As with all other aspects of the digital world, e-commerce is constantly undergoing change. Few things stay constant for very long, and they can turn on a dime so fast your head will be spinning. You can go to bed comfortably with where you are and wake up struggling to keep up with new trends. To be successful tomorrow or next week, let alone six months or three years down the road, you need to stay on top of e-commerce trends. One of the best ways to do that is to find essential e-commerce statistics.
You can’t win tomorrow by simply doing what works today. Or trying to catch up to today. To win the e-commerce market, you need to see what is coming next and where the opportunities for growth and improvement are. These 30 e-commerce statistics will help you plan for the future and become, or remain, an e-commerce leader.
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That’s a fun number, isn’t it? While many are currently expecting a short-term slowdown in e-commerce growth after the rapid pandemic-aided growth, it’s still expected to keep going up over the long term.
We expected people to turn to e-commerce more and more as more consumers find how convenient purchasing from an e-commerce website is. It’ll only help once supply chain issues untangle themselves and e-commerce continues to grow and develop, becoming easier for new industries to grow online such as grocery deliveries.
As more e-commerce website ideas bloom and take root, more transactions will happen online and, before we know it, dwarf in-person transactions. E-commerce isn’t just a luxury; it’ll be the norm.
When discussing the global economy, $6.1 trillion doesn’t seem significant. Describing it as over 22% of overall retail sales is slightly different.
One out of every five sales going through e-commerce doesn’t even show what is most impressive. In 2019 e-commerce only generated $3.4 trillion, or 13.8% of total sales. That’s 82% growth from 2019 to 2023, only four short years. While there is no debate that the pandemic aided and sped up development at that time, many customers became acclimated to the convenience of e-commerce, and especially as new e-commerce business ideas take hold, many consumers will use it more.
$1.06 trillion is a good chunk of the $5 trillion in e-commerce sales expected worldwide in 2022. However, it’s a smaller percentage of total retail sales, 15.9%, than the world economy is projecting for 2023, 22%. There is still solid growth as the U.S. saw $919 billion in e-commerce sales in 2021 or 14.2% of total retail sales.
All right, you got about six stats in one right there, so let’s give it some actual meaning. Yes, the market share of e-commerce is lower in the U.S. than worldwide, which makes sense. E-commerce was already massive in markets like China before the pandemic, so it will take some time to catch up even with that bump. Nearly half of all sales, 46.3%, are e-commerce in China. So, while the U.S. doesn’t have the same market share, it also shows more room to grow.
It’s not just retail e-commerce that’s booming. Like customers, businesses are learning about the advantages of e-commerce and turning to it more. Reaching $1.77 trillion in 2022 is a 12% increase from 2021, which saw a 17% increase from 2020. The growth is slowing, but the demand for online solutions continues to grow and is expected to reach $2.44 trillion by 2025.
As the world becomes more digital, companies have to adapt too. The more virtual our business operations are, the more critical e-commerce has become to businesses. Companies have also started seeing e-commerce website statistics that show B2B e-commerce can boost sales engagement, reduce marketing expenses, and help manage supplies and customers.
This is an e-commerce statistic I didn’t see coming either. The products purchased the most through e-commerce, by percentage, are actually books, videos, and music.
It makes sense that these purchases were high due to the need for entertainment during the pandemic but remain high due to convenience. Consumers got used to clicking to order something online and having it brought to them conveniently. Or at least they go pick it up. Many customers love to cut shipping costs by picking up orders at a store location. Companies such as Barnes and Noble are thriving off it.
If you want an additional e-commerce statistic, 43% of Americans online shop while in bed. They love the serotonin boost from eagerly anticipating a new package containing a new book or movie from a place of comfort, and what’s more comfortable than your bed?
Somehow, this is a less surprising e-commerce statistic than the last one. Maybe it just feels right that consumers buy computers and electronics through those same devices. After all, if you know computers and what you are looking for, buying them online makes sense.
It seems general consumers are becoming more tech-savvy as electronic devices become more intertwined in our lives. Not many people even knew what upload speeds were in 2019, but not knowing them is necessary to know if the internet connection is strong enough for you to have your zoom meeting go uninterrupted, by your connection anyway. Children and pets are a different story.
