75 Essential Ecommerce Statistics: 2021 Data and Market Share Analysis

A new version of this article, featuring the latest data and statistics, is available. Check out our report on eCommerce Software Statistics for 2022.

Perhaps none other than when we match the kings of ecommerce vs. the kings of brick-and-mortar can we see more clearly the future of retail. Walmart still outpaces Amazon, posting a total of $340 billion in retail sales compared to Amazon’s $122 billion. However, Amazon is growing sales 40% yearly, while Walmart’s is growing at 4%. So, it is just a matter of time before Amazon’s retail sales exceed that of Walmart’s. Does it mean ecommerce will lord it over physical retail soon? Not quite. Alibaba’s buying physical supermarkets and Target’s purchase of an online delivery platform seems to point at two opposing directions on a collision course towards a future center: omnichannel retail, both physical and online. These industry tectonic shifts matter to you, whether you’re a startup or a big-box online business.

Knowing where the industry is heading will help you make the most out of ecommerce. To help you out, we will be discussing some of the latest data relevant to the industry. Hopefully, this will give you a better grasp of how other companies are using ecommerce software and what kind of experience consumers expect from online shopping so that you can adjust your strategies accordingly.

key ecommerce statistics

1. General Ecommerce Market Statistics

Ecommerce is one of the most profitable industries in the modern age. It requires fewer staff members and has minimal overhead costs as it doesn’t require you to have a physical location. You just need a good website builder and integrate it with top payment gateway solutions, and you’re good to go. Plus, even if you already have a brick-and-mortar shop, adding ecommerce as part of your business model will allow you to reach more customers at a fraction of the price that you’ll spend on paid advertisements. This is why it comes as no surprise that this industry has enjoyed rapid growth in the past few years, and it seems like it isn’t stopping any time soon.

Another reason why the ecommerce industry is booming is because of consumer demand. With 59% of the world having access to the internet, customers simply feel that online shopping is a more convenient option than going outside to purchase from a store.

  • The total global retail ecommerce sales are projected to reach $4.9 trillion by 2021 (Shopify, 2019).
  • By 2020, B2B ecommerce sales will outgrow B2C ecommerce sales (Shopify, 2019)
  • B2B ecommerce transactions are expected to amount to $7.66 trillion in terms of gross merchandise volume (Statista, 2020).
  • The number of online shoppers in the US is projected to reach 230.5 million in 2021, making the US one of the leading ecommerce markets in terms of online shopper penetration (Statista, 2020).
  • Of the online shoppers in the US, 16% purchase items weekly, and 25% monthly (Marist College and NPR, 2019).
  • 8 out of 10 Americans now shop online (Spendmenot, 2020)
  • 60% of millennials do their shopping online (Digitalcommerce360, 2020).
  • 72% of women shop online compared to 68% of men (Optinmonster, 2021)
  • 92 billion – the estimated number of global digital buyers in 2019. It’s expected to reach 2.14 billion by 2021 (Statista, 2020).
  • Ecommerce sales accounted for 14.1% of global retail sales. This is projected to reach 22% in 2023 (Statista, 2020).
  • $280. 5 billion – the net revenue of Amazon in 2019, making it the leading online retailer (Statista, 2020).
  • 63% of millennials, 49% of Gen Xers, and 33% of boomers use social media for their online shopping (eMarketer, 2020).
  • 14.7% – the expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of ecommerce from 2020-2027 (Grand View Research, 2020).
  • The number 1 reason why people shop online is to avail the free shipping option offered by ecommerce stores (Oberlo, 2020).

global ecommerce sales 2021

2. Mobile Ecommerce Statistics

Smartphones are becoming more versatile, and they are shaking up industries that go beyond communication device manufacturing—and ecommerce is not an exception. The increasing mobile phone usage has had a massive impact on the growth of ecommerce as it allows consumers to make purchases wherever they may be instantly. In addition to this, with plenty of downtime being spent on mobile browsing, businesses are able to reach their target markets as effortlessly as possible.

