51 Ecommerce Statistics to Guide Your Strategy in 2019
Being up-to-date with the latest ecommerce trends is not just critical for online business owners today but also for those whose business is predominantly in-store based. As these latest ecommerce statistics show, the world’s commerce continues to move online at a steady rate, supported by several factors like improvement in infrastructure and the availability of affordable devices.
Some of the information in the paragraphs below might help reinforce your existing knowledge of ecommerce while there are other trends that might upend your notions. In either case, we believe this data related to everything from general growth projections to online shoppers’ behavior will help strengthen your ecommerce strategy for the coming year.
Ecommerce Statistics 2019 (Editor's Choice)
- The total value of global retail ecommerce sales will reach $3.45T in 2019.
- Ecommerce retail sales are expected to account for 13.7% of global retail sales in 2019.
- By 2040, around 95% of all purchases are expected to be via ecommerce.
- China is the largest ecommerce market in the world.
- 80% of Internet users in the US have made at least one purchase online.
- There are between 12M to 24M ecommerce sites in the world.
- PayPal had 267M active registered accounts by the fourth quarter of 2018.
- More than a third of online Black Friday 2018 sales were completed on smartphones.
- On average, only 2.86% of ecommerce website visits convert into a purchase.
- 85% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase online.
General Stats & Facts
1. There are expected to be nearly 2B digital buyers in the world in 2019.
The number of digital buyers worldwide is expected to reach 1.92 billion in 2019, accounting for a quarter of the world population. This number was at 1.32 billion in 2014 and is estimated to reach 2.14 billion by 2021. Reasons like convenience and cost-savings are prompting people to adapt ecommerce, while factors like faster Internet speeds and cheaper devices are facilitating this process.
2. The total value of global retail ecommerce sales will reach $3.45T in 2019.
Ecommerce growth statistics show a steady rise in global retail ecommerce sales by the year, with the total value rising from $1.34 trillion in 2014 to $2.84 trillion in 2018. This is expected to cross $4 trillion by 2020 and reach $4.88 trillion in 2021.
3. In 2018, retail ecommerce sales grew 23.3% over the previous year.
While retail ecommerce sales have continued to grow every year, the rate of growth itself has registered a slight decrease per year. This is expected as ecommerce moves from easily penetrable sectors to more difficult ones. According to online shopping statistics by year, the growth rates for 2019, 2020, and 2021 are expected to be 21.5%, 19.8%, and 18%, respectively.
4. The fastest growth in retail ecommerce between 2018 and 2022 is expected in India and Indonesia.
Between 2018 and 2022, India is expected to rank first in terms of B2C ecommerce development with a CAGR of 19.9%. A number of factors like cheaper smartphones and Internet subscription plans, improvement in infrastructure, increasing spending power, and growing comfort with online payments are responsible for this tremendous growth. Indonesia will come a close second with a CAGR of 17.7%, followed by South Africa, Mexico, Turkey, and China.
5. The PIM market has a compound annual growth rate of 25%.
Digital retailers who want to make sure all their product data is up to date and available online to every team member, in any department, at any given time, invest in modern technologies. In 2019, 70% of the SMBs have said they plan to invest in cloud technology. The recent Plytix research emphasises that the scalable and affordable cloud-based solutions come with features that cater to the needs of small-to-medium-sized businesses. Unsurprisingly, the PIM market will continue to grow, reaching $31 billion of worth by 2024 and $48 billion by 2026.
6. Ecommerce retail sales are expected to account for 13.7% of global retail sales in 2019.
Along with growth in value, ecommerce retail sales have also registered a steady growth in share of total retail sales. So, what percentage of sales are online? While ecommerce accounted for only 7.4% of global retail sales in 2015, the figure had risen to 11.9% in 2018. This share is estimated to go up to 17.5% by 2021.
7. By 2040, around 95% of all purchases are expected to be via ecommerce.
Based on current trends, not only is nearly all commerce likely to move online in the next twenty years, but there are also strong reasons to believe that much of this online commerce will take place through mobile devices. If companies want to be around in the economy of tomorrow, they need to ramp up their mobile sales efforts.
