This article is part of a larger series on Retail Management.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic rocked the world, the retail landscape has changed permanently. Trends accelerated by quarantine and economic uncertainty are here to stay—including ecommerce as a growing percentage of retail sales. Let’s take a look at about two dozen ecommerce statistics that can help you prepare and capitalize on the growing online shopping landscape.
Ecommerce Statistics: Industry
1. Global ecommerce sales are set to more than double pre-pandemic levels by 2025
In 2019, before COVID-19 and lockdowns forced the rapid expansion of the ecommerce world, ecommerce was valued at $3.4 trillion globally. Insider Intelligence anticipated that ecommerce sales would be up by 12.8% year-over-year, but they increased by 25.7% in 2020—and are poised to hit $7.4 trillion by 2025, over twice the value of the 2019 ecommerce market.
2. Ecommerce is predicted to make up a quarter of all retail sales globally by 2025
With the continued growth of ecommerce, Insider Intelligence forecasts it will make up 24.5% of all retail sales worldwide by 2025, up from 19.6% in 2021. The US market is generally on track to meet that mark as well, with ecommerce sales predicted to hit 23.6% of total retail sales that year, up from 11.0% in 2019.
3. US ecommerce sales are expected to cross a massive threshold in 2022: $1 trillion
In 2022, US ecommerce sales are set to surpass $1 trillion in sales for the first time. Before the pandemic, Insider Intelligence, the source responsible for this figure, did not forecast ecommerce reaching the trillion-dollar milestone until 2024.
4. In the US, ecommerce sales are expected to grow by 14.1% across retail sectors in 2022
Ecommerce growth estimates for 2022 range from 8% to 30% across a variety of retail sectors. Auto and parts took the lead with a 30% increase, followed by food and beverage at 21%, and apparel and accessories at just over 15%.
5. There are currently 9.1 million online retailers in the world, 2.5 million of them in the US
The ecommerce industry is growing rapidly and new stores are popping up every day. According to etailinsights, as of 2022, there are over 9.1 million online retailers globally and 2.5 million in the US alone.
6. 69% of books, music, and videos are purchased online
Of everything you can purchase online, entertainment (books, music, and movies) is the category with the largest majority of online versus in-store revenue. Nearly 70% of entertainment purchases are made online, with the next highest category being electronics and computers at 53%.
The purchasing of entertainment online is a trend that is being driven by Gen Z. You can learn more about this powerful new purchasing class with our article on retail statistics.
7. 78% of retailers increased their ecommerce budget in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic proved that retailers need an effective online presence to meet their sales goals. As a result, a survey from Inmar found that 78% of retail businesses had planned to increase their ecommerce budget in 2021. Specifically, ecommerce sellers are investing in improving fulfillment capabilities (51%), boosting the online user experience (48%), and diversifying the supply chain (38%).
Increase your bottom line and drive your business with these ecommerce marketing strategies.
Ecommerce Statistics: Mobile
8. Mobile sales are anticipated to account for 10.4% of retail transactions by 2025
A report for eMarketer projects that by 2025 transactions made on mobile devices (mobile sales or mcommerce) will account for more than 10% of all retail sales. This nearly doubles the 2021 number of 5.9%.
If you are ready to get your website into shape so that you can capitalize on mobile sales, check out our article on the best ecommerce platforms.
9. Mcommerce is anticipated to account for over 44% of ecommerce sales by 2025
Retail mcommerce sales increased over 15% in 2021, hitting $359.3 billion. According to Inside Intelligence, by 2025, mcommerce sales should reach $728.28 billion, more than doubling, and account for 44.2% of US retail ecommerce sales.
Ecommerce Statistics: Conversion Rate
10. The average conversion rate among ecommerce businesses is 1.78%
Shopping micro-moments and more time online has certainly increased traffic for online retailers. However, very little of this traffic actually becomes buying customers, with ecommerce conversion rates at only 1.78% across industries.
Currently, products related to arts and crafts have the highest ecommerce conversion rates of 4.91%. This category is followed by health and well-being at 3.46% and kitchen and home appliances at 2.9%.
After these three categories, the next five converting product types are as follows:
- Fashion clothing and accessories: 1.58%
- Pet supplies: 1.46%
- Electrical and commercial equipment: 1.39%
- Food and drink: 1.32%
- Cars and other motor vehicles: 1.30%
11. By incorporating augmented reality (AR) into your online site, you can increase conversions rates up to 10 times
Based on a case study from CameraIQ, adding virtual try-on and product views to your site can boost conversion rates up to 10 times by emulating the in-store experience and giving consumers better peace of mind about their purchase.
