We’re in the midst of a retail revolution. While brick-and-mortar companies are witnessing a slow but steady decline in trade, ecommerce firms are booming.
The reasons for this are many. The primary driving factor, however, is the convenience of being able to order goods from home and have them delivered to your door. No driving to the mall, no parking charges, no hassle.
What’s more, ordering products online is often cheaper than buying the equivalent in store. No wonder we see such a massive shift in the direction of the former.
The following ecommerce statistics will shock you. You’ll learn how the industry is growing, how much people spend, and the sheer number of companies that are now entering the space.
Mind-blowing Ecommerce Stats
- Sales are $3,535 billion in 2019.
- By 2021, more than 2.14 billion people will shop online.
- There are between 12 million and 24 million ecommerce retailers in the world.
- Amazon now controls 50% of the US ecommerce market.
- 74% of consumers say free shipping makes them more likely to purchase online.
- 23% of users abandon their shopping carts if they have to create an account.
- 93% of British internet users say that they expect to engage in online shopping.
- Mobile commerce accounts for 40% of all ecommerce transactions by value.
Sound interesting? Let’s dive right in:
Ecommerce Statistics 2019
Online sales are hitting new highs as the industry continues to grow at a double-digit pace. Here are the online shoppers statistics you need to know for 2019.
But first, check out the following:
1. Retail ecommerce sales are worth $3,535 billion in 2019.
Online retail is an enormous market. E-commerce statistics worldwide suggest that people across the planet will spend upwards of $3,535 billion in 2019 – or about the size of the entire economy of Japan – the third-largest in the world.
What’s more, that figure is set to grow to an incredible $6,542 billion by 2023.
How fast is global ecommerce growing? We now know that:
2. Global e-retail sales were up by 22.8% in 2018.
This is huge:
E-retail grew more than a fifth in 2018 alone.
What’s more, the expansion of the industry doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Worldwide, more people get internet-connected devices every day and begin spending money on online platforms.
So far, the data suggests that it’s a trend that will continue, making ecommerce a great sector to invest in.
3. By 2021, more than 2.14 billion people will shop online.
How many people shop online?
Back in 2016, estimates suggested that around 1.66 billion people did so. Today, however, that figure is much higher. And in a year from now, experts predict that more than 2.14 billion people will buy something online.
Buying goods online has become common practice, as the next statistic proves:
4. 8.8% of total global retail spending is done online.
What percent of shopping is done online?
The figure is close to 9% worldwide.
That might not sound like a lot, but it is growing fast. For instance, in 2016, it stood at 7.4%.
It’s also worth pointing out that there are still billions of people all around the world who do not have access to the internet. As the internet becomes available to more and more people, expect those figures to shoot up.
In China, for instance, consumers make more than 13.8% of all retail purchases online. In Norway, people do 11.5% of their shopping online, and in South Korea, it’s 10.5%.
5. There are between 12 and 24 million ecommerce retailers in the world.
Have you ever wondered how many ecommerce sites are there in 2019?
The number will shock you:
Data from DigitalCommerce360 suggests that there may be as many as 24 million online retailers globally.
It is worth pointing out, however, that the agency’s definition of an ecommerce company is quite loose:
It’s essentially anyone who makes money selling something on the internet.
That being said, it’s still quite revealing. It shows that ecommerce is an integral feature of millions of people’s lives.
But how profitable is it? More specifically, how many ecommerce sites are there in 2018 that made more than $1000 in the year?
That figure is much smaller – around 650,000, according to DigitalCommerce360.
So is there any money in ecommerce?
Absolutely! Check out the following ecommerce industry revenue stat:
6. The average ecommerce store makes just over $150,000 in revenue per month.
How much does the average ecommerce site make? The answer, according to RJ Metrics, is around $150,000 for the first 36 months of operation. Companies then typically go on to make much more from there, with a whopping $20 million in revenue after the first three years.
The statistics are a little skewed, though. While the average number is $150,000, there are a few large players who distort the result. Most Shopify stores, for instance, don’t bring in anywhere near that kind of revenue, even those that operate for many years.
Speaking of dominant ecommerce companies:
7. Amazon now controls 50% of the US ecommerce market.
Amazon’s growth has been nothing short of spectacular in recent years.
What percentage of ecommerce is Amazon? Any guesses?
In 2018, the news broke that the Jeff Bezos-run internet retail giant dominated half of the US online retail market, far outstripping its closest rival eBay.
Amazon’s global penetration is much lower, especially in Europe and Asia, where other companies like Alibaba and JD.com have substantial market shares.
But it’s not all good news for the e-retail giants:
8. Small retailers enjoy a 30% higher conversion rate compared to large rivals.
Now, to make things clear:
The e-commerce conversion rate is the percentage of people who buy products while on an ecommerce site.