8. China is the largest ecommerce market in the world.
According to data obtained in 2017, China’s ecommerce market value was estimated to be $672 billion, making up more than 40% of the globe’s retail ecommerce revenue. USA continues to be the second-largest market with its 2017 market value at $340 billion. UK ecommerce statistics place the country at the top spot in Europe and third rank overall with a market value of $99 billion.
9. Ecommerce retail sales are expected to account for 33.6% of total retail sales in China in 2019.
China also accounts for one of the highest shares of ecommerce retail with respect to total retail sales, with home-grown shopping portals having led the ecommerce boom so far. From about 12% in 2014, this share had increased to 28.6% in 2018 and is expected to rise further to 33.6% in 2019. This means that more than one-third of every dollar spent on retail in China is now online.
10. 80% of Internet users in the US have made at least one purchase online.
Ecommerce statistics 2019 show that USA has one of the highest ecommerce penetration rates in the world. In 2016, 77% of Internet users in the country had made online purchases. By conservative estimates, this figure is expected to rise to 81.3% by 2020.
11. Almost half of American small businesses do not own a website.
Even if a business doesn’t sell products online, many of its customers are likely to make offline purchase decisions based on information available at the business’s website. With several tools out there to simplify website creation, any business not on the Internet is losing out to the competition.
12. There are between 12M to 24M ecommerce sites in the world.
How many ecommerce companies are there? That’s a tough one to answer because the definitions of ecommerce companies aren’t uniform. It can include businesses that sell their own products online, marketplace companies like Amazon and eBay, or even sites that have shopping carts but really do not sell anything. Out of these millions of sites, there is a relatively much smaller number that make even $1000 in annual revenues.
13. Alibaba is the largest ecommerce company in the world based on GMV.
While the estimate of the total number of ecommerce companies is difficult to obtain, there is slightly less debate when it comes to the largest of these. In terms of gross merchandise value, i.e., the total value of items sold on an online store, the largest is China’s Alibaba (GMV = $768 billion). As per global ecommerce statistics 2018, Amazon is ranked second (GMV = $239 billion), followed by JD.com, eBay, Shopify, Rakuten, and Walmart.
(Source: The Motley Fool)
14. Amazon grabbed 44% of all US ecommerce sales in 2017.
Outside China, Amazon is easily the largest ecommerce platform. In the US, it also accounted for 4% of all retail sales in 2017. The fastest-growing product groups on Amazon were luxury beauty and pantry items, but the most sales were tied to consumer electronics. With the company growing more ambitious with its private labels, these numbers are expected to skew further in the ecommerce giant’s favor.
15. With a reach of 75.4%, Amazon was the most popular shopping app in the US in mid-2018.
US ecommerce statistics show that Amazon has a far greater reach in the country than its competitors. In fact, as many users in the US shop on Amazon as they do on Walmart and eBay combined. Global figures, however, get skewed because of players like Alibaba and Tencent who rule the roost in China.
16. Credit cards are the most preferred form of payment for online shoppers worldwide.
According to a survey conducted in March, 2017, 42% of online shoppers rate credit card payments as their preferred mode of payment. This is followed by electronic payment, with PayPal as the most relied upon service. Debit cards, cash on delivery, and bank transfers follow closely.
17. PayPal had 267M active registered accounts by the fourth quarter of 2018.
A reflection of the popularity of PayPal, owned by eBay, is the consistent growth in its active users. The 267 million accounts represent a 17% year-on-year growth for the online payment business. Of course, this growth is not only because of ecommerce growth trends. Some of it also comes from the fact that many brick-and-mortar stores have begun accepting PayPal as a payment method.
18. 61% of online shoppers made an online purchase related to fashion, which is higher than any other product category.
In 2018, fashion emerged as the category with the greatest online purchasing trend, according to a survey spread across 64 countries. 59% of the respondents made travel-related purchases online. Based on online shopping statistics, the categories that round out the top 5 categories in online shopping are books and music (49%), IT and mobile (47%), and event tickets (45%).
19. The highest category and region-wise growth in ecommerce penetration was registered in grocery shopping in the Asia-Pacific region.
