Ecommerce sales exploded during the pandemic.
With most people spending more time at home, online shopping became a common pastime around the world.
Ecommerce soared to new heights for both consumers and businesses as millions of people spent more time online during COVID-19.
But there is one question that everyone is asking…
Will ecommerce continue to grow as we come out of the pandemic?
These ecommerce statistics give you the complete picture of where ecommerce is right now and what we can expect for the future.
Key Ecommerce Statistics
Before we dive into the stats, here are the key ecommerce statistics you should know:
- 2.14 billion people worldwide were estimated to purchase services or goods online in 2021 – that’s about 27% of the world’s population
- $3.56 trillion in online purchases were made from mobile devices alone in 2021
- Ecommerce is expected to account for about 22% of the total global retail sales in 2023, reaching $6.15 trillion
- The 3 biggest adopters of ecommerce are China, the United States and the United Kingdom
- The pandemic gave ecommerce a massive push, with sales growing by 44% in 2020
- 32 countries said that ecommerce growth had reached double digits in 2020
- There are currently over 26 million ecommerce sites and stores worldwide
- The total global ecommerce market size was $4.9 trillion in 2021
COVID-19 Ecommerce Statistics
The pandemic pushed online shopping in a new direction.
Purely brick-and-mortar businesses were forced to move their businesses online. 20%-30% of grocery stores created an online store to accept online purchases at the peak of the pandemic.
As people spent more and more money online, the convenience of proximity mobile payments also became popular and much more common.
The number of people worldwide using proximity mobile payments has grown by 22% year over year since 2020.
1.35 billion people are expected to use proximity mobile payments in 2022.
That’s about 17% of the world’s total population and means about 1 in 6 people will use mobile proximity payments regularly.
Social commerce, which is selling products directly on social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram, also skyrocketed.
In 2020 social commerce made up a total of 3.4% of all retail ecommerce sales.
This isn’t going to slow down any time soon. Social commerce is expected to grow 3 times as fast as traditional ecommerce globally…
- From $492 billion in 2021
- To $1.2 trillion by 2025
Predictions also show that global ecommerce sales are likely to grow by double digits through 2023. Crazy, right?
In most countries, gyms were forced to shut down. But people still needed to exercise.
What was the solution?
Recreational goods spending increased by over 18% because people spent on home gym equipment. As people head back to gyms now, this is expected to slow down.
The US ecommerce market experienced the most significant benefit from the pandemic.
The COVID-19 related boost in online shopping resulted in an additional $218 billion in sales in the US alone.
If there is one thing we can say about these ecommerce statistics…
The COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for big growth across the whole sector – even creating new and unexpected ecommerce sectors.
Ecommerce Trends Statistics
As technology grows so does ecommerce.
It’s a fast, constantly-changing industry. These ecommerce statistics show the current trends in the booming industry.
1. Mobile Ecommerce
The world has gone mobile.
So it makes sense that people are using their smartphones for online shopping. More than 90% of people regularly use a smartphone for shopping online.
And businesses are encouraging online shopping with the development of interactive mobile apps.
Shopping apps rank 9th on Android and 5th for IOS users as the most popular apps on the app stores. In 2020, Amazon was the most downloaded shopping app.
79% of smartphone users have purchased a product or service using their mobile device in the last 6 months.
With over 294 million smartphone users in the US alone, approximately 232 million of them regularly use their phones to purchase online.
Why is mobile ecommerce trending?
3 out of 4 (75%) consumers say they use smartphones and tablets to purchase online because it saves them time. Like most things mobile, it’s all about convenience.
But as mobile shopping increases, so do the expectations from consumers.
Over 90% of shoppers say that their experience on mobile ecommerce could be better. Clearly, the vast majority of online shoppers say that there is huge room for the mobile ecommerce world to improve.
What are the biggest concerns they have?
The 2 biggest issues that people say are hindering their experience with mobile shopping are links/buttons that are too small to click and security.
People need to feel comfortable that their data is protected in order to shop online without worry.
2. Digital Payment
Digital payments have been growing in popularity.
The fact that you can now buy products and services online without the need to pull out your card is a convenience many people have taken hold of.
Digital payment methods are often a more secure way to make payments online as well.
The two most popular forms of digital payment worldwide are-
- Digital wallets – Payments made in the form of an app
- Mobile wallets – Payments made from a credit/debit card on your phone
49% of users worldwide regularly use digital payments for online purchases and shopping.
These are the most popular digital payment services:
|Digital Payment Service||Users|
|WeChat Pay||1.2 Billion|
|Apple Pay||570 Million|
|Google Pay||150 Million|
|Digital Currencies||82 Million|
|Amazon Pay||40 Million|
|Cash App||30 Million|
Services like Apple Pay and Google Pay have become a big part of ecommerce payments for both customers and merchants in the United States.