Ecommerce Statistics: Consumer Trends
12. 74% of US consumers say they will shop online instead of in stores, even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over
Even though stores are opening back up and people are eager to resume their lives, one thing that most Americans don’t want to change after the pandemic is their shopping habits. In fact, in a new report from ShipStation, nearly three-quarters of Americans say their preference is to continue to shop online even after the pandemic ends. Some habits just aren’t going to break as we enter into the “new normal.”
13. 65% of consumers now prefer to buy goods and services from their own country when they shop online
According to Kantar’s COVID Barometer survey, globally, there has been a surge in localism, or the desire to buy from your local community or home county. Nearly two-thirds of survey respondents now prefer to buy local goods.
14. Millennials aged 25 to 34 years accounted for 20.2% of digital buyers in the United States in 2020
As of February 2021, millennials between the ages of 24 and 35 were the largest group of digital buyers in the US, accounting for over 20% of ecommerce sales. The second-largest online buyer audience was 35- to 44-year-olds, accounting for 17.2% of US digital buyers.
15. 53% of US consumers have purchased clothing online in the last 12 months
Of all the retail categories, clothing is the most commonly purchased via ecommerce. In a survey from Statista looking at ecommerce in the US, 53% of consumers had bought a piece of clothing in the last 12 months. Shoes followed at 42% and then consumer electronics with 30%.
16. 63% of online shoppers in the US research online when planning a major purchase
While impulse shopping is certainly a part of the ecommerce industry, 63% of shoppers say that they do research online when making major purchases. Online shopping is important for larger purchases because people can price compare and see lots of options without committing.
For example, Statista that consumer electronics and household appliances were highly searched shopping terms. However, people still tend to make their final purchases in-store for these products.
17. Seven in 10 consumers shop in “micro-moments”
With the rise of technology and the aftermath of COVID-19, consumers are spending 10% to 30% more time online. This has led to 70% of shoppers saying they do their shopping in micro-moments, or unplanned, short online shopping excursions most often done on mobile devices and apps. Of these, 35% are having shopping micro-moments weekly.
Ecommerce Statistics: Social Commerce
18. 77% of consumers are more willing to buy from a brand with a social media presence
Social media is a growing part of the ecommerce landscape, with many brands using social media presences to garner customer trust and loyalty. Over 75% of consumers are more willing to buy from a brand with a social media presence, and 78% will choose a brand over a competitor after a positive experience on one of their social channels.
19. Social commerce sales will hit $45.74 billion in 2022
Social commerce sales, or ecommerce transactions done through social media, is a growing category in the ecommerce industry. In fact, eMarketer anticipates that social commerce sales will hit $45.74 billion by the end of 2022, up 24.9% from the previous year.
20. 89% of retailers agree that retailers that don’t use social media will be left behind
Transactions on social channels are becoming a larger and larger share of all ecommerce revenue, and retailers can’t ignore this trend. A survey from Sprout Social found that 89% of business owners think that retailers that fail to capitalize on and incorporate social media will be left behind in the new consumer landscape. And, consumers are on the same page, with 62% agreeing that without social media as part of your brand, you won’t be able to stay relevant.
21. 86% of small businesses plan to increase their social media budget by at least 50%
Small businesses are at the forefront of social commerce and want to use their social platforms to foster connections and drive sales. In fact, 86% of small businesses plan to increase their social budget in 2022, with 53% anticipating an increase between 50% and 100%, and 33% anticipating an increase of more than 100%.
22. Gen Z learns about new brands or products through social media 78% of the time
Gen Z, the youngest generation that is gaining more and more buying power, is the biggest user group of social media for shopping. In fact, where across all age groups, social media is the source of product and brand discovery 55% of the time, for Gen Z, social media accounts for 78% of their discoveries.
Getting your brand or product on social media channels will make it easier for people to find you and will increase your ability to market to Gen Z.
23. 54% of US consumers say they have discovered a new small ecommerce retailer via social media in the last year
While the internet is steeped in competition, it is also rich with possibilities for expanding your customer base. In a 2021 survey, 54% of consumers said that they had discovered new, small ecommerce brands via social media in the last year. This, paired with concerted efforts by the majority of consumers to shop and support small businesses, indicates the ecommerce horizon is bright for small retailers around the country.
The world changed when COVID and the lockdowns began, and retail is no exception. With more and more people choosing to shop online, it is important to understand the ecommerce landscape—growth projections, buying patterns, consumer behaviors, and the role of social media in retail ecommerce. With all this information under your belt, you are ready to drive those online sales strategically and effectively.