Ecommerce is expanding across categories and regions, and products almost exclusively bought in brick-and-mortar stores till recently are being purchased online now. Fresh grocery online purchases registered a 5% increase in the Asia-Pacific region in 2018. Other notable increases were travel purchases in Eastern Europe (by 4%), video gaming purchases in North America (by 3%), and personal care purchases in Latin America (by 4%).
Demographics of Online Shoppers
20. Men spend more online than women do.
While men and women shop with about equal frequencies, on average, men spend more per transaction ($220 for men vs. $151 for women). This can be attributed to the fact that many of men’s purchases are in high-value categories like luxury goods or electronic items while those for women are in lower-value categories like cosmetics or food.
21. Generation X consumers are the most active online shoppers, averaging 19 transactions per year.
What age group shops the most? According to a comprehensive report called The Truth About Online Consumers 2017 released by KPMG, contrary to the popular perception that global ecommerce is largely driven by tech-savvy Millennials (born between 1982 and 2001), it is the Generation X (born between 1966 and 1981) that is the most active in online shopping. Factors like being more settled in their careers and building a home with a family drove Gen X consumers to make 20% more online purchases than their younger counterparts.
22. Baby Boomers spend more per online transaction than Generation X and Millennial shoppers do.
According to the same report, Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1965) not only come close to Millennials in terms of average online transactions per year, they outrank their younger counterparts in terms of average amount spent per transaction. Baby Boomers spent an average of $203 per transaction in the survey period, compared to $190 by Generation X and $173 by Millennials.
23. By 2021, 53.9% of all US retail ecommerce is expected to be generated through mcommerce.
In 2017, this share was just 34.5%, reflecting the tremendous growth in mcommerce. This mobile commerce sales forecast is based on the trends in improvement in connectivity, device features, website responsiveness, and people’s comfort with shopping online.
24. Worldwide, the share of mcommerce in all ecommerce is expected to rise to 72.9% by 2021.
Interestingly, the mcommerce revolution is even more prominent in emerging markets. Globally, what percentage of ecommerce is mobile? Mcommerce is expected to account for 72.9% of all ecommerce by 2021. This is a massive rise from 58.9% in just 2017. While China is, by far, the most responsible for this growth, figures from India and other developing economies are not worth scoffing at, either.
25. In Q3 2018, 77% of traffic on Shopify stores was coming through mobile devices.
The greatest factor holding mcommerce back is the absence of mobile optimization of many ecommerce stores. For more standardized shopfronts, like the 800,000-plus on Shopify, mobile’s share in total sales is even higher than the average seen in the previous point. As per Shopify statistics 2018, mobile devices were not only responsible for 77% of the traffic but they also drove 67% of the orders.
26. Online shopping on mobile increased from 8% to 15%, while on desktop dropped from 78% to 63%.
Over the period between 2016 and 2017 period, the share of shopping on smartphones in the overall online shopping numbers in the US almost doubled from 8% to 15%. The share of shopping on tablets also doubled from 5% to 10%. This increase came at the expense of the share of desktop shopping, which saw a decrease from 78% of the overall to 63%.
27. More than a third of online Black Friday 2018 sales were completed on smartphones.
A more current indication that mcommerce trends are on track to live up to the ecommerce growth projections for the next few years is the data from Adobe analysts who tracked sales during Black Friday 2018. It was found that, from 29.1% just one year earlier, the share of smartphone shopping had risen to above 35%. On Cyber Monday, 54% of visitors came from mobile devices, while around 30% made purchases on their mobile device.
28. 38% of online shoppers worldwide never shop on mobile devices; the figure for desktops is just 7%.
According to a 2017 survey on online shopping trends, it looks like desktops still score above mobile devices in terms of frequency of online shopping. 16% of respondents shop weekly on desktops; 11% do so on mobile devices. 33% shop monthly on desktops, with the figure for mobile devices significantly lower at 19%.
29. At 46%, global mobile shopping penetration is the highest in the Asia Pacific region.
The combined play of improving economics and infrastructure for mobile shopping and lack of development in alternative modes is driving mobile shopping penetration in the Asia Pacific region. Retail shopping statistics show that for many global players like Amazon and Walmart, the greatest opportunity comes from these markets.