Social media platforms are becoming hotspots for shopping and looking for inspiration. They can see what influencers are wearing and recommend finding gifts for their friends and family.
Social media has grown as a place for products recently. Not only are people turning to influencers for inspiration and recommendations, but they can also engage in dedicated shopping channels. An important thing to notice with the e-commerce statistic is the growing number of social media platforms that encourage e-commerce on their website. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and an emerging channel on TikTok all show that consumers are thinking about and even looking for products on social media.
This e-commerce website statistic emphasizes the importance of visibility. Many consumers these days expect an omnichannel approach from companies, meaning they can seamlessly interact with a company between multiple platforms, such as social media, apps, and websites while getting the same messaging. Customers like to double-check the information on various platforms and better understand how a company presents itself.
Even the best e-commerce business idea requires a social media presence. Customers check social media to make sure a company is legitimate and is who they say they are. If your business is entirely online, they can’t go to your location and see for themselves. Having a presence on social media helps customers feel more comfortable with your brand by showing who you are, what you care about, and that you are active. A social media presence gives them the confidence to make a purchase.
The previous e-commerce website statistic leads to this one. Consumers turn to social media to see how products they like are viewed by people who bought them, how they are used, and if the product is like how they are shown on the website.
We’ve all experienced it; it’s challenging to show what a product is truly like on a website. A plant pot might look bigger, or a shirt might look greener when it’s actually bluer. Potential customers turn to Instagram to see what the product looks like in real life, not just in advertisements. They can also see what customers think of it and even see them in use in a video. Having a presence on Instagram allows you to be a part of this conversation.
Not only are customers looking for a presence on social media or for product ideas, but they are also excited to make purchases there. If someone sees a product, they are excited about and finds enough reviews and examples to convince them it’s worth purchasing, they will want to click on that shopping link and buy it.
This e-commerce website statistic shows that having a presence on social media and making full use of the tools available to you helps make it easier for the customer. They get excited about your product on Instagram and want to make a purchase in their excitement. If they have to find a way to buy your product elsewhere, they could lose motivation. It’s always best to make things easy for the customer.
E-commerce on mobile devices, also known as m-commerce, grows faster every year. As smartphones get more advanced and customers demand more convenience, m-commerce will become more prevalent.
Not long ago, consumers didn’t trust mobile devices for purchases. They didn’t think the devices were as secure with their payment information as desktops or laptops were. More companies have started using apps for purchasing, increasing customer trust, and convenience. Now, when customers see something, they like while scrolling through Facebook, they just go to the website on their phone or the company’s app. It’s easier than getting out your laptop, and so many companies are optimized for mobile, so it’s just as easy to learn about a product and purchase it on your phone. That ease of use helps move along consumers who are currently excited about your product and feeling motivated.
Customers love apps. If you develop an app and they love your brand, the chances are good that they open and use your app pretty often. Customers feel more comfortable converting into an app because they are there with a purpose, trust your brand, and come looking to take action.
This e-commerce website statistic probably has a lot to do with ease of use. Apps are generally easier to use and load faster than web pages on mobile devices. If a company develops an app, they probably invest more in making it work well than in making the mobile version of a website work well. They may intentionally avoid investing in the mobile version (not something we’d recommend) to push people to use the app.
This e-commerce statistic is probably skewed because people who download an app for a company are probably already more likely to purchase. That said, it still highlights the importance of having an app. Customers who download it will interact with your brand more and probably make more purchases.
If you thought there’s only a handful of people who make purchases through their smartphones, you’d be wrong. As this e-commerce statistic shows, so many consumers are making purchases on their phones, not just a handful of teenagers and twenty-somethings.
Many consumers may not even realize they are participating in m-commerce, (mobile commerce). As we’ve shown, many customers use apps on their phones to make purchases. So many companies are using apps that their loyal customers regularly use now; companies from Amazon to Dominos make searching for products and placing orders straightforward, so customers don’t think about the effort. They pull out their phone, look for the shoes they want in their size, and click to purchase with saved credit card information.
Well, look who it is, our old pal convenience. This might be the most important of all the e-commerce statistics we are discussing.
