Ecommerce statistics: we all love them. Whether it's to motivate our urge to start a new business, marvel at the rapid growth of the ecommerce industry, or to find little tidbits of information that may help our own stores, these ecommerce statistics often clarify/verify our decisions and lead us to new conclusions.
The only problem is that most statistics you find online are either outdated or extremely inaccurate. Some of this is because statistics articles rarely get updated, or you might just encounter some blog posts trying to sensationalize information, or “cherry pick” to get their points across.
That's the reason we've compiled this list of ecommerce statistics.
Not only are these statistics accurate—based on credible research and data—but they're up to date, relating to the most recent versions of the ecommerce world we know and love. This way, you have information that's actually useful to make decisions for your own business.
With that said, keep reading to check out our favorite ecommerce statistics, the ones that are bound to assist your business decisions and motivate you to improve.
- This year (2022) the eCommerce industry is predicted to be worth $5.55 trillion with 24.5% of total purchases expected to be made online.
- E-Commerce sales were $870 billion in the US in 2021, a 14.2% increase over 2020 and a 50.5% increase over 2019.
- In 2022 E-commerce will share 21% of all retail markets.
- 87% of shoppers research online before making a purchase.
- For 2020 e-commerce sales globally reached $4.2 trillion.
- There are 2.14 billion online shoppers worldwide. (2021)
- Statistics suggest that By 2040, 95% of all purchases will be via eCommerce stores. (Nasdaq).
- There are an estimated 12 million – 24 million eCommerce sites across the entire globe, with more and more being created every single day.
- 93.5% of global internet users have purchased products online. (OptinMonster)
- The average cart abandonment rate across all industries is 69.82%. (Baymard Institute)
- More than 60% of customers say that they prefer digital self-serve tools, such as websites, apps, or chatbots to answer their simple inquiries. (Kinsta)
- When it comes to making a purchase, 64% of customers find customer experience more important than price. (Gartner)
- Only 2.17 Percent of E-Commerce Visits Convert Into Purchases (only 2 out of every 100 people (globally) make a purchase) (STATISTA)
- Online retail sales will reach $6.17 trillion by 2023, with ecommerce websites taking up 22.3% of total retail sales. (Shopify)
Almost 25% of all purchases are now made online
In 2022, forecasts show that the ecommerce industry will be valued at $5.5 trillion. To reach that number, it means that 24.5% of all purchases are expected to be online.
In other words, ecommerce shopping continues to grow on a regular basis. Some years it slows down; other years it increases. But there hasn't been a year where we haven't seen growth when compared to brick-and-mortar (in-person) shopping.
This means that businesses without an online presence should consider building a shop to keep up with the trends. It's also not a bad idea, for entrepreneurs, to incorporate online shopping into the initial business plan—or make an online store the primary sales channel.
Ecommerce sales have reached $870 million for the year
In 2021, ecommerce sales flew to $870 million, and that's only in the United States. That's a boost of 14.2% over 2020, and an increase of 50.5% over 2019.
Sales are a little different from the overall value of the industry, but both of those numbers are increasing on a regular basis, and quite rapidly. What's also interesting is that the growth doesn't seem to be slowing down.
There's still room for new businesses to get a piece of the pie. It's possible that online sales won't decline for a very long time. Sure, some ecommerce niches are saturated, but the entire market is still expanding as time passes. So, finding a niche with potential is key.
Ecommerce will take a share of 21% of all retail
It is predicted that, in 2022, ecommerce will take a share of 21% of all retail markets in the world. We're talking about the different categorical markets, like technology, fashion, and childcare. That 21% share covers every top retail market in existence.
There's not a single industry that isn't affected by online shopping. It doesn't matter if you're in healthcare, motor vehicle parts, or food and beverage, some of your customers (at least 21% of your market) want to shop online.
The vast majority of shoppers complete research before buying online
In fact, 87% of shoppers go through some sort of research before making an online purchase. This type of research may include price comparisons, reading blog posts, checking reviews, and asking people in forums about their experiences with products.
Making an online store isn't always enough to sell products. It's wise to create additional content like user guides, blog posts, comparison pieces, and tutorials. It's also important to activate customer reviews on your website, since consumers like seeing what other people have to say. Finally, do your best to get your products featured by other publications, on forums, and even by social media influencers.
Worldwide, online sales reached $4.2 trillion
It's common to see ecommerce stats focused around the US market but, in 2020, global ecommerce sales went up to $4.2 trillion, showing that every country around the world is getting in on the ecommerce craze.
It doesn't necessarily matter where you live, ecommerce stores are popping up everywhere. You also want to consider expanding your sales to other countries, considering the US, or your locale, isn't the only place where people like to shop online. International business is thriving and can boost your sales quite a bit.
2.14 billion people around the globe shop online
On a worldwide scale, there are 2.14 billion online shoppers, as of 2021. And the number keeps increasing. We're seeing online shoppers from all countries, demographics, and lifestyles choosing to spend at least some of their time online shopping.
As of this article, there are about 7.7 billion people in the world. So, 2.14 billion online shoppers is a substantial chunk of that number. This means there are more customers to be had, and that the current figures allow your business to reach out to a wide range of potential customers, especially on an international scale.
