77 Important Retail Statistics: 2021/2022 Data Analysis & Market Share

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, online stores and all things ecommerce have proven to be such disruptive forces in the global economy, sweeping all before them but the most robust businesses. Many have already seen the writing on the wall, but many have yet to follow suit. And as the pandemic forced many to stay home as much as possible, getting on the ecommerce bus became a requirement rather than a mere option for retailers. As such, businesses big and small have to look hard at the retail statistics if they want to steer their companies to this drastically altered world of commerce.

We’ve compiled here important research findings on retail across a wide range of factors, from global and US sales to the latest ecommerce penetration data, to the impact of mobile, to the role of new technologies such as inventory management software, and much more.

key retail statistics

1. Global Retail Market Statistics

The journey to mastering the new rule of doing business must start by using retail reports that are widely available from diverse sources. From the resulting retail reports, we can see how the retail market size reflects the tide of changes now taking over economies all over the world. From this retail data, it’s easy to see that global retail is still doing fairly well, even with disruptors such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The growth of retail and ecommerce relies on the applications that allow them to manage vast amounts of data that change every day. These data follow the movement of goods and people. SaaS applications play a critical role, and they’re also part of the global economic disruption taking place before us.

  • Previous estimates showed that total global retail sales were to reach $26.29 trillion in 2019 and $27.73 trillion by 2020. However, events related to COVID-19 drastically changed projections. Mid-2020, worldwide retail sales were expected to hit $23.4 trillion by the end of the year. (Business Insider, 2020)
  • Ultimately, the year 2020 ended with a 3% decline in total worldwide retail sales at $23.389 trillion. 
  • Recent events and conditions considered, the global retail market was projected to have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of -1% in 2020. (Research and Markets, 2020)
  • Fortunately, the latest forecasts bring hope that the overall global retail will rebound to 5.1% CAGR in 2021. (eMarketer, 2021)
  • Despite the challenges, the global retail ecommerce sales grew by 27.6% in 2020 compared to the previous year, with a total of $4.280 trillion. (eMarketer, 2021)
  • China is the largest ecommerce market in the world with $792.5 million in sales, taking 33.3% of the global total. (eMarketer, 2021)
  • China is projected to produce as much as $2.779 trillion in ecommerce sales, which is 56.8% of the worldwide total. (eMarketer, 2021)
  • 95% of all purchases are projected to be done via ecommerce. (Nasdaq)
  • There are 7.9 million ecommerce retailers (etailers) in the world. (etailinsights, 2021)
  • Building supplies and distribution centers are the most profitable industries by a 5% net margin. (Investopedia, 2020)
  • Six out of 10 retail executives expect they’ll recover in the next one to two years, but a quarter expect a longer timeline of two to five years. (Deloitte, 2021)

Source: eMarketer

2. US Retail Market Statistics

US retail sales continue to rise despite the closure of many big-name companies. The fall of these familiar brands is mitigated by new ventures emerging from laboratories and conceptual nurseries. They are more adept at modern tools, too. The young ones are no stranger to advanced business tools, CRM systems amongst them.

  • As of 2019, there were 442,597 brick-and-mortar retail stores in the US. (NACS, 2020)
  • There are 2.1 million ecommerce retailers in the US. (etailinsights, 2021)
  • Total US retail sales for December 2020 was valued at $540.9 billion. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021)
  • The US retail market saw a 0.7% month-over-month decrease in December 2020. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021)
  • However, year-over-year growth was rated at 2.9%. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021)
  • In all, the total US retail sales for the entire 2020 showed a 0.6% growth compared to 2019. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2021)
  • Meanwhile, the US online retail sales grew from $343.150 million in 2019 to $374.38 million in 2020, showing a 9.1% growth. (Statista, 2020)
  • Unfortunately, unemployment in the retail sector remained high at 6.7% in November 2020 compared with 2019.
  • Amazon accounted for around 39% of online commerce spending in the US in 2020. (eMarketer, 2020)
  • For every $100 spent on a local small business, around $68 stays in town. (ILSR)
  • The average retail transaction value as of 2018 was $53.98. (Vend)
  • The average gross margin in retail as of 2018 was 50.96%. (Vend)

Gloom and doom for big traditional retailers

While injecting much-needed life into the global economy, the surge of online stores has resulted in the death of many known brands. Toys R Us and many more are fair game for these new kids on the block.

  • 5,994 US stores already closed in 2019 alone. (The Wall Street Journal, 2019)
  • Payless, Gymboree, and Charlotte Russe head the big-name retailers that were hardest hit. (The Wall Street Journal, 2019)
  • However, besides the surge of etailers, the pandemic made it even more difficult for physical retailers to survive. A record 12,200 US stores closed in 2020. (Fortune, 2021)
  • Around 125 consumer goods and retail companies filed for bankruptcy in 2020. (Fortune, 2021)

Retail Statistics Image 1

3. Big and Small Retailers Statistics

Small retailers pick up from the slack of big retailers. Armed with business intelligence tools, they dive into businesses with savviness unavailable to their enterprising predecessors. With a better understanding of their markets, they are able to avoid many of the pitfalls that litter the modern world.

  • Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Visa are the top brands in 2019. (Brandz, 2019)
  • 52.8% of American consumers visit Walmart in any given month. (USA Today)
  • In 2020, Walmart stores had 265 million customer visits weekly. (Walmart, 2020)
  • Walmart has 11,501 stores as of 2020. (Walmart, 2020)
  • Small retailers with 50 employees or less represent 98.6% of all retail firms. (Score, 2019)
  • Furniture with $40,000 in average revenue heads small retailers by industry, followed by beer, wine, and spirits ($39,000). (Score, 2019)
  • Small retailers hire 39.8% of all retail employees. (Score, 2019)
  • Small retailers have an average monthly revenue of $22,341. (Score, 2019)
  • Small retailers have an average gross margin of 51%. (Score, 2019)
  • US SMBs process about 482 transactions per month. (Vend)
  • In all, retail executives name the following as their top investment priorities for 2021: digital acceleration (88%), supply chain resilience (78%), health and safety (78%), and cost structure realignment (72%). (Deloitte, 2021)

However, big or small retail businesses today manage both frontend and backend processes using digital tools such as solutions for inventory management. These keep inventory lists and item statuses in one place. Some platforms also integrate with other front-end systems for sales and marketing.

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Top 5 Most Valuable Brands in 2019

(in USD)

Top 5 Most Valuable Brands in 2019
Amazon: 315.5 billion


315.5 billion
Top 5 Most Valuable Brands in 2019
Apple: 309.5 billion


309.5 billion
Top 5 Most Valuable Brands in 2019
Google: 309 billion


309 billion
Top 5 Most Valuable Brands in 2019
Microsoft: 251.2 billion


251.2 billion
Top 5 Most Valuable Brands in 2019
Visa: 177.9 billion


177.9 billion

Source: BrandZ, Kantar Millward Brown

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Leading Inventory Management Software

  1. NetSuite ERP. This platform gives you complete visibility over your supply chain from inventory to other financial information. Learn about how this can help you optimize both frontend and backend processes in our NetSuite ERP review here.
  2. Vend. This POS software for PC, Mac, and iPad is fitted with a robust inventory platform. Learn how you can leverage this and its other features in this Vend review.
  3. Zoho Inventory. This is a go-to inventory program for both small and big retailers. Read how it can help you track inventory and orders easily in our Zoho Inventory review.
  4. QuickBooks Enterprise. This total business solution from QuickBooks sports an inventory management module that can rival standalone platforms. Read our QuickBooks Enterprise review for a more detailed look at the software.
  5. TradeGecko. This is a popular inventory management system thanks to its clean UI and powerful web-based deployment. Learn more about core program features here in our dedicated TradeGecko review.

4. Customer Retail Preferences Statistics

Before the pandemic hit, customers still largely preferred physical stores over online shops. They also enjoyed events organized by the stores. However, COVID-19 changed consumer behaviors, with many people feeling anxious about shopping in stores.

  • Customers spend 69% of their discretionary income each month in-store. (Score, 2019)
  • However, 40% of US consumers reduced retail spending in general after the pandemic hit. 
  • Before the pandemic, customers said trying items in a store is 3x more influential than other purchase factors. (Score, 2019)
  • Additionally, 87% of customers said they would attend exclusive access to items or sale in physical stores. (Score, 2019)
  • 81% of customers also said they would attend parties organized by physical stores. (Score, 2019)
  • Meanwhile, 80% of customers said they would attend a product demonstration or tutorial by physical stores. (Score, 2019)
  • 71% of customers said they would attend a game or competition organized by physical stores. (Score, 2019)
  • 82% of shoppers attended a retail event in 2018. (Score, 2019)
  • Naturally, the pandemic caused a change in consumer behavior. In the US, Click-and-Collect sales grew by 60.4% in 2020 compared to 2019. (eMarketer, 2020)
  • 89% of US consumers are more likely to support retail brands that have a positive impact on the world. (GroundTruth, 2021)
  • 36% more consumers tried a new product brand during the pandemic. (McKinsey & Company, 2020)
  • 79% of consumers now prefer self-checkout and would like to continue doing it after COVID-19. (McKinsey & Company, 2020)
  • Curbside orders also increased by 208% during the pandemic. (Adobe Analytics, 2020)
  • 59% of customers say they would like to continue curbside pickup after the pandemic. (Adobe Analytics, 2020)
  • According to a pre-Thanksgiving survey conducted in 2020, 56% of consumers are anxious about shopping in stores. (Deloitte, 2021)

Retail Statistics

5. Ecommerce Statistics

While ecommerce statistics merit a separate page of their own, we highlight key figures that you can easily associate with retail developments. The numbers reflect the growing acceptance of consumers who not long ago were opposed to the idea of sending private financial information floating all over the internet. We find this especially significant as the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly pushed more consumers to embrace ecommerce.

