Regardless of if you're new to ecommerce or much more experienced when it comes to owning an online store, you’ve probably discovered that it’s an ever-evolving industry. It’s therefore advantageous to keep up to date with the current statistics, including all the latest news, trends, and technology to ensure that you provide your customers with the best experience possible and stay ahead of the competition.
In this article, we share 19 important ecommerce statistics that can assist you in perfecting your business strategy. Whether you are mainly interested in ecommerce in the USA or want to know all about the top countries buying online, having a decent understanding of what's going on in web commerce around the globe can help you increase your online store’s success in the upcoming year and beyond.
General state of the global ecommerce industry
General state of the global ecommerce industry
1. It’s predicted that online retail sales will experience a 39% growth from 2023 to 2027 (Statista).
The arrival of COVID-19 transformed the way that many retailers operated and consumers shopped worldwide. With many restrictions in place, ecommerce had a surge in popularity, as people were either required or simply preferred to purchase goods from the comfort of home instead of venturing out to brick-and-mortar stores.
Despite the relaxation of pandemic-related restrictions throughout most of the world, ecommerce continues to flourish. Worldwide online retail sales were about 5.8 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023 and are expected to reach over 8 trillion U.S. dollars by 2027.
2. Ecommerce sales are forecasted to make up approximately 20.3% of total global retail sales in 2024 (Statista).
While it’s clear that physical commerce is still very crucial when it comes to retail revenue, the growing importance of ecommerce around the world can’t be denied. Consider the following statistic: ecommerce sales accounted for only 7.4% of worldwide retail sales in 2015 but more than doubled in six years, accounting for 18.8% of retail sales in 2021.
This is great news for people who are considering launching their very own online stores!
However, knowing the percentage of retail sales that occur online is also a helpful statistic for owners of brick-and-mortar shops to keep in mind. If they don’t yet have a professional, functioning ecommerce website, it’s a good time to start working on building their online presence. Based on Statista’s data, the percentage of global retail sales originating from the internet is likely to continue trending upwards and is expected to reach 24% by 2026.
3. China is #1 when it comes to ecommerce sales (Statista).
In terms of which country generates the greatest amount of ecommerce revenue around the world, China takes first place, bringing in over 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars in 2023. This is followed by the United States, which generated approximately 727.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2023, a little over half of China’s total sales. The country with the third highest ecommerce earnings in 2023 was Japan, coming in around 132.6 billion U.S. dollars.
China is also the country with the highest ratio of retail sales occurring online, with ecommerce accounting for almost 50% of its total retail revenue in 2023, according to Statista. Rounding out the Top 3 in this category are Indonesia and the UK, with approximately 32% and 30.6% of their total retail revenue coming from ecommerce respectively.
4. The Philippines is the fastest-growing ecommerce market in the world (Statista).
As of December 2022, Asia, Australia, and the Americas have seen the most growth in terms of ecommerce sales around the globe. The Philippines has had the greatest amount of growth, with online sales increasing 24.1% by the end of the year.
India and Australia hold the #2 and #3 positions, with ecommerce growth of 22.3% and 20% respectively. Mexico takes the leading spot for the Americas, with an ecommerce growth rate of 14.2%, while Argentina comes in just behind at 14%.
Depending on where you’re based and your specific products/services, it may be interesting to think about targeting these areas to boost sales for your online store.
5. Electronics is the top segment in the global ecommerce market (Statista).
Today, consumers shopping on the web can find all kinds of online stores, selling nearly any product imaginable. However, it’s important to note that some types of goods tend to sell better than others online, for various reasons. In 2023, electronics took the #1 spot around the world regarding ecommerce market segments, accounting for approximately 23% of worldwide ecommerce revenue.
If you're considering creating your own ecommerce site but don’t yet know what you want to sell, the electronics universe may very well be a good place to start. It's worth noting, however, that the segments of fashion and toys, hobby, and DIY are close behind.
6. The sector predicted to have the most revenue growth in upcoming years is food and personal care (Wicked Reports).
Although electronic goods currently produce the most ecommerce revenue, food and personal care products are expected to see the biggest growth in global sales in the next few years. Analysts estimate that this sector will grow 64.2% from 2020 to 2025, earning a forecasted 791.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2025.
Looking back in recent history, it’s not difficult to see why the “food and personal care” sector is experiencing significant growth.
While the shift to purchasing products in this category began several years back, COVID-19’s arrival skyrocketed this buying behavior, as people, motivated by health concerns and lockdown restrictions, began shopping for groceries and personal hygiene products like toilet paper on the internet. Today, many shoppers continue to appreciate the added convenience of ecommerce and prefer to purchase essential goods online.
7. Search engines are the top source of brand discovery (Datareportal).
Thinking about letting your SEO efforts fall by the wayside? If so, I strongly urge you to reconsider!
According to data from January 2022, for 31.7% of internet users worldwide, online searches have aided them in discovering new brands. This means that optimizing your ecommerce website to work on climbing the rankings on search engines like Google is still very much an essential task when it comes to achieving success in web commerce.