Customers always go for what is most convenient; it’s human nature. Why go get your laptop out, power it up, possibly have to find an outlet, Google search until you find the product you already saw on your phone, and go through the purchasing process when it’s faster on your phone? Sure, it might be a little easier on your laptop, but on your phone, you already have it pulled up; all you have to do is click buy. It’s so much easier and takes a lot less time. Plus, all you have to do is slip it back into your pocket when you’re done.
When a website isn’t optimized for mobile, this is what customers experience: links that are too small to click on without a cursor. Especially if there are multiple links really close together. Customers aren’t going to go back multiple times if they keep clicking on the wrong link. You want customers to enjoy their time on your website, not be frustrated.
Security issues aren’t as significant of concern on mobile devices as they used to be, but many people are still warming up to that idea. One of the best things you can do to make them feel confident using your website on a mobile device is optimize the user experience. Showing customers that you care about the website and giving them a clean, simple, and intuitive website to work with shows you care about them and their interaction with you. It’ll put their mind at ease, and they’ll be more excited to interact with you more conveniently.
Creating an excellent, mobile-friendly user experience is no small task. It takes a dedicated team to build and maintain. See how we can help.
And this e-commerce website statistic is why mobile optimization matters. More and more customers are making purchases from those small devices. And that growth isn’t stopping or even slowing. As time goes on, the need to be optimized for mobile becomes more significant, and we are now at the tipping point where half of the consumers are happily making purchases on their phones.
More companies realize that they need to make their websites mobile-friendly as more and more customers want the convenience of making a purchase and then slipping their phone back into their pocket. As phones become more advanced, they don’t see the need to go to their laptops or desktops for quick, casual tasks like deciding where to buy a dog ramp. If you don’t remember anything else from this article, remember this: Customers want the easiest path to making purchases, and right now, the most accessible tool they have for that is their smartphone. Optimizing your website for mobile will keep customers happy, engaged, and returning.
The last thing customers want when making a purchase online is for the last step, checking out, to be complicated. Frustration when checking out is a significant cause of abandoned carts. To keep the customer excited about their purchase and maintain the serotonin flowing, paying needs to be as easy as possible.
Providing customers with various payment methods is crucial for making the purchasing process easier for them and making customers happier. As this e-commerce website statistic shows, customers want payment options and flexibility. Sometimes the most convenient payment method is a Discover Card; other times, it’s Apple Pay. Some customers may prefer to pay with Venmo. Customers don’t always want to find their credit card and type in the information whenever they can simply select a digital wallet where their data is already saved. They click a couple of buttons, and it’s done.
Price and product quality aren’t the only essential factors in making an e-commerce purchase. Delivery is crucial, and some customers expect their purchases to arrive sooner.
As this e-commerce website statistic shows, customers want to see options for shipping, even if it means paying more. These customers value getting their product sooner, more than finding a low price. When the price isn’t a barrier, they are happy to pay more for convenience and options. Like payment options, customers want flexibility and control over delivery. The customer might be out of town, so they want their package delivered later when they are home, or they might need it ASAP. Giving customers multiple options for shipping, including tiered payment options, is an excellent e-commerce business idea that makes customers happy.
Great e-commerce has really spoiled consumers. They expect easy purchasing and quick arrival, but they also expect not to have to pay for shipping.
Even if it’s not two-day free shipping, many customers expect there to be a free shipping option that might just take a little longer. Many customers abandon their carts when they see they can’t get free shipping because it’s an unexpected charge to them. Customers are happier proceeding through the checkout process if they have reasonable expectations from the beginning. If they see one price at the start of checking out and additional required fees keep getting tacked on, they’ll get frustrated, and the final price might be more than they want to pay. If the price goes up because of upselling, that’s one thing; if the final price is too much, they can remove those additional features or services. If it’s extra shipping fees when there isn’t a free option, they may abandon their cart. While some customers will pay more to have a package shipped to them quicker, others will wait longer to not have to pay for shipping. Giving customers shipping options makes the purchasing experience easier and more fun.