The latest shopping statistics also help in understanding what’s going on with global economies. If you want to navigate your business ahead, you will do well to look up these figures too.

  • As of 2019, ecommerce only comprised approximately 9.46% of retail sales. (Score, 2019)
  • However, ecommerce took 14.3% of the pie in the third quarter of 2020. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2020)
  • Only three in 10 executives report that their organizations have mature digital capabilities. As such, major investments in e-commerce, contactless capabilities, and other technology upgrades are underway. (Deloitte, 2021)
  • The number of unique online shoppers rose 40% year-on-year during the pandemic. (Social Media Today, 2020)
  • Around 69% of Americans have shopped online. (OptinMaster, 2021)
  • 25% of American adults shop online at least once a month. (Oberlo, 2021)
  • More than half of US consumers have purchased groceries online. (eMarketer, 2020)
  • Half of US consumers prefer starting their holiday shopping journey through online search engines or online-only retailers. (Deloitte, 2021)
  • Around 20% of buyers who return an online purchase in-store make an additional purchase. (Synchrony Financial)

Social media in ecommerce

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Linkedin, and YouTube have helped ecommerce become the colossal economic force that it is now. What initially started as sites where friends and families gather have become a melting pot for businesses, consumers, and professionals. These last include market and sale influencers, among many others. Their tool of choice: social media management software.

  • 85% of orders from social media channels originate from Facebook. (Shopify)
  • 84% of US online buyers review at least one social media platform before buying. (Pew Research Center)
  • 39% of Americans share their experiences from vendors on social media platforms. (Pew Research Center)
  • 30% of online customers have posted feedback online. (KPMG)
  • $55 – the average order value for customers referred from Facebook. (Shopify)
  • $46.29 – the average order value for customers referred from Twitter. (Shopify)
  • A 2019 survey revealed that 25% of ecommerce companies planned to sell directly on social media in 2020. (SearchNode, 2020)
  • Meanwhile, 15% of ecommerce companies were already selling on social media in 2019. (SearchNode, 2020)
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What stores did consumers buy from in the last 6 months?

What stores did consumers buy from in the last 6 months?
Amazon: 78%


What stores did consumers buy from in the last 6 months?
Physical Store: 65%

Physical Store

What stores did consumers buy from in the last 6 months?
Branded Online Store: 45%

Branded Online Store

What stores did consumers buy from in the last 6 months?
eBay: 34%


What stores did consumers buy from in the last 6 months?
Facebook: 11%



Source: Big Commerce, July 2019

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6. Mobile Retail Statistics

As with social media, mobile devices have played a key role in ushering a new age for retail businesses all over the world. What once served as a simple communication device now serves as an internet hub anywhere, anytime. With GPS technologies and incorporating payment gateway platforms, they have become indispensable to businesses and consumers alike.

  • 65% of all ecommerce traffic comes from mobile. (SaleCycle, 2020)
  • 53% of ecommerce sales come from mobile sessions. (SaleCycle, 2020)
  • Fashion retailers convert 89.3% of mobile traffic into sales. (SaleCycle, 2020)
  • 79% of smartphone users have made an online purchase using a mobile device in the last six months. (OuterBox, 2021)
  • Around 37% of smartphone users make an in-store mobile payment at least once every six months. (eMarketer, 2019)
  • The global mobile payments market is predicted to grow by 33% by 2022. (Growcode, 2020)
  • Additionally, mobile payment apps are predicted to handle an estimated $14 trillion worth of transactions every year come 2022. (Payments Industry Intelligence)

mobile retail

Leverage These Business Retail Numbers to Help Your Business

The astounding fall of even the biggest names in commerce means that businesses must learn what works for the modern economy, especially now that it was drastically altered by the COVID-19 pandemic. Commercial titans have a lot going against them in a sense, in that it’s harder to implement critical changes right away. You can address issues in one branch, but there could be hundreds more spread elsewhere across the globe. Unfortunately, time is of the essence, and those that weren’t able to start their transformation before the pandemic need to do everything quickly now if they want to keep up.

Small businesses benefit from the simplicity of their operations. If they learn the lessons of their more prominent contemporaries, then they should be safe, steering their businesses to further growth and appealing to consumers who like to try new and purposeful brands.

You will not find a bigger help in today’s business landscape than the one provided by business intelligence software. It’s the reason other software solutions are incorporating some of their features too.



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Nestor Gilbert

By Nestor Gilbert

Nestor Gilbert is a senior B2B and SaaS analyst and a core contributor at FinancesOnline for over 5 years. With his experience in software development and extensive knowledge of SaaS management, he writes mostly about emerging B2B technologies and their impact on the current business landscape. However, he also provides in-depth reviews on a wide range of software solutions to help businesses find suitable options for them. Through his work, he aims to help companies develop a more tech-forward approach to their operations and overcome their SaaS-related challenges.

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