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8. The size of the global influencer marketing market has more than tripled since 2019 (Statista).
Influencer marketing is one of today’s most prevalent marketing strategies used by brands all around the world. Consider that while the global influencer marketing market size was valued at 6.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, it’s estimated to have already reached a staggering 24 billion U.S. dollars in 2024!
This leading digital marketing tactic is very effective due to the trust that the influencer has built up with their audience. A brand will seek out an influencer well known in a specific niche with whom to collaborate. In exchange for money or free goods, the influencer will then promote the brand’s product or service to their audience on social media or another platform, such as a blog.
Have a relatively new ecommerce business? Note that marketers with a smaller budget on hand can still find lots of success working with influencers—you don’t need to hire a world-famous celebrity!
In fact, one of the most popular ecommerce marketing trends now involves brands partnering with nano- or micro-influencers (those with around 1K to 10K followers and 10K to 50K followers respectively). Besides usually charging lower fees, these levels of influencers tend to have more engaged, better targeted audiences.
9. Average ad spend per user on social networks is estimated to be 39.70 U.S. dollars in 2024 (Statista).
With the growing number of social media users browsing the different platforms in their free time, it’s not surprising that brands are increasingly taking advantage of social networks to promote their products and/or services.
Current predictions show that marketers will augment their 2023 social network advertising spending per social network user (approximately 38.84 U.S. dollars) by 0.86 U.S. dollars in 2024. Furthermore, this ad spend is expected to continue increasing in the coming years and reach just over 40 U.S. dollars by 2025.
If you have a new ecommerce store, investing in paid advertising may not yet be a priority, depending on your financial situation. Nevertheless, it’s something you’ll definitely want to keep in mind as your business grows and your marketing budget becomes more flexible!
10. 62% of consumers will cease buying from brands that don’t provide a personalized experience (Statista).
The importance of personalization in marketing is at an all-time high. In fact, delivering a personalized experience for each of your customers is likely to become a must in the future of ecommerce rather than just an option. This is even more apparent when reviewing the results of a 2022 Statista study showing that the percentage of shoppers who stated that brands would lose their loyalty if they received an non-personalized experience increased from 45% to 62% in just one year!
Do you believe that you’re already taking full advantage of personalization in your digital marketing efforts? Even so, it wouldn’t hurt to take another look at your strategy and maybe even reach out to your customers to see how you may be able to improve in this area. A 2021 study by Twilio discovered the following statistic: despite 85% of businesses thinking they offered personalized experiences, only 60% of consumers were in agreement.
11. Ecommerce email marketing offers an average ROI of 45 U.S. dollars for every dollar spent (Statista).
Email marketing continues to be one of the most popular marketing strategies, as it usually provides a high return on investment (ROI) across the board, earning businesses an average of 36 U.S. dollars per dollar spent. However, this amount surges 25% for ecommerce brands!
Note that although this digital marketing strategy is generally quite advantageous for online retailers, you can’t just write anything in your messages and expect to be successful with your efforts.
Consumers tend to receive loads of emails every day, and they don’t always have the patience or the time to read each one carefully. Statista data reports that the average amount of time that people spend reading a branded email once it’s been opened has decreased in recent years, going from 13.4 seconds in 2018 to 10 seconds in 2021. For this reason, it’s crucial to know your target audience and what kind of content is most likely to appeal to them.
12. Almost 50% of e-merchants in Europe and North America believe that implementing an omnichannel strategy is very important (Statista).
Nowadays, consumers can buy from and communicate with their favorite brands in multiple ways, including in person at physical stores or online on ecommerce sites or social media platforms. While many companies go the multichannel route to allow for as many sales opportunities as possible, an increasing number of them are recognizing the importance of taking an omnichannel approach.
This method takes the multichannel strategy to the next level by ensuring that your various channels are integrated seamlessly, making it possible for you to optimize your communication with consumers and give a more personalized shopping experience for each customer. When implemented well, an omnichannel strategy can do wonders for nurturing your relationships with prospective customers and boosting conversions.
Whether you have a brick-and-mortar shop in addition to an ecommerce version or strictly sell your products on the web, omnichannel marketing will help you to improve the shopping experience for users, increase customer satisfaction, and differentiate your brand from the competition.
13. Over half of ecommerce businesses are using AI technology to automate sales, marketing, and customer service (Semrush).
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming increasingly popular with e-merchants across the globe. In fact, 51% of them are already taking advantage of this kind of technology to facilitate various tasks associated with managing an online store and provide shoppers with an improved user experience.
Artificial intelligence is an impressive tool for online retailers, as it can help them to reduce operating costs, increase productivity, and make their businesses more competitive.
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Online shoppers’ behaviors and preferences
14. Smartphones made up about 78% of retail website traffic in 2023 (Statista).
If you don’t already have a mobile-friendly version of your online store, the above statistic should help convince you to start working on this ASAP!