Ecommerce Shopper Behavior Statistics
30. On average, only 2.86% of ecommerce website visits convert into a purchase.
This means that in about 35 visits to an online store, only 1 generates revenue for the store. The good part is that simple techniques like high quality content and smooth checkout process can help online businesses improve their conversion rate substantially.
31. 41% shoppers have abandoned a transaction at a virtual check-out in 2018, compared to 24% who have walked away from a purchase in-store.
Online shopping vs. in-store shopping statistics indicate that the inclination to window-shop is much higher in the case of online shoppers than it is for brick-and-mortar store shoppers. Unfortunately, this same study also found that many vendors have little insight on the reasons behind such high abandonment rates, making it difficult to tackle this online conversion challenge.
32. The global cart abandonment rate for ecommerce is close to 70%.
Almost every fresh study comes up with a slightly differing shopping cart abandonment rate. Said variations attribute to factors like sector and geography. To help get a better picture, the Baymard Institute averaged out rates from 40 different studies, which give rates from as low as 55% to as high as 81%, to arrive at a global average of 69.89%.
(Source: Baymard Institute)
33. Mobile shopping cart abandonment rates are higher than those for desktop carts.
Online shopping statistics 2018 show that mobile shopping carts are the most likely to be abandoned, with an 85.65% ditch rate. Tablet users have an abandonment rate of 80.74%, only slightly lower than those experienced on cell phones. On the other hand, about 73% of desktop customers abandon their carts. Therefore, the smaller the size of the screen, the more likely a customer is to not purchase. This is problematic considering that more digital buyers use smartphones than desktops to shop now.
34. 61% shoppers report leaving a transaction due to an extra cost such as shipping fees.
Other prominent reasons behind shopping cart abandonment, according to online shopping statistics, include the website asking users to create an account before checkout (35%), the checkout process being too complicated (27%), the site not having a security badge (35%), and the shoppers just browsing to collect product information (40%).
(Source: Annex Cloud)
35. A slow website can increase abandonment by 75%, and loyalty drops 50% when your site is slow.
Website speed is another important factor that impacts a site’s conversion rate. In fact, Internet users have become so intolerant of slow-loading websites that even if you get everything else right, the mere fact of a few seconds’ delay in your pages coming up could make your potential customers leave your store. What’s more, many of those would never come back again.
(Source: Annex Cloud)
36. The average load speed for top ranking sites is 1.9s.
Ecommerce stats show that pages with top results share one thing in common: they are extremely fast to load. It takes an average of 1900 milliseconds for them to load. Websites ranked 10 or below are usually 17% slower to load. Investing in infrastructure can very well be considered an element of your overall ecommerce strategy.
37. The top reason for people shopping online is the ability to shop at any time.
Convenience, whether it’s in terms of shopping 24/7 or saving time or not having to step out of the home, is the top benefit of online shopping according to most shoppers. Other important reasons include the ability to compare prices before making a purchase and more attractive pricing of products sold online. Based on this, the key takeaway for online businesses is to ensure that their customers get the convenience they are looking for by making the shopping experience hassle-free.
38. 85% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase online.
One of the fundamental ecommerce facts is that online business owners need to satisfy this curiosity on the part of potential customers by providing clear information, including accurate product images, answers to queries, demo videos, etc. The more helpful the information provided by you is, the more trust your business develops and the more likely it is to convert a visitor into a paying customer.
39. 65% of consumers make price comparisons on their mobile device while in a physical store.
This makes smart advertising the key to attracting new customers. Google remains the top search engine for such price comparisons according to the latest ecommerce statistics, making it essential to get your Google search ranking strategy right. The advantage for ecommerce owners is also in the fact that, given lower overheads, they can almost always score above physical store owners when it comes to prices.
40. 81% of consumers trust the advice of friends and family over businesses.
Not much surprise there. It is natural that consumers are more likely to believe the recommendations of people they know that those coming from businesses in the form of advertising. Ecommerce companies can make use of this to engage in influencer marketing and improve their presence on social media.
41. Online stores that have a social media presence have 32% more sales on average than stores that don’t.
Social media ecommerce statistics show that being present on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter helps build a loyal community around your brand. The advantages of this go far beyond just opening a new source of traffic to your site or a sales channel. Once you have a social media presence, it is also important to post there regularly to keep visitors engaged and help your following grow.