  • Mobile retail commerce sales are projected to make up 53.9% of total retail ecommerce sales in 2021 (Statista, 2020).
  • US adults spent 229 minutes or 3.81 hours a day on their smartphones in 2020. This is expected to increase to 234 minutes or 3.90 hours in 2021 (Statista, 2020)
  • 56% of North American consumers use their smartphones for online shopping (Marketing Dive, 2019).
  • 85% of consumers said they have bought gifts online using their smartphones, while 45% use them to shop all the time (Marketing Dive, 2019.)
  • 65% of shoppers make price comparisons in their mobile devices while shopping in a physical store (Oberlo, 2019).
  • 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last six months (OuterboxDesign, 2020).
  • 71% of in-store shoppers say their mobile device has become more important to them when doing research and for enhanced in-store experience (SimiCart, 2020).
  • There’s a 32% bounce probability for mobile pages that takes 1–3 seconds to load. It shoots to 90% for 1–5 seconds load time (Think with Google, 2018).
  • 79% of consumers prefer to use shopping apps while at home instead of on the go or in the store (Visual Objects, 2019).
  • 50.81% of global website traffic generated in the third quarter of 2020 came from mobile devices (Statista, 2020). 
  • Small retailers are more likely to see a 30% higher mobile conversion rate compared to big retailers (Optinmonster, 2021). 

Source: Statista

3. Ecommerce Store Optimization Statistics

Ecommerce may be a surefire way to grow your business, but it is best to note that it isn’t a magic bullet. You’ll have to put some effort into creating and designing your ecommerce site as well as finding out how it will best serve your customers. As you can see from the statistics provided, consumers have certain expectations when it comes to an online shopping experience that you might want to consider to optimize your website:

  • Among the things US online shoppers expect from ecommerce websites are product images (78%), customer reviews (69%), and side-by-side product comparisons (46%) (BigCommerce, 2021).
  • 40% of consumers won’t buy in another language and 73% prefer reviews of products in their language (Alexika, 2020).
  • 84% of online shoppers will not purchase from an ecommerce site that is not secure (WHSR, 2021).
  • 93% of customers view visual appearance as a key deciding factor in their shopping decisions (Magebit, 2019).
  • 51.7% of online customers in the US online consumers say that on-model photography is important (Agility, 2017).
  • 50.5 percent% of US online shoppers want to see a minimum of three product photos showing the different angles of the item before making a purchase (Agility, 2017).
  • 38% of consumers said they would leave a website if they find its layout unattractive (Adobe, 2019).
  • 72% of consumers prefer video when receiving branded marketing information instead of text (Retail Dive, 2018). Moreover, 48% want videos to reflect what they are interested in, and 43% want interactivity and the freedom to decide what information they view and when they want to view it (Smart Insights, 2020).
  • 83% of American online shoppers are expecting to have regular communication regarding their purchases (WHSR, 2021). 
  • 80% of people discontinue doing business with companies due to poor customer experience (Hubspot, 2020).
  • 89% of online shoppers want to receive returns-status updates via email and/or text, while 67% check the returns page before making a purchase (CSA, 2020).

4. Conversion for Ecommerce Statistics

Online store optimization is only one step of the process when it comes to succeeding in the ecommerce industry. If you really want to reap the benefits that this business model has to offer, you also have to consider the kind of perks you give to your clientele. This may come in the form of free shipping, good return policies, or more convenient payment options.

It is also good to note that your use of display ads and retargeting techniques also play a huge role in improving conversions. One such way you can make the most out of each interaction you have with customers is by using good ecommerce analytics tools such as the ones we have listed in our compilation of leading ecommerce analytics software.

  • Improving checkout processes can increase conversion rates by 35.26% (Baymard Institute, 2020).
  • 60% of shopping cart abandonments are due to extra costs, like taxes and shipping fees. Other issues include having to create an account (37%) and complicated checkout processes (28%) (Baymard Institute, 2020).
  • 45% of online shoppers are unlikely to purchase again from a store that delivers an item late. (Clutch, 2019).
  • 63% of consumers say direct delivery to their home is the top purchase driver to buy online (Statista, 2020).
  • The click-through rate (CTR) is 180.6% higher for retargeted users on the display network (Signifi Media, 2020).
  • Websites that support PayPal payments can reap a checkout conversion of up to 70% compared to those that offer non-PayPal transactions (Paypal, 2014).
  • The top contributors to a positive customer experience in ecommerce are fast shipping speed (62%), easy delivery process (54%), and ample information about products (53%) (eMarketer, 2020).
  • Retargeting ads reduce cart abandonment by 6.5% (Truelist, 2020). 
  • 75% of shoppers expect free shipping even on orders under $50 (NRF, 2019).
  • 65% of shoppers say they check free shipping thresholds before adding more items to their online cart (NRF, 2019).
  • 54% of online shoppers are more likely to purchase abandoned items if they were offered at a discounted price later (Jilt, 2020).
  • 35% of Google product searches are converted into transactions within 5 days (Optinmonster, 2019).
Chart context menu
View in full screen
Print chart

Download PNG image
Download JPEG image
Download CSV
Download XLS
View data table

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Extra costs too high (tax, shipping, fees): 50

Extra costs too high (tax, shipping, fees)

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Had to create an account: 28