But Visa, MasterCard and PayPal are still the primary payment methods accepted by ecommerce stores. In fact, 99.9% of ecommerce sites accept Visa and MasterCard. 72% of them accept PayPal.
Interestingly the Chinese payment market is dominated by Alipay and WeChat pay.
They have a combined 2.5 billion user base worldwide, making them the most popular digital payment services by far.
Germans still prefer direct bank transfers called ELV (Elektronisches Lastschriftverfahren), a payment method supported by most banks in Germany.
This is an alternative payment option for customers who don’t like using credit or debit cards to pay for goods and services.
3. Consumer Behaviour
When do most people buy online?
Most people think of a person sitting on their computer at the kitchen table browsing online. The results are a little different:
- 43% of online buyers said they regularly make purchases in bed
- 23% admitted to purchasing at the office
- 20% purchase while in the bathroom or in the car
The most common reason people avoid a purchase online is the lack of free shipping.
As ecommerce becomes the normal way to shop, there is an expectation that products should come with free shipping.
But there are lots of other reasons to shop online too.
If you are an ecommerce store looking to increase sales, pay attention to the following ecommerce statistics.
These are the top reasons why people choose to shop online today:
|Reason||Percentage Of People|
|Coupons & Discounts||41%|
|Reviews From Other Customers||35%|
|Easy Return Policies||33%|
|Quick & Easy Checkout Process||30%|
|Next Day Delivery||28%|
|Lots Of Positive Comments On Social Media||22%|
|Knowing Products Are Environmentally Friendly||21%|
|Ability To Buy With Interest-Free Payment Options||20%|
Interestingly the main reason people don’t end up buying online is because shipping isn’t free. But the biggest reason people will buy online is because of free shipping.
The big takeaway?
If you aren’t offering free shipping on your ecommerce store, it might be time to think about adding it.
More than ⅓ of customers will go online and look up a price while they are in a brick-and-mortar store.
This means that even though customers might be in a physical store, over 33% of them could still be shopping online at the same time.
Content should be a priority for all ecommerce store owners.
Not only will it improve your ecommerce SEO, but 81% of customers research a product before making a purchase decision.
Great content can help move your customers down the funnel quickly.
According to studies from BCG, highly personalised content increases ecommerce revenue. In fact, personalised content makes customers 110% more likely to add more items to their basket.
Personalised content can increase revenue by over 25% and improve your customer’s chances of spending more than they initially planned by over 40%.
The bottom line is this…
Personalised content that connects with your customers can result in a significant increase in sales and revenue.
4. Social Media & Influencers
Influencer marketing has become a standard marketing strategy for ecommerce businesses and companies all over the world.
Put simply – it works.
13% of consumers are willing to spend more money on a product that is promoted by an influencer or celebrity.
For consumers aged 26 to 35, that figure increases to 22%
The younger generations are more likely to buy when an influencer advertises the product.
But it doesn’t stop there. The influencer marketing industry is expected to reach over $16.4 billion in 2022.
17% of ecommerce companies will devote more than half of their annual marketing budget to influencer marketing campaigns this year.
In the US, most consumers will look at social media content when they want to compare two similar items.
They want to hear the opinions of others to help them make buying decisions.
While buying on social media is increasing as a trend, 57% of people still prefer to complete their transactions through the online retailer’s site.
Just 18.7% of people completed the transaction through the social media app.
These numbers are expected to change significantly over the next 3 years.
Ecommerce Statistics By Country
When it comes to ecommerce statistics by country, most people would assume that the United States would be the biggest spender.
But that’s not actually the case. While the US online market is more established, other countries are catching up quickly.
These are the countries that have the biggest adoption of ecommerce shopping:
|Country||Ecommerce Market 2021|
|United States||$843 Billion|
|United Kingdom||$169 Billion|
|South Korea||$120 Billion|
Let’s look at some of these ecommerce statistics in more detail.
China is leading the world in ecommerce and online shopping adoption.
They had 792.5 million digital buyers in 2021. That’s more than double the entire population of the United States.
And it’s not slowing down anytime soon…
China is expected to be the first country in the world to have more than 50% of total retail sales happening online.
There are a number of reasons that ecommerce in China is exploding:
- Faster internet speeds
- Huge smartphone adoption
- Consumer confidence in online shopping
- More trusted ecommerce platforms
- Safe ways to pay such as Alipay and WeChat pay
In fact, the Chinese ecommerce market is expected to reach over $3.3 trillion by 2025.
In 2021 it was $2.1 trillion.
The United States comes in second for ecommerce adoption and spending. The total ecommerce market size in the US was 843 billion in sales in 2021.
And it’s not going to slow down post-pandemic.
Retail ecommerce sales grew 17.9% year on year over the last 5 years.
