58 eCommerce Statistics to Take Your Business into 2021
You’ve got inventory to order, staff to manage, and reputations to build (or maintain). But it’s key to find time to stay updated with the latest eCommerce trends. What worked last year won’t always be the blueprint to making more sales this year. Customer preferences are constantly changing. This is especially true in 2021.
COVID-19-related lockdowns meant the shopping methods we’d used for years were no longer possible. And with the rise of eCommerce giants like Amazon, investing in the development of your online store is what can help you keep up.
We’ve collected 58 eCommerce statistics that’ll see you through 2021 and beyond. To make it even easier for you to digest, we’ve broken them down by category:
General eCommerce statistics
01. In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online (Statista)
02. Online sales accounted for 14.1% of all retail sales worldwide in 2019. This figure is expected to reach 22% in 2023 (Statista)
03. It’s predicted that 95% of retail purchases will be made online by 2040 (Nasdaq)
It’ll come as no surprise to learn that eCommerce is booming. There are more online stores than ever, with online shopping overtaking retail. Traditional retail could be almost non-existent by 2040, according to these estimates.
If you don’t have an eCommerce site already, now’s the time to start. Start your online store, upload your product inventory, and start taking advantage of the millions of customers turning to online shopping.
04. Gen X make the most online purchases per year (18.6), followed by millennials (15.6) and baby boomers (15.1) (KMPG Global)
The variety of people shopping online is changing, too. Before, older customers felt uncomfortable shopping online due to the complexity of technology. Yet with the internet powering so many devices, online shopping is becoming the go-to shopping method for people of all ages.
Take this into consideration when you’re planning your eCommerce marketing. Opening up your targeting to a wider, older audience, means you’re reaching those people who’d previously shopped in-store. Edit your Facebook campaigns to reach people over 50 years old. Offer special discounts on products your older customers tend to buy.
Above all, remember to make it simple for them to checkout. While they’re more tech-savvy than they were, they’re still not completely comfortable making online purchases. Simplify the checkout funnel for them by adding a Buy Now button on your product pages or by allowing customers to add items to their cart straight from the product catalog. Removing as many clicks as possible will significantly improve the customer experience.
05. Amazon takes 38.7% share of eCommerce sales in the US (Marketing Charts)
06. 63% of online shoppers start their product search on Amazon (Marketing Charts)
07. 49% of US shoppers buy items cross-border (Pitney Bowes)
It’s fantastic that the number of eCommerce stores are growing. It shows there’s tons of opportunity for anyone to make a living online. Yet Amazon is any eCommerce store’s biggest competition. They hold over a third of eCommerce sales in the US, and it’s where most buyers start their product search.
The good news is that it’s not impossible to compete with an eCommerce giant like Amazon.
Attract Amazon customers by offering unique products. The eCommerce site might be popular for wholesale generic items, but it’s not the go-to place for handmade or customized products. Play on that in your eCommerce marketing messaging. Showcase the products they can’t find in Amazon’s catalog.
Offering free and international shipping can also convince Amazon customers to buy from you. Make this obvious to your customers by using a banner on your site. If you ask people to spend a certain dollar amount before they qualify for free shipping, you could also encourage them to buy more products from your site—rather than heading to Amazon afterwards.
The bottom line: Understanding a customers’ shopping preferences, and marketing those correctly, is the secret to bringing otherwise-Amazon customers through your door.
08. The top two characteristics of a positive experience with an online retailer were fast shipping speed (76%) and an easy delivery process (60%) (Marketing Charts)
09. 85% of consumers prefer free shipping over fast shipping (Deloitte)
10. 83% of US online shoppers expect regular communication about their purchases (Narvar)
11. Extra costs, like shipping fees, are the biggest reason why shoppers abandon their online carts (Baymard)
Product quality isn’t the main reason why a person decides to buy an item from an eCommerce store. Chances are, there are hundreds of other stores offering the same (or similar) item. It's convenience—usually in the form of free or fast shipping—that wins every time.
Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to offer free shipping. You might not make enough profit to cover shipping costs on single products. If that’s true for your online store, don’t leave it to the checkout page for customers to see those extra costs add up. Give them the heads up before they show interest in a product by clearly explaining your eCommerce shipping policy on the product page. It’ll stop them from abandoning their cart mid-checkout.
Regardless of whether you can afford free shipping, commit to a timeframe when your customers will receive their item—and stick to it. Keep them in the loop by sending regular updates throughout their parcel’s journey. It’s that type of easy delivery process that would make people choose you over a competitor.
