    • Young men visiting more often; young women do the opposite
      • Figure 41: Mall visitation comparison levels, by gender and age, 2021
      • Figure 42: Reasons for visiting malls – index versus all, by men 18-54, 2021
    • Visitation declines among multicultural consumers
      • Figure 43: Mall visitation comparison levels, by race and Hispanic origin, 2021
    • Pandemic-related reasons keep people away from malls
      • Figure 44: Oculus promotes protection measures amid COVID-19
      • Figure 45: Reasons for not visiting malls or going less, 2021
    • Women think mall-based stores are too expensive
      • Figure 46: Reasons for not visiting malls or going less – index versus all, by women by age, 2021
    • Consumers speak up on the future of malls
  11. Retailer Drivers

    • Consumers want retailers to make shopping easy, and make it matter
    • What this means
      • Figure 47: Retailer drivers, 2021
      • Figure 48: Retailer drivers, by generation, 2021
    • Mobile apps need to add value, not just exist
      • Figure 49: AthletaWell digital platform
    • Pandemic brings new drivers to the forefront
      • Figure 50: Emerging retailer drivers, 2021
    • Consumers speak up about shopping in the COVID-19 era
    • Cleanliness and contactless important factors for female shoppers
      • Figure 51: Emerging retailer drivers, by gender, 2021
  12. Shopping Behaviors

    • Consumers’ idea of shopping convenience is changing amid the pandemic
    • What this means
      • Figure 52: Shopping behaviors, 2021
    • Younger shoppers much more likely to adopt new ways of shopping
      • Figure 53: Shopping behaviors – index versus all, by age, 2021
      • Figure 54: ALDO live shopping event
    • Consumers speak up on how shopping behaviors will evolve
  13. Meaning of Value

    • Value means more than financial savings
      • Figure 55: Meaning of value, 2021
      • Figure 56: Meaning of value – select factors, by age, 2021
    • Consumers want the sale price even if they’ve already purchased
      • Figure 57: Attitudes toward price adjustments, by age and income, 2021
    • Young affluents care the most about sustainability
      • Figure 58: Meaning of value – Sustainability, by gender and age; age and income, 2021
    • Free shipping is a big deal to Hispanic women
      • Figure 59: Meaning of value – select factors, by Hispanic gender, 2021
  14. Preferred Types of Promotions

    • When it comes to deals, consumers prefer immediate gratification
    • What this means
      • Figure 60: Preferred promotions, 2021
    • Free products and gifts with purchase work particularly well for retailers looking to appeal to young females
      • Figure 61: Preferred promotions, by gender and age – part one, 2021
      • Figure 62: Preferred promotions, by gender and age – part two, 2021
      • Figure 63: Philosophy gift with purchase promotion
    • Shoppers across income levels are interested in a variety of promotional incentives
      • Figure 64: Preferred promotion – index versus all, by household income, 2021
    • Hispanic and Black consumers keen to try BNPL services
      • Figure 65: Preferred promotions, by Hispanic origin and race, 2021
  15. Usage of and Interest in Emerging Technologies

    • Consumers look to tech for speed, efficiency and safety purposes
      • Figure 66: Experience with emerging technologies, 2021
    • Men are the early adopters of tech at retail
      • Figure 67: Experience with emerging technologies – index versus all, by gender and age 18-44, 2021
    • Older shoppers might not be aware of various technologies, or need help using it
      • Figure 68: Experience with emerging technologies – index versus all, by gender and age 45+, 2021
    • Parents overindex versus nonparents on all technologies
      • Figure 69: Experience with emerging technologies, by parental status, 2021
    • Consumers speak up about tech at retail
    • Brand examples of tech at retail
      • Figure 70: Gap Inc. invests in fit technology
      • Figure 71: Walmart turns to RFID tracking to improve inventory management
      • Figure 72: Amazon Salon features augmented reality
  16. Current Concerns when Shopping

    • COVID-19 isn’t the only thing consumers are worried about when shopping
    • What this means
      • Figure 73: Current concerns about shopping, 2021
    • Consumers across income levels concerned about inflation
      • Figure 74: Current concerns about inflation, by household income, 2021
      • Figure 75: Stitch Fix holds its first sale
      • Figure 76: Changes consumers would make due to inflation, 2021
    • Consumers speak up about inflation
    • Women’s concerns run the gamut
      • Figure 77: Current concerns about shopping, by gender and age, 2021
    • Multicultural consumers concerned about safety
      • Figure 78: Select current concerns about shopping, by Hispanic origin and race, 2021
    • Consumers speak up about inventory issues
    • Consumers speak up about staffing issues at retail
  17. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  18. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 79: Total US retail sales and forecast, including ecommerce, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26
      • Figure 80: Total US retail ecommerce sales, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2016-26

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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