In the US, online shopper conversion rates amounted to 2.57%, which is increasing steadily.
Increased sales growth and higher conversion rates mean that the US ecommerce market is set to continue to grow for years to come.
This is despite the fact that 79% of US citizens already shop online, which means ecommerce market penetration is already high.
It’s also likely that ecommerce will take retail sales from brick-and-mortar stores which should improve the market growth.
Shopping apps are popular amongst ecommerce shoppers in the US.
57% of digital buyers say they use a retailer’s app to check prices when they are physically present in the store.
This trend shows that savvy shoppers will check to see if they can get it cheaper online. Even if that means waiting an extra couple of days for the product.
The UK ranks third in ecommerce adoption. In 2021, the total ecommerce market size in the UK was $169.02 billion.
This is significantly less than the US and China.
About 50 million UK consumers regularly shop online. This means approximately 74.3% of all UK citizens shop online, which is a high market penetration for ecommerce.
Retail ecommerce sales accounted for 37.5% of the total UK retail sales.
This is expected to grow but not as fast as many other countries.
From 2021 to 2025, experts predict that retail ecommerce sales in the UK will only grow at an annual rate of 5.16%.
These UK ecommerce statistics could mean two things:
- The adoption of ecommerce in the UK is reaching its capacity
- UK citizens still like to shop in physical stores
Mobile devices are likely to become the new way to pay for online sales.
Mobile devices were used to make 67% of online shopping purchases in the UK during the 3rd quarter of 2021.
As mobile payments make shopping online more convenient, it’s possible that this could drive most of the future growth for ecommerce in the UK.
Ecommerce in Canada exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It grew by more than 70% during 2020 alone.
In 2021 the growth rate slowed significantly to just 14%. Experts predict that this will likely be the annual average growth rate until 2025.
Clearly, the pandemic made a massive difference to the ecommerce market in Canada.
In 2019, total ecommerce revenue from retail sales in Canada was $25.4 billion. It is projected to exceed $90 billion by 2025.
This will mean that Canada is likely to remain in the top 10 countries in terms of ecommerce market size.
Currently, Canada ranks 8th in the world.
The biggest drivers for online sales for Canadians are the cost of items and savings.
These 2 critical factors are considerations most Canadians make before purchasing online vs purchasing from a physical store.
Japan ranks 4th in terms of ecommerce market size. But that might not be the case for much longer.
The annual ecommerce growth rate in Japan is relatively slow compared to the rest of the world at just 6% per year.
74.1% of the Japanese population (about 100 million people) shop online already.
This is expected to reach about 89% by 2025.
Why the slow growth rate then?
Japan has an ageing population. While older people in Japan are adopting ecommerce shopping slowly, they still purchase most products from physical stores.
This is why ecommerce growth may not be as fast in the future.
The biggest category for ecommerce transactions in Japan is travel.
This is significantly different from other countries such as China, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Japanese online shoppers are also slow to take up digital payment methods. Most Japanese online shoppers still prefer to pay using a credit or debit card.
Ecommerce Statistics By Industry
Global retail ecommerce sales peaked during the pandemic despite huge issues with the supply chain.
So what do people buy?
Here are the ecommerce statistics on the biggest industries right now.
Fashion is one of the top ecommerce markets. It’s expected that the average online shopper will spend $921 on fashion-related items in 2022.
Fashion isn’t just a stable ecommerce sector – it’s one of the fastest-growing sectors. Ecommerce clothing and apparel growth rates between 2017 and 2021 were:
- 8.1% in the United States
- 8.7% in Europe
- 14.1% in China
By the end of 2022, apparel and accessories will be the fastest-growing category in ecommerce sales increasing by an expected 18.9%.
In the US alone, ecommerce fashion sales are expected to reach over $295 billion by 2025. Sales were $180 billion in 2021.
The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t seem to accelerate growth in fashion sales as much as in other industries.
The growth rate remained relatively consistent in terms of growth for both 2020 and 2021.
Beauty & Personal Care
Beauty and personal care is another hugely popular industry for online ecommerce.
And it’s only going to get bigger. The beauty and personal care online market is predicted to increase by 48% by 2023.
To get an idea of how big the market is already, personal care online retail sales generated $332 billion in 2020. This was a massive increase in 2019, growing by 28.5%.
Online purchases for entertainment are predicted to grow significantly over the next 5+ years.
Allied Market Research estimated the value of online entertainment to be $183 billion in 2019. By 2027, they say it is estimated to reach $652.5 billion.
That means the growth rate will be about 356.5% over the next 5 years.
The fastest-growing entertainment niches in ecommerce are-
An estimated 95.6% of Americans aged 13 and older listen to some form of audio (music, podcast etc) every day.
The average American reads an average of 12 books per year. Print book sales have increased by more than 8.9% since the start of the pandemic in 2020.