12. In 2019, shoppers bought three million times more on Thursday than on Saturday (Salecycle)
13. The peak hour for online sales is between 8AM and 9AM (adjusted for time zones) (Salecycle)
The timing of your eCommerce sales has a huge impact on your marketing plan and general operations. Plan your large promotions and marketing campaigns during these peak times to direct people there at a time they’re most likely to purchase.
But do you have enough team power to handle the customer support tickets that come in at the same time? Can you manage most of your orders coming through just before the weekend? Knowing the timing of your orders even before you get an influx of sales allows you to put processes in place to handle them.
14. 40% of consumers have made a purchase via Facebook, 13% have made a purchase through Instagram and 12% have made Pinterest purchases (Avionos)
15. 29% of consumers use or plan to use chatbots to shop online (Narvar)
The traditional online shopping method of searching for a product on Google isn’t the only one that customers are using today. The addition of eCommerce-enabled technology, like social media apps, are fast and convenient.
Target these social shoppers by integrating your online store with platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Instagram’s native shopping tool, for example, is just one feature that ties into the need (and importance) of an easy checkout process. Tag your product in every upload and followers can click the image to shop it.
Sales of the Amazon Alexa have boomed in recent years, too. The smart devices in their home are able to order items just by talking to it. Uploading your inventory to Google Shopping helps these voice-assisted devices recommend your product.
As customers become more comfortable interacting with bots, you can also integrate a live chat or chatbot onto your site to respond to customer service concerns or to direct shoppers to the best product for them.
eCommerce during COVID-19
16. In August, online gift stores saw over 490% year-over-year growth in GMV (Wix)
17. Nearly half (44%) of consumers tried new brands during COVID-19 (Arlington Research)
18. 43% of shoppers now feel more positive about shopping online (Wunderman Thompson Commerce)
19. The food and groceries industry saw the biggest increase in online sales, with 605% growth from January to April 2020 (Wix)
20. 54% of millennials say that coronavirus has already significantly or somewhat impacted their purchase decisions (CNBC)
The growth of eCommerce so far this year has been fueled by the COVID-19 outbreak. Worldwide lockdowns meant that brick and mortar stores shut shop. Online was the only way for people to get basic items, like groceries.
This move to online will likely continue straight through the 2020 holiday season. Gifting is already on the rise—and you can get in on the action even if you’re not a gifting business. Give shoppers the option to personalize an existing product by adding a gift card. Then, invest in Facebook Ads around major gifting seasons—such as Cyber Monday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, or Valentine’s Day.
The eCommerce trends surrounding COVID-19 also means it’s the perfect time to widen your audience. More people are buying products from brands they’d never previously heard of. So make room in your budget to lean into your marketing campaigns and tap into this growing opportunity. Let new customers find your business and fall in love.
21. The average items per order increased by 60% during the COVID-19 outbreak (Contact Pigeon)
22. Despite the coronavirus, 87% of global shoppers will still be shopping for Christmas and other seasonal holidays (Rakuten)
23. 38% of consumers say that they are now more comfortable with digital technology than before lockdown (Wunderman Thompson Commerce)
Not only are more people shopping online, but the value of their order is on the rise, too. It’s why more shoppers say they feel comfortable with technology after COVID-19 lockdowns.
Combine that with the fact most shoppers will still be spending at Christmas, and make it even more enticing for customers to buy several items at once. Tactics like upselling, cross-selling, and product bundling encourage shoppers to add more than one item to their order.
For example: if you’re selling personalized mugs, offer a bundle that includes coffee and gift wrap with a 20% discount. If a customer is viewing a 32” TV product page, convince them to buy the 40” version that’s only $40 extra.
The best part? Since shoppers already spend more dollars on each online order since March, your success rate during the peak holiday season will likely be record breaking.
Online payment methods
24. Americans have an average of four credit cards (Experian)
25. Visa and Mastercard are the two most popular credit card companies (Statista)
26. The number of non-cash payments (such as credit card, debit card, and ACH) totalled $97.04 trillion in 2018 (Federal Reserve)
In-store pickup or standard delivery: they’re two popular shopping methods for online customers. They can choose to pay for the item in-store with cash upon collection, or online using a credit card. The latter is what you should be focusing on.
Despite the many alternative payment options available, most of your customers will be paying with a credit card so make it obvious that you accept them on your website. Don’t leave customers without any option but PayPal. They might not have an account, nor feel comfortable signing into their PayPal account to make the purchase. Give them the option to pay via card, and show the logos of popular card providers (such as Visa and Mastercard) on your checkout pages. If you created your store with Wix, these logos will be displayed automatically.
