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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).
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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.

 

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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.

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