Many people believe that large companies with substantial marketing budgets are in the best position to convert. However, figures from Practical Ecommerce suggest otherwise. Their data shows that smaller retailers may have a considerable conversion advantage.
One of the reasons is that these retailers offer more niche goods. The chances are that if a person is looking for something peculiar, they would prefer to get it from a specialist rather than a generic brand.
Small business ecommerce isn’t entirely consumer-friendly, though. This is because:
9. 80% of shoppers get deterred by inconvenient returns policies.
Ecommerce companies have a big challenge on their hands. They need to make money, just like regular brick-and-mortar stores, but they also need to convince consumers that it is safe to buy from them.
Current policies, however, put customers off. More than four-fifths say that inconvenient return policies deter them from making purchases. So, global e-retailers need to focus more on customer experience if they want to grow their market size.
And speaking of ecommerce industry size:
10. Businesses spend more than $4.7 billion annually on ecommerce platform software.
Businesses increase their spending on digital ecommerce tools by around 15% per year. Estimates suggest companies now spend a huge amount of money globally on various ecommerce platforms that make it easier for them to sell their goods.
Gartner predicts that around 40% of B2B ecommerce businesses will use pricing algorithms to optimize the price they charge their clients.
It’s not just convenience that consumers want, though:
It’s information too!
11. 69% of users say they are more likely to buy from online retailers if they answer their questions.
The online retail industry needs to change the way it does business if it is to impress consumers. Product pages are great, but data from Google suggests people want more.
Google says that over two-thirds of users are more likely to buy from online retailers if sellers can answer their questions. So, consumers don’t just buy products because they look good – they want to know how they can help them, too.
Retailers who answer questions like “how can I be healthier?” or “what is my credit score?” can be enormously helpful, according to Google.
12. 74% of consumers say free shipping makes them more likely to purchase online.
Some retail companies try to draw in customers with low sticker prices only to hit them with high shipping fees later.
Research, however, shows this tactic is a bad idea.
Consulting firm Walker Sands revealed that three-quarters of customers are more willing to shop online with free shipping.
Retailers should take note:
Don’t add shipping fees at the checkout. Instead, try to incorporate them into the price of the goods or state them upfront so there’s no confusion.
13. 30% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a site they bought from before.
It won’t come as a surprise to many that we are creatures of habit. And online shoppers statistics convincingly back this up.
Data like this makes it clear how important it is for online retailers to ensure that customers have a great experience of their services the first time around.
14. 59% of people under the age of 36 head to Amazon first before looking elsewhere.
Yes, we all know Amazon is dominant in the retail space.
The good news, though, is that regular retailers are allowed to sell on Amazon, so long as they abide by the company’s policies. It’s competitive, but it’s often worth it for the sheer volume of traffic the site experiences.
Here’s an even crazier consumer shopping statistic:
15. 65% of consumers check prices on their phones while in-store, according to ecommerce statistics.
Brick-and-mortar stores know that they are up against it. Not only do they face an existential threat from online retail, but consumers can online retail while they’re in a physical store!
Nearly two-thirds of shoppers said they checked their phones while shopping to make sure they were getting a good deal. Ecommerce statistics for 2020 indicate that this trend is set to continue.
16. 2.72% of ecommerce website visits ended in purchases in Q1 2019.
While 2.72% might not appear to be one of the most mind-blowing online shoppers’ statistics in this list, it is, given the huge numbers involved.
But it’s not all good news:
Over time, many analysts expect this number to go down. They suspect that converting customers will become increasingly more challenging as competition and expectations rise.
In the meantime, though, it’s happy days for retailers.
17. There are more than 286 million Paypal accounts worldwide.
Ecommerce retailers have always had a problem creating customer trust. How do consumers know that a particular online retailer won’t just take their money?
Better ecommerce marketing has certainly helped, but arguably the most crucial innovation is Paypal.
Paypal allows consumers to purchase goods online risk-free. If a product doesn’t arrive in the mail, customers can complain to Paypal, who will investigate the issue and ensure that the buyer doesn’t lose money.
Today, there are more than 286 million Paypal accounts, up from 220 million in 2017.
18. Men spend 68% more money online than women.
Data from accounting firm KPMG suggests that the average man in the US spends $220 per transaction online, while the average woman spends just $151.
The main reason for this has to do with differences in the types of products they tend to buy.
Men tend to buy higher-priced items, such as grooming products and electronics. Women, on the other hand, spend more money on lower-priced items such as clothing and skincare.
Women also spend more time looking for discounts to save money, which may also explain part of the difference.
Okay, that’s enough with the general ecommerce statistics:
Let’s take a look at some more specific aspects:
Shopping Cart Statistics
Ecommerce companies care a lot about shopping cart stats. They’re an indication of the health of their business and their ability to convert.