Had to create an account

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Long or complex process checkout process: 21

Long or complex process checkout process

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Can't see total cost up-front: 18

Can't see total cost up-front

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Delivery was too slow: 18

Delivery was too slow

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Didn't trust site with my credit card info: 17

Didn't trust site with my credit card info

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Website had errors/crashed: 16

Website had errors/crashed

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Return policy was not satisfactory: 10

Return policy was not satisfactory

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Lack of payment options: 6

Lack of payment options

Top Reasons for Shopping Cart Abandonment
Card declined: 4

Card declined


Source: Baymard Institute

Designed by

Most Popular Ecommerce Software

  1. Wix. Leading online website builder combines robust function in one handy application. See how it can help your online business with our Wix review.
  2. X-Cart. Shopping cart abandonment is going to be the last of your worries with this ecommerce solution. Our comprehensive X-Cart review shows why.
  3. BigCommerce. The ecommerce app for the big boys, this solution has it all from shipping to payment gateway services. Let this BigCommerce review walk you through all its capabilities.
  4. Shopify. In the up and up for years now, Shopfiy is your Swiss knife top ecommerce solution. Learn how with this Shopify review.
  5. 3dcart. Stay on top of your online store inventory, order and shipping fulfillment and even tax compliance with this modern ecommerce software. This 3dcart review has all the details covered.

5. Social Media Ecommerce Statistics

Ecommerce is enough to kickstart your business’ online presence, but why stop there when you can further improve it using social media? With over 3.6 billion people on social media, it would be much easier for you to get your brand out there as well as interact with your customers. Fortunately, there are plenty of ecommerce solutions that can integrate with social media platforms to streamline your workflow.

  • Online stores with a good social media presence reap 32% more sales than stores that don’t utilize social media networks (Bigcommerce, 2019).
  • 55% of online shoppers made a purchase through a social media platform (Bigdrop, 2020)
  • 30% of online shoppers are more likely to purchase products using a social media network like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, or Twitter (Bigcommerce, 2021).
  • Social media recommendations influence 23% of consumers (Blazon, 2020).
  • 4 million businesses use Instagram Stories ads monthly (Instagram).
  • Facebook has 2.2 billion monthly active users—a huge audience to leverage for your brand (Bigcommerce, 2021).
  • 70% of consumers search products they need to buy on Facebook and Instagram (Blazon, 2020).
  • 91% of consumers between 18-34 years old trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends and family (BrightLocal, 2020).
  • 93% of consumers say that online reviews influenced their purchase decisions (BrightLocal, 2020)
  • Posts with images produce 180% more engagement (Venngage, 2019).
  • Posts that contain 40 or fewer characters earn 86% more engagement than posts with longer characters (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2020).
  • Twitter ads have a click-through rate of 1%-3% (Wordstream, 2020)

6. Ecommerce Challenges Statistics

While ecommerce has undoubtedly become one of the most popular ways to sell products and services, it is still what we consider to be a growing industry. It still has quite a few kinks to work out before it can reach its full potential. For instance, many consumers are still hesitant about shopping online due to security reasons or because they can’t see the product they are purchasing in person. On the other hand, businesses have yet to perfect how they use their ecommerce software or website.

Here, we have compiled a few of the challenges in the industry that you might encounter as you pursue your ecommerce efforts. There are ways to overcome ecommerce challenges, especially when it comes to implementation.

Challenges in the eCommerce market

  • 57.5% of consumers 35 years old and above prefer to shop at physical locations, while 45% of consumers 18–34 years old still prefer to shop at physical locations (Forbes, 2020)
  • The ability to touch a product before purchasing it is the top reason why U.S. consumers still shop at brick-and-mortar stores (Big Commerce, 2021)
  • At least 30% of items purchased through online stores are returned (Invesp, 2018).
  • Only 2.58% of visits to ecommerce sites are converted into purchases (Statista, 2019).
  • 69.57% of all shopping carts are abandoned (Statista, 2020).
  • 48% of online shoppers go straight to a large ecommerce marketplace (Oberlo, 2021).
  • An easy and reasonable return policy is important as 50% of online shoppers equated it to a positive experience with an online store (eMarketer, 2020).