(Source: Big Commerce)
42. 60% of people would rather buy a product recommended by a YouTuber than one recommended by a movie or TV star.
This, more than anything else, showcases the increasing power of social media influencers as well as video marketing. According to data from Google, close to 50% of online shoppers also search for product videos before they make purchase. Ecommerce statistics show that having your own video channel or getting influencers to review or recommend your products is one of the surest ways to succeed in ecommerce today.
43. 40% of shoppers say they will buy a product if they get to experience it through augmented reality before they buy it.
61% users prefer brands that make use of AR over those that don’t. 71% shoppers feel greater loyalty towards the apps that offer AR facility vis-a-vis those that don’t. The increasing use of AR is among the most prominent ecommerce facts in 2019. Other key trends include single click payments, increased use of automation tools, greater personalization, and growing investment in beacons to monitor and understand consumer behavior.
44. 51% of consumers trust companies that make it easy for visitors to contact the people behind the company.
Online shopping statistics consistently show that behind any online business, shoppers want a human face that is available to answer any queries or concerns they might have. If you make it easy for your shoppers to get in touch with you, you will earn their trust and keep them coming back.
45. 80% of online shoppers stop doing business with a company because of poor customer experience.
Trust is difficult to build and very easy to lose. Consistently high customer experience every time a shopper visits your online store is the only way to ensure repeat business. Moreover, a word-of-mouth publicity of one customer’s poor experience can put off other potential customers as well.
46. On average, 52% of online stores have omnichannel capabilities.
Ecommerce growth trends show that the future of ecommerce lies in being able to engage and sell to customers through multiple channels like the business’s website, email, Facebook, Instagram, and so on. An omnichannel presence helps an online business to optimize its communication with potential customers and nurture them efficiently through the sales funnel.
47. 43% of ecommerce traffic comes from Google search (organic) and 26% comes from Google Adwords.
This makes it extremely important for online businesses to get their SEO strategy right. Thankfully, there are many tools available now that can be used even by small business owners to stand out in Google searches.
(Source: Wolfgang Digital)
48. SEO has a 14.6% conversion rate compared to 1.7% for traditional outbound methods such as cold-calling or direct mail.
While cold-calling and mailing might be necessary in some channels, the 8.5X improvement on conversion that ecommerce statistics credit SEO with should encourage even the most traditional businesses to give this form of approaching customers a try.
(Source: Omnicore Agency)
49. 24% of B2C marketers say that paid search has the biggest impact on revenue across all digital tactics.
PPC advertising has replaced guesswork with powerful, targeted marketing. 64.6% of people click on Google ads when they are looking to buy an item online. There’s no wonder then that many marketers, especially in the B2C segment of ecommerce, see a lot of value in using paid search as part of their digital marketing strategy in 2019.
(Source: Resourceful Business)
50. Email marketing has an average ROI of 3,800%. For every dollar invested, the average return is $38.
This is why email continues to matter. Beyond all marketing facts and stats, you are looking for ROI. Ecommerce stats show that email marketing’s ROI is better than all other digital channels of marketing, including social media, the darling of many marketers. This means that email should never be missing from your ecommerce strategy. No wonder then that 89% of marketers prefer email marketing as their top automaton feature.
(Source: Salesforce, Regalix)
51. Pop-ups are the most disliked form of digital advertising, with a 73% disapproval rating.
Knowing what not to do in ecommerce is as important as knowing what to do. Mobile ads come a very close second with a disapproval rating of 70%, followed by video ads that play before content loads at 57%. However, HubSpot research reports that 77% of Internet users would prefer filtering ads over using blocking them, which means that the future of ecommerce lies in presenting your ads to the consumer in a smarter and professional way.
(Source: Vieo Design, HubSpot)
Ecommerce Statistics Key Takeaways
- Ecommerce growth is expected to remain steady for the next few years, growing much faster than overall commerce.
- A significant portion of the growth is expected from emerging markets in Asia and Latin America.
- Within ecommerce, mcommerce presents an even stronger growth story.
- Businesses that are able to interpret consumer behavior data to improve user engagement and trust will be benefited by increased conversion rates and achieve success in the highly competitive world of ecommerce.