Check out the following:
19. 23% of users abandon their shopping carts if they have to create an account.
The moment you ask internet users to create accounts or fill out forms, shopping cart abandonment rates go up. The latest figures suggest that ecommerce companies that ask consumers to enter personal and account details lose nearly a quarter of filled digital shopping carts.
So, companies are innovating in all kinds of ways. Some let you sign in with your Google or Facebook account, while others offer one-click services, eliminating the need to fill out forms altogether.
That’s not the only reason consumers abandon their shopping carts, though:
20. 56% of internet shoppers said they would abandon their carts if presented with unexpected costs.
Sometimes you can be clicking merrily, putting your items into your basket, thinking you’re getting a great deal. But then, when you hit the checkout, you find out that you are getting anything but. Suddenly, you have to pay a bunch of extra charges.
Ecommerce retailers often use this tactic to encourage people to explore their stores. The problem, however, is that it can backfire. Most consumers don’t like to experience disappointment when they find out that they have to pay service charges, VAT, or high shipping costs on top of the regular sticker price.
The advice for e-retail businesses:
Avoid this practice like the plague.
21. Cart abandonment rates went up by 10% percent between 2006 and 2017.
You would expect that, with all of the innovation in the ecommerce sector, cart abandonment rates would be going down.
According to figures from Barilliance, however, it’s the reverse. More people than ever before are abandoning their carts.
In 2006, data showed that 59.8% of people abandoned their carts before purchasing. That figure, however, is now 69.23%, which is quite an increase.
Why this is happening isn’t entirely clear. While it has become easier to purchase goods online, the competition is now much stronger, and consumer expectations are changing. People expect buying online to be incredibly easy. If it’s not, they look elsewhere.
US E-commerce Statistics
Let’s explore some online retail statistics in the US, the largest ecommerce market in the world.
22. Cyber Monday sales hit $7.9 billion in 2018.
Cyber Monday is the ecommerce world’s equivalent of Black Friday, a massive discount event held on the Monday after Black Friday.
The latest available data from the last Cyber Monday reveals that US consumers spent an eye-watering $7.9 billion in a single day, a more than 20% increase on the year before.
Head of Adobe Analytics and consumer insights John Copeland said it was the largest single shopping day in US history.
23. 58% of the top 1000 US retailers send emails.
Sending a welcome email is fast becoming the industry standard. Nearly two in three of the US top 1000 online retailers send their customers an email when they join their platform.
24. Black Friday generated more than $6.22 billion in online sales in 2018.
In recent years, Black Friday has also embraced online retail, and Black Friday ecommerce sales in 2018 were up by more than 23.6% over the previous year.
2018 Black Friday shattered numerous records. Not only was it the highest-grossing Black Friday ever, but consumers also spent more than $2 billion on their mobile devices for the first time.
25. There are more than 95 million Amazon Prime members in the US.
No, you didn’t read that incorrectly:
Nearly one-in-three people in the United States now has an Amazon Prime membership.
Amazon Prime comes with a host of benefits, including free delivery, special offers, free media content, and free music.
26. 41% of US consumer receives two or more packages from Amazon per week.
If you thought Amazon was popular in the United States, you were right. A report from an eCommerce consultancy firm indicates that close to half of the population receives two or more parcels from the company per week.
Amazon isn’t the only player in the game, though, as the following stat reveals:
27. The time between Google product search and purchase is 20 days. On Amazon, it’s 26.
Amazon might be the biggest online retailer, but that doesn’t mean that it generates the swiftest conversions.
Data from the US suggests that people tend to buy products that they search for six days faster on Google than they do on Amazon.
The reasons for this aren’t entirely clear. Perhaps Google makes it easier for them to find reliable information about their purchases.
28. 40% of US males aged 18 to 34 say they would buy everything online in an ideal world.
American men don’t want to go to the mall or the grocery store, it seems. Instead, many of them would prefer to shop for everything online if it were practical, never going near a brick-and-mortar store again.
It’s not just a male thing either:
Women tend to share this sentiment. 33% of them said that they would give up their weekly shopping trips if they could get everything they needed online.
29. Walmart is now the third-largest online retailer, racking up $27.81 billion in sales in 2019.
A few years ago, many people thought that America’s most prominent retail company Walmart was on its way out. New online retailers, like Amazon and eBay, were chipping away at its revenues, and its days appeared to be numbered.
Walmart ecommerce, however, is bounced back, growing by more than 32% in one year.
Sure, Amazon still dominates with a mind-boggling $282.52 billion, but Walmart is within striking distance of eBay’s $36.34 billion in sales in 2019.
Could we see an upset in 2020 that sees Walmart unseat eBay as the second-place retailer in the US?
UK E-commerce statistics
The UK is a hotbed of ecommerce activity, as the following statistics will clearly show you.