Challenges to eCommerce implementation

  • 95.97% of ecommerce sites have pages with only one internal link and 75.89% with broken internal links, which makes it difficult for search engines to scan (Ecommerce Platform, 2020).
  • 72.09% of ecommerce sites still link to the old version of their site and pages with mixed content, so search engines tag their sites as insecure (Semrush, 2018).
  • 80.23% of ecommerce businesses fail to equip their site with HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) support (Semrush, 2018).
  • A majority of ecommerce sites find it difficult to perform international SEO. In fact, 53.08% were found to have missing HREFLANG, and LANG attributes, while 25.25% have HRLANG that conflicts within the page source code (Semrush, 2018).
  • Only 64% of American small businesses have a website (Small Businesss Trends, 2019).
  • Only 45% of abandoned cart follow-up emails are being opened (Oberlo, 2021).
  • 50% of online shoppers abandon their carts due to high extra costs such as shipping, taxes, fees (Baymard Institute, 2020).
  • 92% of consumers will purchase something again if the returns process is easy (Invesp, 2018).

Source: 2Checkout

What do these ecommerce facts mean for your business?

The statistics speak for themselves: ecommerce is reshaping what it means to have a business in the 21st century. This business model has the capability to position your business for local and international growth. It also allows you to improve the shopping experience for consumers as it provides them with the option to purchase whatever they want, whenever they want with just a few clicks of a button.

Another takeaway from the data that we’ve compiled is that while ecommerce is growing in popularity, it is not meant to replace brick-and-mortar shops. After all, these two selling approaches provide different experiences for shoppers. Instead, businesses should see this as a stepping stone on their journey towards expanding their company and improving the competitiveness of their brand.

But, of course, for you to be able to reap the full benefits of ecommerce, it is best to study the lay of the land and know what kinds of challenges you might encounter as you enter the industry. Moreover, you should have a clear understanding of how you can use ecommerce platforms to optimize your operations. You can take a look at our guide to ecommerce software features for more information on how these programs work.



