Ecommerce sales will top $1 trillion for the first time this year, while Amazon will become the biggest retailer in the U.S. by 2026, surpassing Walmart with a 14.9% market share, vs. the latter’s 12.7%, according to a new report from Edge By Ascential.
The number 3 and 4 retailer slots in 2026 will be occupied by Costco and Home Depot, Edge By Ascential predicts, with market shares of 4.4% and 3.9%, respectively. Data compiled by the company is from chain retailers only, using a proprietary tool that analyzes the industry by sector, geography, channel and company. Sales are measured in gross merchandise value (GMV).
Ecommerce will continue to be the strongest driver of retail growth in the U.S., Edge By Ascential projected. The company estimated the GMV of 2021 online sales at $907.7 billion, up from $787 billion in 2020, a 15.2% gain. It was twice the growth of brick-and-mortar retail sales among chain stores, which rose 7.6%.
U.S. ecommerce will account for 30.5% of total retail sales by 2026, up from 24.6% in 2021, making it the world’s second largest ecommerce market after China, according to the report.
The company forecast that between 2021 and 2026, e-grocery sales of food items in the U.S. will total $34.7 billion, representing an 8.8% share of all ecommerce. The figure for 2021 was $54.8 billion, up 117% from the pre-pandemic year of 2019. The market penetration of e-grocery food items in 2021 was 6.5%, half of that coming from the big four of Walmart, Target, Kroger and Costco.
E-grocery sales fell 3.8% in April to $8.1 billion, while order volume was down 5.8% and market share dipped as nagging inflation and the ongoing return to stores hit both order frequency and the number of active online users, according to a monthly survey from Brick Meets Click and Mercatus.