30. 17% of all retail sales are online in the UK.
The UK retail market is still predominantly brick-and-mortar, but that is slowly changing. The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics suggest that online retailing is now 17.3% percent of overall spend on consumer products in the country, up by more than 11.7% in a year.
Food retailing is up 12.4%, and online department and clothing store sales are up more than 25.2% and 24.4%, respectively.
With figures like that, it is no wonder that British retailers are worried about the decline of the high street.
On to more crazy ecommerce stats from the UK:
31. Brits spend £1.2 billion ($1.6 billion) per week on internet shopping.
Online shopping habits are changing fast in Britain. The latest figures suggest that the country spends more and more money on the internet, supercharging ecommerce growth.
32. The UK has the third-largest ecommerce market in the world.
UK high street stores are closing faster than ever before. BHS and Mothercare are two recent victims of changing consumer habits, but expect many more to follow, including heavyweights like Debenhams and Marks and Spencer.
Part of the reason for this carnage is the fact that the UK has the third-largest online retail market in the world. Brits love to shop online.
The ecommerce market reached a whopping £586 billion in 2017.
In addition to this:
33. 93% of British internet users say they expect to engage in online shopping.
Ecommerce sales statistics reveal that the UK currently has the highest online shopping penetration in Europe. More UK consumers than in practically any other country want to order cheap goods online.
In fact, the vast majority of respondents with access to the internet said they were considering making a purchase.
Online Shopper Demographics
Online retail is exploding, but who is doing all the buying? Check out these online shopper demographics to find out:
34. Millennials comprise just 30% of the ecommerce market.
Leave what you think you know about the demographics of online shoppers at the door. Contrary to the opinion of many, millennials are not the biggest online shoppers – far from it.
Verto Analytics suggests that millennials make up approximately 30% of all online shoppers. Gen X, by contrast, comprises 34%, and even boomers who are currently moving into retirement beat out millennials at 31%.
There is one group of people who shop less online than millennials, though.
35. Seniors aged 75+ comprise just 5% of the ecommerce market.
Global ecommerce statistics suggest that people aged 75 years or more make up a tiny percent of the total market.
For many of you, this won’t come as a surprise.
But it should.
The thing is, those in the older generation are less mobile and so arguably would benefit more from online shopping.
Here’s another interesting fact:
36. 46% of men shop frequently on Amazon.
While men claim to prefer to want to shop online more than women, fewer actually do. Slightly less than half of men frequently shop on Amazon, while more than 60% of women do.
There are other gender differences in the retail statistics, too. 54% percent of men say that they check prices on Amazon first before buying in-store compared to 67% of women. Furthermore, 51% of men use AI to ensure that they get the best price online, compared to 46% of women.
Right, time to hop across the pond and take a look at the situation in the UK.
Ecommerce trends never stay constant. Today ecommerce retail sales are increasingly moving from desktop to mobile. So, let’s have a look at the following eye-opening mobile commerce stats:
37. Mobile commerce accounted for 40% of all ecommerce transactions by value in 2018.
Mobile shopping penetration is currently around 44.7% globally, but it’s higher in some regions such as Asia-Pacific.
Furthermore, analysts expect m-commerce to capture more than 49% of the total market by the end of 2020.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that:
38. 75% of online retailers operate m-commerce websites.
What percent of online retailers now have m-commerce websites? The answer is a whopping 75%, underscoring the importance of providing tools that allow customers to make secure purchases on mobile.
39. Adults in the US spend 3.5 hours per day on their mobile devices.
The amount of time that people spend on their phones each day looks set to eclipse the amount of time they spend watching TV.
The reasons for this are clear:
People take their mobile devices with them everywhere. They can’t do that with their 50″ TV.
Plus, smartphones can do way more than their TV rivals. It’s much more comfortable, for instance, to shop on a handheld device.
Speaking of which:
40. US consumers spend more than 18 billion hours on shopping apps in 2018.
The time spent on shopping apps increased by a huge 45% from 2016 to 2018, with US consumers racking up an eye-watering 18 billion hours on shopping apps for the year.
This is one of those online shopping trends that simply refuses to go away.
It should be clear from these ecommerce statistics that the internet is fundamentally reshaping the world of retail. The ecommerce market continues to boom globally with a double-digit growth rate, far outstripping the rest of the economy.
It’s not all good news, though:
Brick-and-mortar stores are going out of business, and companies like Amazon are utterly dominant in some markets.
That being said:
Online shopping provides consumers with opportunities to get discounts on their favorite goods and save time into the bargain.
- RJ Metrics
- Practical Ecommerce
- Smart Insights
- Neil Patel
- USA Today
- Smart Insights
- Smart Insights
- Verto Analytics
- Verto Analytics
- App Anni