Top 32 Online Shopping Statistics in 2021

Online shopping statistics are the best indicator of the ecommerce world in 2021. Every year, the number of internet users grows. This means that the potential number of buyers increases as well. Besides this, online shopping tools and online shopping trends are constantly evolving to offer new incentives to consumers. If there’s one thing that consumers love, it’s a convenient shopping process, and online shopping is getting more convenient by the hour.

Since 2020, we have been forced to stay indoors more and, for the time being, avoid in-person retail as much as possible. In other words, while the majority of other industries are in dire straits, ecommerce is thriving, especially in specific niches and industries. So, what are some of the most relevant online shopping statistics for 2021? Let’s find out!

7 Most Relevant Online Shopping Statistics in 2021 (Editor’s Pick)

  • By the end of 2021, ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.9 trillion.
  • There are 2.14 billion online shoppers in 2021.
  • At least 18.1% of global retail sales are expected to come from ecommerce in 2021.
  • About 87% of all shopping instances begin online.
  • 49.2% of ecommerce sales in 2020 were completed via mobile devices.
  • By 2023, ecommerce revenue in the USA is expected to reach $740 billion.
  • In 2020, the value of online retail sales in the UK was almost £100 billion.

Most Relevant Online Shopping Statistics in 2021

1. By the end of 2021, ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.9 trillion.

(Statista)

In the last several years, there has been notable growth in ecommerce. In 2014, total sales were somewhere around $1.3 trillion. This number is far from insignificant, but when compared to $4.9 trillion anticipated by the end of 2021, the difference between them is quite monumental. Seeing how every single year was more successful than the previous one, there’s an indication of continuous growth of online shopping.

2. There are 2.14 billion online shoppers in 2021.

(Statista)

Global online shopping statistics in 2020 put the number of online shoppers at 2.05 billion. At the moment, the number of digital buyers in the world is around 2.14 billion, whis is about 27.08% of the entire human population. In other words, while the number itself is quite impressive, there’s still room for growth.

3. By 2023, ecommerce revenue in the USA is expected to reach $740 billion.

(BigCommerce)

When looking for ecommerce statistics, the majority of calculations are focusing on revenue. Since revenue growth in 2019 was staggering 70%, it is expected that the value of ecommerce revenue in the USA will be $740 billion by 2023. While this number might not be completely accurate, the projection itself is fairly optimistic.

4. At least 18.1% of retail sales worldwide are expected to come from ecommerce in 2021.

(Statista)

When estimating the importance of various trends in online shopping, it’s important to mention that at least 18.1% of all retail sales in the world comes from ecommerce. Other than this, there’s also a relentless trend of online shopping growth, especially due to the pandemic. This trend results in the forecast that, by 2022, this number might exceed 20%.

Online Shopping Statistics by Country

5. 59% of USA shoppers bought clothes online between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019.

(BigCommerce)

When it comes to the fastest-growing ecommerce field, it’s crucial that we point out the clothing industry. In fact, about 59% of USA shoppers bought clothing between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019. Books, movies and video games come in as a close second with 47%. Alongside with shoes and consumer electronics, these are the most relevant online shopping trends in 2020.

6. In 2020, US shoppers spent $34.4 billion by the end of Cyber Week.

(Adobe)

Previously, we’ve talked about the effect of Christmas on ecommerce sales, but there are other online sales trends worth taking into consideration. For instance, one of the most surprising online retail sales statistics is the fact that the sales revenue just on Cyber Monday 2020 was over $10.8 billion.

7. Almost half of all small businesses in the USA still don’t have a website.

(Oberlo)

Even in this day and age, almost half of all small businesses in the USA don’t have a website. This is quite surprising since there is such a vast number of online shoppers. These shops should consider opening the website, as the fact that their buyers would be able to buy 24/7 would make this investment worth their while.

8. There were 547,690 ecommerce sales in the USA in 2019.

(BigCommerce)

Another important thing to mention is that the trend of online shopping grows in every way, and the average value of a shopping cart is bigger every year. For instance, there were 547,690 ecommerce sales in the USA in 2019. Moreover, online shopping statistics for 2020 in the USA indicate that there were 604,091 ecommerce sales last year.