In the near future, most purchases will be made online
Statistics suggest that by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be made through ecommerce stores. (Nasdaq).
That aligns with the trends of more people shopping online every year, and the shrinking brick-and-mortar retail business.
We probably won't see a complete demise of brick-and-mortar shopping, but the progress shows that companies may have to shift their view of physical stores. For instance, some brands are using their physical stores as “show rooms,” where customers can come in to look at products/try things on. After that, customers make a purchase online. This results in smaller physical stores, lower rent, and less inventory on hand.
More online stores get created every day, and there could be up to 24 million currently active online stores
Studies estimate that anywhere from 12 to 24 million ecommerce sites are active in the world. These range from small startups to the behemoths like Amazon and Walmart.
It's easy, and inexpensive to make an online store. You used to have to spend an extraordinary amount of money to test a business idea, open a physical store, and either decide to keep it running or shut it down. With online store builders, it's far easier, and cheaper to launch a store, and to pull the plug and try another idea if it doesn't work out.
Close to every person who has used the internet has made a purchase online
Worldwide, 93.5% of internet users have, at some point, purchased something online. (OptinMonster) This obviously doesn't include people who have never used the internet (or they aren't regular internet users), but it gives us a wonderful idea of how consistent internet users are on-board with ecommerce shopping.
Those who use the internet are already very aware of online shopping. We should continue seeing that percentage get even closer to the 100% mark as years pass. This shows that the learning curve is getting less steep to shop online, especially for demographics who may have avoided it because of complexities, like seniors.
Cart abandonment rates are astoundingly high, reaching close to 70%
Across all industries, cart abandonment rates average at 69.82%. (Baymard Institute)
In short, about 70% of online shoppers leave products in their carts without coming back to complete the purchase.
This leaves us with a few conclusions:
- Stores can gain a competitive advantage by addressing their abandoned carts
- It's essential to figure out why customers leave products in their carts
- You should install testing tools on your site to figure out if you need to fix things like site speed, clunky interfaces, how taxes are listed, or even the products you sell
The majority of online shoppers prefer digital and self-serve tools for customer support
Customer support has changed drastically over the years, with over 60% of customers saying they'd rather use self-serve, digital tools for customer service, like if asking questions about products. These digital and self-serve tools include chatbots, forums, websites, knowledgebase articles, apps, and websites. (Kinsta)
Although there are definitely some people who hate the idea of talking to a chatbot, it's clear that there's value in automated customer support tools, especially when consumers want fast questions instead of sitting on the phone trying to get ahold of a real person for 20 minutes. Think about adding chatbots and other digital resources to appease these customers. For those who would rather have more personal interactions, you can still provide options for that.
Most online shoppers say that customer experience is more important than price
Studies show that 64% of customers see a stronger shopping experience as more important to them than price. (Gartner)
That doesn't necessarily mean that people don't care about price. 36% still care about price more, and that 64% still probably looks at price just as intently as they always did. This simply tells us that a wonderful price will not make someone buy if the user experience is terrible. So, never cut costs on the shopping experiences. There's only so much of a price decrease you can offer before customers begin disliking your user interface, customer service, and online resources.
Very few visits to online stores actually convert into purchases
Only 2.17 percent (2 out of every 100 people—globally) of visits to ecommerce stores turn into conversions. (STATISTA)
That may sound like a rather low number, but online selling has always been a tough game of convincing customers to complete the entire process of buying. This makes it clear that there's room to stand out against your competition by improving your shopping experience. It should be an ongoing process of figuring out how to boost that rate, since the majority of your site visitors will leave the site without shopping. How can you make it so that more and more visitors shop around and make a purchase?
By 2023, online sales will reach $6.17 trillion
2023 looks to follow along with the trends we've seen over the years with ecommerce. Analysis of statistics shows that sales will reach $6.17 trillion by that year, with ecommerce taking up to 22.3% of all retail sales. (Shopify)
Physical retail is becoming less prevalent. If selling in the retail space, consider moving part of your inventory to an online store. Look for multiple channels as well, considering most online stores can expand their sales by looking to marketplaces, social media sites, and resellers.
Ecommerce Statistics Infographic
We have created this info graphic in order to summarize all the stats in one place.
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With these stats, we can come up with all sorts of conclusions. Is the ecommerce market alive and well? Yes. Is it growing at a rapid pace? Absolutely. Can we expect new businesses to pop up on a regular basis? You bet.
Our main conclusion is that the world of ecommerce has a bright future. Not only that, but we'll potentially see a point where almost all retail purchases are made online, with some sort of restructuring of how physical retail shops get used (for show rooms or other complementary purposes).
We encourage you to bookmark this page to check in on the state of ecommerce from time to time. To ensure they're relevant, we regularly update this list of the most important statistics. We also suggest using the stats as guides to decision-making for your own store. Do you see a stat that customers generally prefer chatbots over email or phone support? Well, that could mean that it's time to at least think about adding a chatbot to your online store. It's statistics like these that make it easier to construct your customer experience. Without them, we're all just making ill-informed business decisions.
Let us know in the comments if you have any questions about these ecommerce statistics. Also, share your thoughts on any other statistics you find interesting—the ones that have helped you in your ecommerce journey—and could influence decisions for other professionals.