27. Digital and mobile wallet payments accounted for 41.8% of online transaction volume worldwide (Statista)
28. PayPal is the preferred payment method among online shoppers worldwide, as more than 40% of online shoppers affirmed using this method (Statista)
29. 91% of all millennials have made some kind of mobile payment (McKinsey)
30. Online sales revenue increased by an average of 26.1% after adding an Apple Pay button (Pymnts)
31. Just 29% of online merchants accept mobile wallets (Statista)
32. The PayPal badge got the most attention out of all social proof buttons (CXL Institute)
Speed and convenience are two of the most important factors for customers when they’re buying items online. It makes sense that their payment methods reflect that—hence why payments from mobile wallets are on the rise. They account for almost half of all online transactions worldwide.
Mobile wallets can take many forms. Make sure you’re equipped to handle payments through PayPal or Apple Pay. And, tell people about it before they head to the checkout page. Logos of those alternative payment methods on a product page can instill more trust in shoppers—and cause fewer of them to abandon their online carts once they realize their preferred payment method isn’t accepted.
33. 84% of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by recommendations from somebody they know (Deloitte)
34. The average consumer reads 10 reviews before feeling able to trust a business (Bright Local)
35. 83% of users think reviews older than 3 months aren’t relevant anymore (Bright Local)
36. Customers spend 31% more money with businesses that have excellent online reviews (Bright Local)
The purpose of social proof is to show that you’re a trustworthy, reputable company. Customers read them before even considering whether to buy.
Collect as much social proof as you can—including customer testimonials, logos of brands you work with, 5-star ratings, or celebrity endorsements. Then, show them where people would most like to read them. That’s usually on product or service pages, landing pages, and checkout pages. They’re all places where you don’t want to lose a potential sale, but customers still need some last-minute confidence before hitting “purchase”.
So, how do you collect customer feedback? The simple answer is to ask for it. Don’t expect customers to leave positive reviews on their own. In your purchase confirmation emails, give them a reason to leave a review. A discount code to use on their next shop, or entries to a contest, could convince them.
37. 83% of US smartphone users say that product photography is "very" and "extremely" influential to purchasing decisions (FieldAgent)
38. 60% of US digital shoppers said they needed to see an average of three or four images when shopping online (Salsify)
39. The average perceived value for a large image was $13.50 more than the smaller image (CXL Institute)
40. 73% more visitors who watch product videos will make a purchase (Animoto)
41. 22% of returns happen because the product looks different in-person (Business2Community)
The key is to have large, crystal clear images of a product from all angles. Showcase your products on a white background, and allow people to zoom in on the images. It’ll make your product appear more expensive—and therefore, boost the number of people wanting to jump on the deal.
Don’t just rely on great imagery, though. Invest in videos that show what your product looks like in the flesh. Consider hiring a professional photographer for this. It might be expensive to shoot all products in your gallery, but it’s a small price to pay for the headache (and hassle) of organizing returns.
42. 42% of sites display too little product information in their product gallery for users to accurately evaluate if a product page is worth exploring or not (Baymard Institute)
People already browsing your product gallery are showing a clear intent to buy. Chances are, they’re just looking for a product that grabs their attention. The only problem? If there’s not enough information from the gallery or category page, the likelihood of them clicking on the product page is slim.
Fix this by including big photos in your product gallery. A quick view option, that loads when you hover over the big images, can display information they want to browse—such as color options or available sizes. Once they’ve confirmed their preferences are available, they’re more inclined to click through to the product page itself.
But not all customers need in-depth product information. They might be browsing your product gallery to find a low-cost item, or a product they’ve already viewed before. In this case, the key is to not overwhelm them. An option to add the item to their online cart from the product gallery means they can skip the product page altogether.
43. Quality product content is important to sales growth, according to almost all (99%) brand marketers (Salsify)
Think about what you need to know before handing over your credit card information to buy an item online. You want to know what the product looks like. But other factors—like the product’s size, color, or price—are key.
Write clear product descriptions that include the product’s measurements, features and what it's made out of. Always include everything a customer would want to know about a product on the page itself. You can find this out by surveying people who’ve bought it previously, asking something like, “what did you want to know before buying this product?”
You might find that customers want to know delivery details, your return policy, and care instructions. Include all of those on the product page to stop people neglecting a potential purchase because of those small elements.
44. 9 out of 10 consumers say free shipping is the biggest incentive to shop online (InvespCRO)
45. Orders with free shipping average around 30% higher in value (InvespCRO)
We’ve touched on the fact that Amazon is big competition when it comes to fast and free delivery. It’s why the vast majority of customers say free shipping is the biggest incentive to shop online.
If you can offer free shipping, promote this fact wherever possible. This can include the tagline of your Facebook Ads, a banner on your homepage, or the product pages themselves.