We know that not everyone can afford to give out free shipping like Amazon or other large retailers can, especially in this era of jammed supply chains and high shipping costs, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t use free shipping as a tool. Customers will either look for anything else they need or wait to make the purchase when they have enough items, they want to get free shipping. If you are upfront with customers that there is a small shipping charge, they are less likely to abandon their cart at the last minute. You can also incentivize additional purchases by having a minimum purchase total to receive free shipping.
You know you’ve done this too. You’re about to make a purchase, but the website won’t let you simply proceed as a guest; it’s making you create an account to make a purchase. You get frustrated because you don’t want to make an account and receive emails; you just want to make a purchase. As this e-commerce website statistic shows, you aren’t alone in this. Many people would rather stop the purchase than create an account.
Having accounts is excellent for companies but interrupting the purchasing process to make an account is a nuisance to customers. They don’t care about creating an account. All they want is confirmation of their order and updates on shipping. There are many other times when a customer will be more open to making an account, but when they are making their first purchase, it isn’t the time when they aren’t sure if they’ll make any others. To get through the checkout process quicker, customers need an option for guest checkout.
No one can stand slow-loading sites anymore. No one. When a website takes longer than three seconds to load, 56% of people jump ship. We all expect websites to load quickly, and if they don’t, people get frustrated, have a terrible time on the website, and likely will never go back. A great customer experience requires quick, seamless page loading times. The same goes when customers are checking out.
When customers run into a slow-loading web page, it looks like the company doesn’t care or invest in its online presence. But it goes deeper than frustration or a bad experience. A slow-loading page in the checkout process can cause the customer to lose trust in the company, and as this e-commerce website statistic shows, many do. If a website is loading slowly when a customer is trying to pay, they could get nervous about making the payment, worrying that the payment won’t go through or go through but won’t get their order. Having web pages that load fast and seamlessly, especially when about to pay, helps alleviate these concerns.
Simplicity is the name of the game. Overly complicated checkout processes are the number four reason customers abandon their carts while checking out. As you’ve probably noticed, many of these e-commerce statistics come back to making things as easy for the customer as possible. When they have a product in their shopping cart and are going to check out, this is when they are at their most excited. Making them go through too many steps to pay kills that buzz.
Simple checkout processes with as few screens and forms as possible will keep their excitement from initially clicking “checkout” to receiving that confirmation email. There are three required steps for checkout, shipping information, billing information, and payment. Neither you nor the customer really needs anything else to complete a purchase. In fact, customers convert 20% more often on single-page checkouts than multiple-page ones. Even if you’d rather have a few screens, limiting them and showing customers where they are and how long the process is will also make the checkout process more accessible and make everyone, including you, happier.
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Many people are still skeptical of online shopping at this point because they are purchasing something they can’t see, feel, sometimes smell, or test. If they are buying clothes, the coloring could be different. It might seem larger than the measurements and photos suggested if it’s a chair. There are nuances to products that are difficult to see online.
Some platforms like Snapchat and IKEA (I know, weird duo) use virtual reality simulations to help customers see what a product would look like in the real world. Snapchat uses a version of its filters to help you see what you would look like with the product on, whether it’s jewelry, sunglasses, shoes, or clothes. IKEA has an app that enables you to see how their furniture would fit and look in your home. Their app, IKEA Place, accesses your phone’s camera and allows you to pick products to see how they look in your home. These innovative e-commerce business ideas help customers purchase more confidently and enjoy shopping. They may even play with these apps and products just for fun.
Yup, you read that right, 250%. Allowing customers to see and have a better feel for products online before buying them gives them more confidence in purchasing the product. It’s also just more fun!
3-D product images are an excellent e-commerce business idea because they make up for one of the critical issues; all you have of the product are two-dimensional photos. While helpful, these photos rarely give customers a complete picture, literally. 3-D product images, like augmented reality, help customers see a more full, functional picture of a product’s depth and dimensions. They can see better understand how a product will fit into a space. It’s also just more fun. Customers will enjoy moving products around and interacting with your website. They’ll be more engaged, spend longer on your website, and even buy other products if they choose to play with their 3-D images just for fun. Any e-commerce statistic that involves a 250% conversion rate increase shouldn’t be ignored.
