15+ Insightful eCommerce Statistics about the Latest Trends and Developments in the Industry
Updated · May 20, 2023
When was the last time you shopped online?
I’m going to make an educated guess without consulting my Tarot cards. It’s been between a day and two months.
Did you buy clothes? Or electronics? Maybe luxury goods, makeup, or any treats for yourself?
Most people nowadays prefer a lazy approach to shopping. What a glorious age we live in. You can even buy bread online and have it delivered to your house. Ain’t that what dreams are made of?
Before we jump straight into the details of ecommerce statistics, there’s one important question to answer.
What exactly is ecommerce?
Well, according to Shopify, ecommerce–that is, electronic commerce or internet commerce–is the process of buying and selling goods online. It also includes the transfer of money and data needed to complete the operation.
You shouldn’t confuse it with e-business, though. When I talk about e-business, it’s about the whole deal of owning and navigating an online business. eCommerce is focused on the transaction of goods and services.
Now that we’ve established this, let’s talk ecommerce stats.
The Most Revealing eCommerce Statistics of 2022:
- 21.8% of the population worldwide shops online.
- Retail ecommerce sales worldwide are expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021.
- Men spend more time shopping online than women.
- Generation X is the largest group of online shoppers.
- 85% of shoppers rely on reviews and research when deciding what to buy.
- Over 69% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts.
- Online stores active on social media have 32% more sales.
According to theworldcounts.com, at the time of writing, there are currently over 7 billion people in the world. In 2017, 1.66 billion of them were shopping online.
That number grows daily.
Do you realize what that means?
eCommerce Demographics and Market Share Statistics
Who buys what and when—let's find out!
1. 21.8% of the population worldwide are potential buyers.
Those ecommerce growth trends almost convinced us to open up an online store.
With such a huge number of buyers, more and more businesses turn to online selling. But with big markets comes big competition. It can be hard to stand out. So you should choose your target audience carefully. Focus all your efforts on a small group, don’t try to please everyone.
But here’s an encouraging fact:
2. eCommerce growth statistics show that sales worldwide are expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021.
Yay for growth. And hello to all those new potential buyers.
And speaking of potential buyers, you know how people always associate shopping with women?
Prepare to be amazed:
3. Men spend 68% more time shopping.
And here I thought the whole shopping craze was inherent to women.
Turns out, men spend more money than women. On average, the male part spends $220 per transaction. On the other hand, females tend to spend around $151 per transaction.
But why is that?
Men spend more money on technology and luxury items. Retail shopping statistics also show they are more likely to go on a shopping spree, even shopping for some items in bulk. Go big or go home, people.
What do women buy, then? Makeup products, clothes, and food. The female part of the population tends to shop for cheaper items in general. But they do shop more often than men.
Now you know how to market your goods. Prompting your clients to buy more with some “Recommended for you” or “You might also like” emails will do wonders for your online business.
And given that we’re in the myth-busting business now, here’s more:
You’ve probably wondered what age group shops the most. You’re also most certainly currently side-eyeing the nearest millennial.
4. It’s not millennials but Generation X that shops the most.
(Source: Verto Analytics)
You know what people say about millennials, right?
Always on their phones. Always texting, always playing games. Addicted to technology and the internet.
But we already figured it’s not millennials that are constantly playing on their phones. Now ecommerce facts are here to show you millennials shop less too.
Turns out it’s Generation X that shops the most.
Wikipedia defines Generation X as the people born from the early-to-mid 1960s to the early 1980s. That means the likeliest age of online shoppers is between 40 and 60 years old.
And millennials don’t even come second in this ecommerce statistic. They come third. The honorable second place goes to baby boomers. That’s the generation born between 1946 and 1964.
Now can we please stop blaming millennials for being addicted to the internet?
Just kidding, no need for such drastic changes in perception.
Millennials, baby boomers, or whatever generation you belong to, there’s one universal truth – we all like to research. (Isn’t that the main reason to visit Web Tribunal, anyway? Research hosts?) And we rarely decide on anything without a thorough check online.
5. 85% of shoppers check the reviews and research before choosing a product to buy
Most shoppers say that a detailed description influences their decision. They also compare prices from different online stores. High-quality photos also play an important role. And last but not least, reviews.
More than half of online customers admit they look at reviews before purchasing basically anything. But beware – don’t delete the bad reviews. eCommerce stats show having only good reviews are seen as suspicious, and people would hesitate to buy the product.
To sum it up – you need good photos, good descriptions, and good reviews. After all, you don’t want your customers abandoning their carts without purchasing.
Which they do.
6. Over 69% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts.
(Source: Baymard Institute)
Most shoppers will use the excuse of “just browsing”. And while there’s nothing you can do about this particular reason, here are a few you can control:
Shipping, taxes, fees, and other extra costs are the number one reason why people abandon their shopping carts, according to ecommerce statistics. A complicated checkout process comes second.
Warning for extra taxes in advance could save you a lot of trouble. And everyone loves an easy checkout. Work on those with the help of adequate shopping cart software to streamline the customer journey.
No need to worry, there is some good news too. Most customers are willing to spend more money if offered free shipping above a specific value. You can always encourage them with recommendations. Abandoned cart emails also seem to work. According to Sleeknote, the open rate for those emails is 45%. That’s a lot of people and a lot of money to be won over.
That’s not all.
7. 24% of users will spend more money to get free shipping.