  1. Adobe (2019). 38% of people will leave a website if they find the layout unattractive. Adobe
  2. Alaimo, D. (2018, May 23). 72% of consumers prefer videos to text marketing. RetailDive
  3. Alexika (2020, August 17). 40% Will Not Buy In Other Languages — Why Translation Matters. Alexika
  4. Alubaidi, N. (2019, June 23). The State of Lead Generation in 2019 [Trends + Expert Tips]. Venngage
  5. Amazon (2021, February). Annual net revenue of Amazon from 2004 to 2020. Amazon
  6. Baymard Institute (2020, December 20). 44 Cart Abandonment Rate Statistics. Baymard Institute
  7. Berthiaume, D. (2020, July 2). Survey: Online shoppers want returns reassurance. CSA
  8. Blazon (2020, May 6). 32 Stunning Social Commerce Statistics for 2020. Blazon
  9. Butlion, J. (2019, January 11). 5 Ecommerce Social Media Stats That Online Storeowners Can’t Ignore. BigCommerce
  10. Boyle, P. (2021, March 2). The Secret to the Future Growth of Your Ecommerce Channel: Social Commerce. BigCommerce
  11. Carufel, R. (2017, August 25). Consumers say visuals are most important factor in online shopping. Agility PR Solutions
  12. Chaffey, D. (2020, February 11). Video marketing statistics to know for 2020. Smart Insights
  13. Chow, J. (2021, March 9). Online Shopping, eCommerce, and Internet Statistics (2021) You Should Know. WHSR
  14. Coppola, D. (2020, November 26). Online shopping cart abandonment rate worldwide from 2006 to 2019. Baymard Institute
  15. Diorio, J. (2018, March). A few tips to speed up your mobile site and tools to test it. Think with Google
  16. eMarketer (2019, June). E-commerce share of total global retail sales from 2015 to 2023. eMarketer
  17. eMarketer (2017, July). Number of digital buyers worldwide from 2014 to 2021. eMarketer
  18. eMarketer (2019, May). Time spent on mobile devices every day in the United States from 2014 to 2021. eMarketer
  19. eMarketer (2017, September). United States: number of digital shoppers 2016-2021. eMarketer
  20. eMarketer (2017, September).  U.S. mobile retail commerce sales share 2017-2021. eMarketer
  21. eMarketer Editors (2020, February 26). How Digital Are Millennials in Their Shopping? eMarketer
  22. Galov, N. (2021, January 26). 33+ Incredible Online Shopping Statistics in 2020. Spendmenot
  23. Grand View Research (2020, May). E-commerce Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Model Type (B2B, B2C), By Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, Middle East & Africa), And Segment Forecasts, 2020 – 2027. Grand View Research
  24. Heinig, I. (2019, April 10). When and Where People Use Shopping Apps. Visual Objects
  25. Hott, A. (2019, December 19). 40+ eCommerce Stats You Need to Know for a Successful Online Store. Optinmonster
  26. Hurwitz, A. (2020, March 2). Social Media Shopping in 2020. Bigdrop
  27. Influencer MarketingHub (2021, February 25). What is the Best Length for Social Media Posts? (Free Character Counter). Influencer MarketingHub
  28. Instagram. INSTAGRAM STORIES. Instagram
  29. Katrina, M. (2019, March 29). The importance of being visually appealing in e-commerce. Magebit
  30. Kats, R. (2020, January 10). Amazon Continues to Entice Consumers with Free Shipping, Even for Simple Toiletries. eMarketer
  31. Kim, L. (2020, May 1). Do Twitter Ads Work? Comparing Ad Performance on the World’s Largest Social Networks. WordStream
  33. Marhamat, B. (2020, July 16). Why Experiences Could Be The Future Of Brick-And-Mortar Retail. Forbes
  34. Marist College (2018, May). Nature of the Sample: NPR/Marist Poll of 1,057 National Adults. The Marist Poll
  35. Melton, J. (2019, March 26). Millennials now do 60% of their shopping online. Digital Commerce 360
  36. Monetate (2019, November). Conversion rate of online shoppers worldwide as of 2nd quarter 2019. Monetate
  37. Murphy, R. (2020, December 9). Local Consumer Review Survey 2020. BrightLocal
  38. Nikolovska, H. (2021, January 8). 27 Retargeting Statistics Every Marketer Must Know. Truelist
  39. NRF (2019, January 15). NRF study says more online shoppers want free shipping. NRF
  40. Oberlo (2020, November). WHY DO PEOPLE SHOP ONLINE?. Oberlo
  41. Orendorff, A. (2019, February 14). Global Ecommerce Statistics and Trends to Launch Your Business Beyond Borders. Shopify
  42. Ouellette, C. (2021, January 6). Online Shopping Statistics You Need to Know in 2021. Optinmonster
  43. Panko, R. (2019, September 19). How Consumer Hunger for Two-Day Delivery Impacts Small Businesses. Clutch
  44. Paypal (2014). Six best practices to improve your online checkout. PayPal
  45. Porter, D. (2020, January 2). 80 Most Common Ecommerce Website Mistakes in 2020 Explained. Ecommerce Platforms
  46. Redbord, M. (2021, January 21). The Hard Truth About Acquisition Costs (and How Your Customers Can Save You). Hubspot
  47. Rice, B. (2020, April 28). When to include discounts in recovery emails. Jilt
  48. Saleh, K. (2018, April 11). E-commerce Product Return Rate – Statistics and Trends [Infographic]. Invesp
  49. Signifi Mediia (2020, July 13). 10 Remarketing Statistics You Need to be Aware of in 2020. Signifi Media
  50. Small Business Radio Show (2019, May 6). The Hidden Mystery Behind Why 36% of Small Businesses STILL Don’t Have a Website. Small Business Trends
  51. Smith, J. (2021, January 10). Mobile eCommerce Stats in 2021 and the Future Online Shopping Trends of Commerce. OuterBox
  52. StatCounter (2020, November). Percentage of mobile device website traffic worldwide from 1st quarter 2015 to 3rd quarter 2020. StatCounter
  53. Statista (2019, August). B2B e-commerce GMV worldwide 2013-2019. Statista
  54. Statista (2020, November). Which of these do you consider good reasons to buy an item online? Statista
  55. Terenteva, E. (2018, December 10). The 80 Most Common E-Commerce Website Mistakes. Semrush
  56. Vu, L. (2021, February 23). Insights from Trending mCommerce Statistics. SimiCart
  57. Wallace, T. (2021, March 15). Omni-Channel Retail Report: Generational Consumer Shopping Behavior Comes Into Focus + Its Importance in Ecommerce. BigCommerce
  58. Williams, R. (2019, October 18). Smartphones are most popular devices for online shopping, survey says. Marketing Dive
Allan Jay

By Allan Jay

Allan Jay is FinancesOnline’s resident B2B expert with over a decade of experience in the SaaS space. He has worked with vendors primarily as a consultant in the UX analysis and design stages, lending to his reviews a strong user-centric angle. A management professional by training, he adds the business perspective to software development. He likes validating a product against workflows and business goals, two metrics, he believes, by which software is ultimately measured.

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.


Why is FinancesOnline free? Why is FinancesOnline free?

FinancesOnline is available for free for all business professionals interested in an efficient way to find top-notch SaaS solutions. We are able to keep our service free of charge thanks to cooperation with some of the vendors, who are willing to pay us for traffic and sales opportunities provided by our website. Please note, that FinancesOnline lists all vendors, we’re not limited only to the ones that pay us, and all software providers have an equal opportunity to get featured in our rankings and comparisons, win awards, gather user reviews, all in our effort to give you reliable advice that will enable you to make well-informed purchase decisions.