Online and ecommerce platforms make all these 3 sources of entertainment more accessible more often.
DIY home projects grew in popularity during the pandemic.
So it makes sense that the tools and products needed to complete those projects did too. Home repair tools and online equipment retailers saw an 8% growth rate in sales in 2020.
Household goods are not typically a high-growth industry.
The outdoor home landscape niche also saw decent growth. In 2020, outdoor living furnishings and gardening equipment sales grew by 9%.
The pandemic was clearly a time for many people to work on their homes and gardens.
Consumer electronics is another popular category that dominates the ecommerce world.
Electronics in the US generated $117 billion of revenue in 2020. This was 22% of the entire ecommerce market.
Amazon is where most people go to buy electronics. It leads the US market in electronics sales generating $61.4 billion in revenue from electronics in 2020.
Computer and consumer electronics account for 53.2% of the total retail sales in the US.
Ecommerce Market Leaders Statistics
The truth is that most of the ecommerce market is controlled by big platforms and marketplaces.
Here are the market leader statistics for both.
Ecommerce platforms provide solutions for anyone to set up an online store and start selling products.
These are the ecommerce platform statistics you need to know.
WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin for WordPress.
It can turn your WordPress website into a fully functional and robust online store.
How popular is it?
There are currently 3.8 million live websites that use WooCommerce on WordPress to power their online storefronts.
In 2021, WooCommerce had a controlled market share of 27.86% of the entire online store market. Pretty impressive, right?
If you have a WordPress site, WooCommerce is the best solution.
Of all WordPress site owners who sell products on their website, 93% of them use WooCommerce.
Since the beginning of WooCommerce, the plugin has been downloaded 123 million times. It’s the biggest ecommerce platform in the world.
There aren’t many people who haven’t heard of Shopify.
Shopify grew by 56% in 2021, doing $4.6 billion in revenue. Many people jumped on the platform to try and make a bit of money during the pandemic.
There are currently 1.75 million merchants on Shopify selling primarily physical products. In 2020, more than 44 million people purchased a product from a Shopify store.
They processed more than $175 billion in sales in 2021.
On Black Friday, Shopify store owners collectively made $2.9 billion, which works out to be about $3.1 million per minute.
There is no doubt that Shopify is used to handling ecommerce transactions at scale.
One of the reasons Shopify is so popular is because of how easy it is to create great-looking online stores.
79% of all Shopify traffic comes from mobile devices and their mobile experience is one of the best of any ecommerce platform in the world.
Shopify also has a huge app store. There are more than 3,200 apps available made by developers from more than 175 countries.
Apps are part of what has made the Shopify platform so successful.
All of the ecommerce platform statistics might seem pretty big.
But they are tiny compared to the huge ecommerce marketplaces that dominate the online shopping world.
Check out the following mind-blowing ecommerce statistics.
There aren’t many marketplaces more well-known than Amazon.
Amazon is the most popular shopping app in the US, with more than 150.6 million people accessing the app every month.
They have more than 300 million monthly active users across all devices.
How much do those people spend?
Over $600 billion of goods were sold through Amazon in 2021.
Not only that but they ship over 66,000 orders per hour, totalling about 1.6 million packages every single day.
In 2020, Amazon brought in $386 billion in revenue, making it the 3rd biggest company globally by revenue.
In the fourth quarter alone of 2020, Amazon brought in $125.6 billion in revenue.
As of 2021, Amazon has over 200 million Prime subscribers – 150 million of them are located in the US. Their subscription services made them about $25.21 billion in 2020.
86% of buyers say that they are more likely to buy products from Amazon more than any other ecommerce marketplace.
The trust that Amazon has built with their customers is their secret to its success.
The most popular Amazon category is electronics. 44% of US Amazon shoppers have purchased some sort of electronics through Amazon.
Amazon gets about 2.44 billion monthly visits to their online store and app.
eBay used to be the biggest marketplace online.
But Amazon has pushed well out in front in recent years. But that doesn’t mean eBay isn’t a force to be reckoned with.
There are 187 million eBay users worldwide. The eBay app is used by 34.9% of all US smartphone owners.
$27.5 billion worth of goods were bought and sold on the eBay marketplace in the first quarter of 2021.
A total of $87.4 billion of goods were sold through eBay in 2021.
This was slightly down on the $87.6 billion in 2020 and well below their peak of $89.83 billion in 2018.
Although eBay is still widely popular, it looks like they are struggling to grow.
Wrapping It Up
One thing is for sure…
There has never been a better time to start an ecommerce store and brand.
These ecommerce statistics paint a clear picture that consumers will continue to buy online as we come out of the pandemic.
The pandemic has only speed up ecommerce adoption, with experts saying that 95% of all retail shopping will be done online by 2040.
That one ecommerce statistic alone says it all.