If you can’t justify covering the shipping cost for a low-priced order, don’t panic. Give customers an incentive to boost their order value by only offering free shipping for orders over a certain amount. For example, a banner shouting “free shipping over $50” encourages people to spend that amount just to get the offer—hence why free shipping has such a massive impact on average order values.
46. The average online cart abandonment rate is 69.57% (Baymard Institute)
47. The most common reason for abandoning online carts is extra costs are too high (Baymard Institute)
48. 41% of abandoned cart emails are opened and 9% are clicked (Klaviyo)
49. $260 billion is recoverable through checkout optimizations (Baymard Institute)
Unfortunately, not everyone who adds an item to their online cart will complete their purchase. Things like shipping speed, the need to create an account, and any extra costs can cause a customer to hit the exit button and find another store.
That doesn’t mean they’re lost forever. Cart abandonment emails tell a shopper to return to the site and complete their purchase.
Most people open them because they’re personalized. So, try to include the exact item a customer was browsing before they exited. If that was a dining table, for example, show the same model in your cart abandonment email. They’ll be reminded of the item they clearly showed an interest in.
You’re also making it easy for shoppers to find the product again. They don’t need to search the entire site, or Google a similar product (where they might buy from a competitor). It’s there for them to click through in the email.
50. Growing an organic SEO presence is the top priority for 61% of online brands (Hook Agency)
There are several channels you can use to drive traffic to your online store.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of them. It works by optimizing your website to rank for the keywords your target customer is searching for on sites like Google.
The foundation of SEO is high-quality content based on keywords your customers are searching. Use tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush or Google Trends to discover what related keywords people are searching for. Then use them to create blog content. Answer the questions your audience wants to know with answers that are helpful to your sales and brand. For example: if you sell loose leaf tea, target “how to brew tea” and related terms along that vein. Make sure you link to relevant products you sell!
Previous search data from Google Search Console can also help to spot what terms they’re already using to find your products. Your product pages should have meta titles, descriptions, and product description text including those keywords. A few small tweaks can bump up your position and cash-in even further for that ranking.
Finally, you’ll need to make sure the technical set-up of your site is easy for search engines to crawl. Tools like Wix SEO Wiz can help you do this. It’ll walk you through the steps you need to take to optimize your store to be found on Google. Shoppers head to Google when they know they want something. It’s just a matter of showing up there and having a user-friendly website.
51. Email has the highest ROI of any marketing channel, generating $40 for every dollar spent (Lyfe Marketing)
52. Welcome emails have an average open rate of 82% (GetResponse)
Email is a superb way to nurture your potential customers. Catch their email address when they land on your website using a lightbox.
You can embed a form at the end of a blog post to get leads on your email list, too. Even if they’re not ready to purchase immediately, collecting their details means you can nurture them towards a sale.
But you never know: a discount code could be all they need to make a purchase there and then. That’s why you always need to give something in return for signing up, such as a coupon for their first order included in the welcome email. This convinces them to purchase while you’re already top-of-mind.
53. 49% of American shoppers say they find new products through Facebook (Marketing Charts)
54. 74% of Facebook users are high-income earners (PEW Research)
55. The average cost per click for a Facebook Ad is $1.72 (Wordstream)
56. 94% of Facebook Ad revenue is from mobile (Facebook)
Despite social media needing tons of legwork and daily posts, it’s still a valuable marketing tool for eCommerce marketers. Facebook is by far the most popular, either by advertising or posting organically. That may be because it’s one of the most-used social media channels for people of all ages—and high earners use it regularly.
If you’re heading to their advertising platform, a quick win is to exclude desktop traffic. The majority of revenue comes from people using a mobile device. Niching-down on those people means you’re not wasting budget targeting people who’re unlikely to buy.
You should also split-test your campaigns to see which performs best. One with product-focused messaging, for example, might have an above average CPC of $2. However, the ads featuring a customer testimonial have a CPC of $0.60. It makes sense to turn off the poorly-performing campaign and put that budget into the one doing well.
The key to succeeding with Facebook Ads is to really know your audience, and commit to split-testing. It’s easy to waste budgets optimizing for the wrong thing, or reaching the wrong people. Spend some time really getting to know your ideal shopper to get the best return.
If you built your website with Wix, you can create Facebook Ads in just a few clicks that use artificial intelligence to narrow down your audiences, split test your ads, track your sales, and more.
Check out our blog on best practices for creating Facebook Ads.
57. Businesses make an average of $2 in income for every $1 they spend in Google Ads (Google)
58. Paid ads have an 11.38% CTR on Google (Sparktoro)
Google Ads are a mixture between paid advertising and organic search. Sure, you’re paying for a spot in the results page. But you’re positioning yourself in a search engine where somebody would naturally be looking for you (or a competitor).<