When you consider that the number of smartphone subscriptions around the world was over 6.4 billion in 2022 and that this figure is predicted to surpass 7.7 billion by 2028, it’s no wonder that consumers are increasingly using their mobile devices to shop on the web. With a growing dependance on all the helpful features that smartphone technology offers, it’s unlikely that the majority of people will be giving up their beloved devices anytime soon.
Knowing these statistics, it's essential that you keep mobile commerce at the forefront of your strategy. Whether you’re about to launch your ecommerce business or already have one in place, prioritize providing an enjoyable mobile shopping experience for users shopping on your site.
15. The likelihood of bounces occurring rises 32% when mobile page load time increases from 1 second to 3 seconds (Google).
It’s no secret that today’s culture is one of instant gratification, and we’re provided with a plethora of online shopping options available at our fingertips. Consumers therefore won’t hesitate to exit a website and head to a competitor’s if the page they’re currently on takes an extra few seconds to load. This can be even more frequent of an occurrence when they’re visiting the site from a mobile device.
Your online store’s bounce rate, or the percentage of site visitors who arrive on one of your pages and leave before checking out other pages, can be significantly impacted by your page loading speed. A website that takes a long time to load can not only lead to visitors leaving your online store without making a purchase but also to your store dropping in the rankings on Google. This is due to the fact that the search engine rewards faster sites over slower ones.
To see where your online store currently stands in terms of page speed, don’t hesitate to check out Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool for an instant analysis.
16. On average, approximately 70% of shopping carts are abandoned (Baymard Institute).
If you’re concerned about your online store’s seemingly high cart abandonment rate, don’t throw in the towel and shut down your business just yet! Most ecommerce sites see quite a few abandoned carts on a daily basis.
At first glance, this can be discouraging as a business owner, especially if you’ve devoted lots of time, energy, and possibly even money to driving more traffic to your site. However, it’s important to keep in mind that shoppers may add items to your site and then leave before making a purchase for any number of reasons—some of which you may not be able to have much control over.
Nevertheless, you can always aim to improve your online store’s abandoned cart rate! As you’ll see below, a high abandoned cart rate is often due to causes that can be easily remedied.
17. The top reason for cart abandonment is extra costs that are too high (Baymard Institute).
Although some people shopping on the internet are ready to make a purchase as soon as they find the product or service that they’re looking for, others are simply in the mood to browse—the online equivalent of window shopping!
Shoppers in the latter category are much more likely to exit an ecommerce site before finalizing an order. Maybe they wanted to do a bit more research or had to close the browser because something else came up unexpectedly.
That being said, for those consumers not in this “not-ready-to-buy” segment, there are several common reasons why they opt to abandon their shopping carts when visiting an online store, with the main concern being financially related.
A 2023 Baymard Institute study involving over 2,200 adults in the US found that the #1 cause for shoppers abandoning their carts was due to extra costs such as shipping, taxes, or fees being higher than expected. This was followed by mandatory account creation, slow delivery, and distrust in providing the site with credit card information.
To help with these concerns, try to minimize extra costs for your customers and be as up front as possible about required costs associated with shipping, taxes, or other fees. In addition, allow visitors to check out as guests, offer the option to avail of fast shipping, and display security certificates you’ve obtained to boost consumer trust.
18. For 90% of consumers, free shipping is the main incentive to shop online (Invesp).
As hinted at in the previous statistic, people aren’t generally big fans of paying for shipping when purchasing products on the internet (shocker, I know). However, knowing that it has a major impact on the buying decisions of 9 out of 10 shoppers will likely sway you to at least think about offering free shipping on your online store if you aren’t already doing so.
Don’t want to implement a policy allowing for no-cost shipping for every single order on your ecommerce site? There are ways to work around this. For example, you might offer free shipping for orders over a certain dollar amount, slower delivery times, or customers enrolled in your loyalty program. You can even help build your email list by gifting new subscribers with a discount code to use for free shipping on their next purchase!
19. Sustainability is an important purchasing factor for 60% of shoppers (Business Wire).
With a growing concern for the environment and the negative effects of climate change, many online shoppers are increasingly prioritizing sustainable brands for their purchases. Although ecommerce offers quite a few advantages for both consumers and retailers, it comes with several disadvantages too, including wasteful excess packaging and rising carbon emissions from transporting orders.
To appeal to eco-conscious consumers (and of course help the planet), brainstorm how your business can work on becoming more sustainable. This might involve your products themselves, your business practices, or a combination of the two.
It’s also interesting to note that data from a 2022 Statista study found that over 50% of consumers want to buy secondhand goods or fix the items they already have rather than purchase new product. This suggests the perfect opportunity to launch that vintage clothing online store that you’ve been dreaming of starting!
Depending on your specific products and target market, it’s possible that some of the ecommerce statistics discussed in this article may be more applicable to your business than others. Nevertheless, this list of statistics serves as a helpful source of interesting insights into what’s occurring in ecommerce today and how the acts of buying and selling online are evolving.
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