This gives you a brilliant way to increase your income and attract more buyers. You can always do a “free-shipping campaign”. As mentioned before, you can add product recommendations and tie them with free shipping for a higher-value order. This alone will boost your revenue.
Also, social media marketing is your friend. We all know social media is the big thing for this century. So it should come as no surprise that according to social media ecommerce statistics…
8. 95% of adults, who are active online, will follow a brand on social media.
Yeah, social media might just be the answer to all your prayers.
It’s a well-known fact that millennials buy things to fit their image. So you need to sell them a story. And what better way to tell one than social media?
But it’s not only millennials that browse social media before buying. Global ecommerce statistics in 2018 show that 75% of customers admitted they use social media as part of the buying process. They’d rather watch a live video than read a blog post. Most of them scroll down Instagram for inspiration. They also value influencers' opinions. And nowadays, people will reach out through Facebook if they have questions.
These days even Facebook has started its own marketplace. Brands are also using Instagram to direct customers to their sites and products. Some are even creating Pinterest boards.
You get the drill.
9. Amazon’s share of the ecommerce market in 2018 was 49%.
It might have started as an online bookstore, but in 2018 Amazon had 5% of all retail sales in the US. You can find almost anything you’d ever need on Amazon these days. This could be the reason why people spend more money on Amazon than all other marketplaces combined.
Even eBay, their biggest competition, doesn’t come close with 6.6% of the market, as shown by ecommerce stats.
10. China’s market size was twice the size of the US one in 2017.
(Source: Digital Commerce 360)
China’s market passed $1 trillion in value and was the first of the e-markets to do so.
11. 2018 marked the biggest ecommerce growth since 2008.
(Source: Digital Commerce 360)
2008 registered a 14.3% year-on-year growth. In 2016 that number was 11.6%, and it reached 12.9% in 2017.
12. 42% of buyers prefer to use their credit cards.
While there are more than 254 million active PayPal accounts, ecommerce statistics show that customers prefer to use their credit cards to pay. PayPal might be easier to use, but fewer users trust it.
Giving your clients as much variety in payment methods as possible is a sure way to secure their loyalty and have them come back to your store.
You know why that’s so great?
13. 30% of customers prefer to buy from places they’ve shopped before.
Habits are hard to break. The human race continues to prove this daily.
Think about your own routine. You probably take the same route from home to work every day. You buy milk in the same local shop.
The same rules apply to online shopping, according to ecommerce stats. There are ways you can use this to your advantage.
Create a loyalty program. Make a newsletter. Anything to turn a new customer into a repeat buyer. Once the customer trusts you, they’ll recommend you to friends and family as well. Statistics show, quite predictably, that people trust advice from their close ones more than one from online reviews. And I already mentioned how important those are.
So what’s the final takeaway here?
Bigger and bigger parts of our lives are now moving online. It makes sense, considering online stores have a lot of benefits.
They’re open 24/7. There are no crowds or queues. Comparing prices is as easy as breathing. You can enjoy a huge variety of options. You don’t need to move from your couch. No wonder those statistics show such big ecommerce growth.
There are, of course, downsides. You can’t really be sure you’ll get what you paid for. Things get lost. Things get broken. Shoes don’t always fit. Clothes aren’t always as nice in real life.
But to paraphrase Madonna, it’s a digital world, and some of us are even digital girls. And we all undeniably use the internet.
So what does that mean?
Well, to put it simply, ecommerce can expect even bigger growth next year, according to statistics.
Relying on social media is the way to go. With so many people having accounts on big social platforms, brands will inevitably follow. With online businesses having no borders, online stores will soon see more and more buyers heading their way.
I hope you found this as interesting as I did! Till next time!
Until then, have some fun facts to make your day.
Curios eCommerce Facts
It is mostly about sales and profit, but the occasional funny situation creeps into every marketplace.
14. Amazon, the biggest ecommerce site according to ecommerce statistics, launched in 1995. It took 7 years for the store to turn a profit.
(Souce: IceCube Digital)
That’s true. Partially. Amazon is notorious for its expansive policies, which allow it to grow extremely fast while declaring losses at the end of the fiscal year. In turn, fiscal loss means smaller taxation.
15. Amazon wasn’t the first online marketplace. Pizza Hut has been offering online delivery since 1994.
(Souce: IceCube Digital)
Pizza? Ordered online and delivered while still smoking hot? The bliss has been real since 1994.
16. The first thing sold and paid for via the internet was a record. On August 11, 1994, Dan Kohn sold a Sting CD to a friend in Philadelphia via a website called NetMarket.
For those of you who don’t know, CD stands for “compact disk”. People used to listen to music on plastic before. Weird, right?
17. In 2007, Pablo Peñalver sold his soul on eBay for €47.51.
If the human soul weighs 21 grams, as some mystics report, that’s not a bad price. I am a bit fuzzy on the delivery details, though.
18. The best-selling products online are books.
That caught me by surprise. I thought DreamHost plans were the best selling thing ever, but I guess I am a tad biased toward technology.
Maybe I should start reading. Things written by human. On paper, not in server logs.
Global ecommerce statistics describe the massive growth of online shopping. It has a handful of intrinsic advantages over traditional shopping, not the least among them convenience and better prices (if you know how to research well).
The trend is likely to continue growing, so check out our website hosting reviews to find the best ecommerce host out there and, you know, do some online shopping.
Or don’t. I am not the boss of you.
Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.