Commerce, Featured, Marketing

Ecommerce Worldwide: 7 Essential Statistics About Online Retail

Keeping up with trends is essential in order to reach success. We've listed the most relevant and recent data on e-commerce so you can plan your next moves.

Amanda Pofahl

Latin American Market Expert
November 24 2017

Globally, the impact of ecommerce has been multifold, as the greatest disrupter of our generation has been online retail. We can buy anything we want, from going to a website, and receive payments from anywhere across the world. Ecommerce worldwide has changed 

The power of the internet rests in our hands and we have all the requirements we need to build a better future. A future that’s run on faster payments, quicker deliveries and more freedom for the customer.

Global ecommerce is all set to reach $4 trillion by 2020, and it has truly changed the way we do business, by giving us more opportunities and possibilities. We can shop for anything under the sun online, and compare prices and product reviews/quality whenever we need.

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This saves us a lot of time and money and we can take better decisions whilst opting for newer companies and brands that we may never have known about before. Ecommerce has truly changed the game when it comes to retail and these statistics will truly demonstrate what we mean by game-changing technology.

1. US ecommerce sales are only 9% of total retail sales in the US

What’s astounding about ecommerce and online retail is what we presume about it.

The current misconceptions apply to our limited understanding of this space. According to data prepared by the US Census Bureau, total retail sales in the US have been close to $1.2Trillion USD, where online retail only accounted for $1.2 Billion USD.

There is still a lot of growth prevalent in the online retail space, as more and more people trust online websites for their purchases. Most major chains have an online website/retail strategy, but prefer to keep their primary focus on the in-store experience.

This may be changing slowly, as the rise of ecommerce is inevitable. Online retail has grown almost 4% since last quarter and continues to rise despite seasonal variations and price fluctuations.

Anyone previously considering not entering the online retail space may want to rethink their strategy, as companies can stand to benefit from multiple payment options, standardized web experiences and high-quality stock in keep.

The situation is similar in UK and other European countries, where they are clocking closer to 11-12% (online) of total sales.

While we may assume that these are mature markets, we may be missing out on the growing ecommerce trend and fail to make safe bets where necessary.

Ensuring that our logistics partners, payments partners, tech vendors, etc. can scale with demand, is one of the key criteria that brands must focus on in these markets.

2. The number of US online shoppers is set to reach 230 Million by 2021

nullSource: Statista

This statistic is especially eye opening for anyone thinking that online retail was declining due to decreasing population growth rates.

Quite the contrary is true, as there is a rapid increase in the internet penetration in the US. With faster internet capabilities and universal fiber optic technology, the US is about to experience another wave of internet enabled disruption.

With artificial intelligence and machine learning, online retail websites can offer consumers the best offers customized to their specific needs. This will further fuel growth and thereby produce more demand from ecommerce providers.

The scenario is similar in the UK and other European countries and is even greater across Asian and African countries.

When considering purchase, delivery and time-savings options consumers would rather shop online and do something else with the time saved. Like attend concerts, go out for dinner, or enjoy a relaxing picnic with the family.

Ecommerce allows for people to truly enjoy their time and not be stuck in long lines at the mall.

This will become a growing incentive for many people as they consider the benefits of online retail to far outweigh anything else.

3. 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop on online rather than in-store

This is another data point that’s a clear representative of how things are shaping up in the online world. More and more millennials are looking for online options rather than going in-store these days.

Think about it. If you must buy a gaming console, a software subscription, or even a pair of shoes, where would you go first? Online!

Online is the first instinct in younger shoppers and is soon becoming the first thought in the minds of the GenXers who may be older. As faster smartphones arrive in the marketplace, you will find more processing speeds and faster loading online retail experiences.

Millennials also love choices!

They love to browse through multiple websites, online retail stores, and ecommerce websites so that they can learn more information about the product that they are intending to purchase.

With all that power in a smartphone, online retail is sure to become the preferential mode of transaction.

4. 63% of online traffic to retail websites came from Facebook

Shopify analyzed 37 Million social media visits that lead to 500k+ orders from its website, and concluded that Facebook absolutely dominated the online retail mind space. When looking at the various social media outlets that people frequented, its clear that the only one with 1B+ global users will bring in the most number of visits to online retail websites.

Online retail may just be in its growing stages but as these social media websites grow as well, online retail grows with them. With more and more options being available to consumers from across the world, social media connects them all under one roof.

Whether it be Facebook or Instagram, your online marketing strategy must include social media as one of the primary drivers of business success for your online retail website.

Ultimate Guide: How to Expand your Ecommerce Globally