Adobe Digital Economy Index: COVID-19 Report

A year after the pandemic permanently reshaped eCommerce, Adobe explores how online shopping and digital purchasing power have changed.

Express box on a doormat in front of a door.

Image source: Adobe Stock / Mstock.

A year after the pandemic permanently reshaped eCommerce, we explore how online shopping habits and purchasing power have changed.

Through the Digital Economy Index, Adobe has the only real-time barometer of digital buying and selling activity, analyzing trillions of online transactions across 100 million product SKUs in 18 product categories. Data and analysis are below.

COVID-19 gave eCommerce an extra boost of $183 billion, as consumers flocked online to meet their daily needs. This is nearly the size of the 2020 holiday shopping season, where $188.2 billion was spent online between November and December.

The boost happened within the 12-month pandemic period from March 2020 to February 2021, where a total of $844 billion was spent online. In the calendar year 2020, $813 billion was spent online, a 42 percent growth over 2019.

At current growth rates, we expect 2021 calendar year will bring in somewhere between $850 billion and $930 billion. The pandemic produced a rare step change in online spending, equivalent to a 20 percent boost, and future growth is expected to build off of this gain. 2022 is expected to be the first trillion-dollar year for eCommerce.

Additional findings based on Adobe Analytics data include:

The Adobe Digital Economy Index also tracks movement in online prices, as an economic indicator for consumer purchasing power and digital inflation. Insights include:

Methodology: The Adobe Digital Economy Index offers the most comprehensive set of insights of its kind, based on analysis through Adobe Analytics that covers over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites and over 100 million SKUs — more than any other technology company.

Analysis is significantly more in-depth and accurate compared to survey-based reports, because only Adobe has access to this volume of real-time, transactional consumer data. It is aggregated and anonymized, to provide insights on consumer spending, online prices and 18 product categories.