The place customers see your brand and interact with you the most isn’t actually on your website but through email. Many people think email marketing is dying, but there’s a reason it still brings in a 3600% ROI.
Email marketing lets you send targeted messages to a large portion of your customer base quickly and easily. Crafting personalized, targeted messages will bring more people to your website and show them deals, products, and services that apply to them. Social media shows the same message to everyone. Meanwhile, you can send emails to customers about time-sensitive deals for products you know they are interested in based on their purchase history. Personalized messages, such as birthday discounts, also encourage customers to make a purchase while fostering a stronger personal relationship with your customers. After all, who doesn’t like it when people, or brands they love, remember their birthday?
Customers love personalization! They practically demand it, quite frankly. Personalization isn’t just a luxury; it’s a vital e-commerce business idea to aid your growth.
Personalization builds a strong relationship with your customers. The best part is that it’s fairly easy to personalize your email marketing messages with a few keystrokes. Through most marketing email platforms, you can easily insert customer information into emails, such as names, or send automated messages on their birthday, creating a more personal relationship with them.
To see real revenue growth, don’t stop there. Segmenting customers by data you collect will allow you to send more relevant, targeted messages that are more likely to lead to clicks, website traffic, and sales. Data to segment customers by can include how often they purchase, what they like to buy, and where they are in the customer journey. If you sell kitchen appliances and want to send out a message about a sale on microwaves, targeting customers who haven’t made a purchase in a while or have looked at information about microwaves recently will deliver more effective results than a mass email sent to everyone. Customers who just bought a microwave will probably be annoyed.
Ultimately, most customers don’t care what brand they buy from. Some will continue to purchase from a specific brand out of loyalty, but it’s becoming easier to compare products online. Because it’s so much easier, customers are much more likely to, as this e-commerce statistic shows, buck their habits and find the product that works best for them.
If a customer is in the market for an artistic rendition of their pet, they can quickly look at multiple options from a few Google searches to compare price, shipping options, quality, reviews, and compare the products themselves. They may opt for the slightly more expensive local artist with phenomenal reviews and turnaround time, or they may choose a place that specializes in digital paintings of cats in medieval or renaissance attire. The ease with which they can research helps them find brands and companies they otherwise wouldn’t have and feel confident that they are getting the best product.
Customers these days don’t mess around, they aren’t taking advertisements or any messaging you send them at face value. They want to see an honest assessment of the products they are looking to buy through reviews and recommendations.
Personal recommendations will always be the best marketing, but online reviews are becoming just as instrumental and trusted by customers. 79% of customers now trust online reviews as much as their relatives. This bonus e-commerce statistic shows why so many customers research and read reviews. Reading reviews give customers a realistic expectation for the product and help them decide if it fits their needs or not. They want to ensure they are getting what they need from the product. If they get an electric standing desk, they want to make sure the motor works well.
For many years, a large part of buying a car was seeing, feeling the car, and haggling the price. However, spending a whole day going to multiple dealerships to find the right car is exhausting and time-consuming. As this e-commerce statistic shows, many consumers would rather find a more efficient way to go through that process.
It can feel risky for customers to purchase large items online, but e-commerce has become the norm. Companies have made it incredibly convenient, easy, and transparent, and customers have really opened up to it. Especially when they realize they don’t have to convince their friend with a trick to help them bring their new couch home from the store; it just arrives on their doorstep.
This is probably the least surprising of all these e-commerce statistics. And the percentage is probably higher if you include all the customers that wait to make a purchase until they have enough items, they need to get free shipping.
Customers are mentally ready to spend more on a shipment, such as meeting a $50 minimum, to get rewarded with free shipping. They want to pay for products, not the shipping. Free shipping is one of the biggest perks an e-commerce store can give and finding a way to make a profit while offering it is an excellent e-commerce business idea. Just the thought of receiving it can boost total order values and make each shipment more profitable.
By the time you’ve finished reading this, some new trend has probably emerged in e-commerce. Trends will constantly come and go, but by following statistics that show where customer interests and needs are turning, you can plan long-term, stable growth for your e-commerce company.
To help solidify that long-term stable growth, set up a meeting with us today!