9. China has the largest number of cross-border online shoppers.

(World Retail Congress)

2019 statistics regarding ecommerce in China indicate that this country has the largest number of online shoppers (1 billion). Another even more important information is that China has the biggest number of cross-border online shoppers. In 2020, this number was estimated at 158 million.

10. The United Kingdom is the third-largest online market in the world.

(World Retail Congress)

The next thing you need to bear in mind is the fact that the UK is the third-largest market in the world, just after the United States and China. These UK online shopping statistics may come as a surprise, seeing how they outcompete markets of countries with larger populations. For instance, Japan, Germany and France (respectively) are positioned below the UK. When considering the percentage of the population, almost 80% of people in the UK are online shoppers.

11. UK shoppers spent €1,020 in online shops in 2020.

(Statista)

Another relevant online shopping UK statistic is the fact that the average consumer spent $1,020 last year. Furthermore, UK shoppers spent the most per capita in Europe. One more thing worth mentioning is that UK online shoppers tend to be quite mobile-centric. This makes foreign sites expanding to the UK more interested in m-commerce.

12. In 2020, the value of online retail sales in the UK was almost £100 billion.

(Statista, EcommerceDB)

When talking about online shopping statistics in the UK, it’s important to mention that between 2012 and 2019, there was steady revenue growth. In 2012, the value was £33.24 billion, while in 2019, the figure exceeded £76.04 billion. In 2020, online shopping became even more rooted in the UK. Therefore, it’s expected that this growth will continue in the following period as well.

13. In 2020, 27.9% of all retail in the UK was done online.

(Office for National Statistics)

According to online shopping growth statistics in the UK, 27.9% of retail was done online in 2020. The chart does look like it’s going uphill at full speed, from 19.2% in 2019, exceeding 30% for the first time in UK history. What’s more, last year’s growth does not look like it’s slowing down, as the percentage of online sales rose to 36.3% in January 2021.

Online Shopping Statistics - Person Using a Macbook

Online Shopping Trends

14. About 87% of all shopping instances begin online.

(Retail Dive)

No matter if the purchase is made online or offline, about 87% of all shopping instances begin online. This means that there are a lot of people who want to check the product, compare prices and see all the features before making a purchase. This is one of the most relevant statistics on online shopping vs in-store shopping.

15. Around 43% of global shoppers research products via social networks.

(BigCommerce)

One of the first global online shopping statistics from 2019 shows that 43% of shoppers research products via social networks. In the past several years, social networks have been a fairly powerful shopping funnel. Yet, they’re also an essential means of product placement and brand promotion, as well as influence marketing.

16. 63% of people abandon shopping carts because shipping costs too much.

(BigCommerce)

A situation in which a buyer adds an item into a shopping cart and then leaves without completing the purchase is called shopping cart abandonment. It’s one of the most problematic internet shopping statistics. Around 63% of people abandon shopping carts because the shipping costs too much. About 46% of them will abandon the shopping cart because the discount code doesn’t work.

17. 49.2% of ecommerce sales in 2020 came through mobile devices.

(Sleeknote)

One of the most relevant online shopping statistics in 2020 is that 49.2% of ecommerce sales came through mobile devices. The reason this is surprising to some is that mobile devices have a substantially lower conversion rate than desktops and tablets. However, sheer numbers are on the side of mobile devices, which leads to these triumphant figures for m-commerce.

18. Word of mouth (WOM) recommendations are relevant to 81% of consumers.

(Oberlo)

When it comes to reliance on trends in online shopping, about 81% of people still take the words of friends and relatives above all else. While some may see these WOM recommendations as something that belongs to traditional retail, it’s still a significant force in the world of ecommerce.

Interesting Online Shopping Facts

19. 75% of people shop online at least once a month.

(BigCommerce)

The habits of online shoppers are also quite important for understanding some of these trends of online shopping. Like in the majority of industries, return business is incredibly popular. The fact that 75% of people shop online monthly indicates that, in ecommerce, generating consumer loyalty shouldn’t be much of a problem.

20. According to 2019 data, millennials placed 60% of all their purchases online.

(Digital Commerce 360)

Amongst different age groups, millennials are the predominant consumer force in the online world. In 2019, millennials made about 60% of all their purchases online. Millennial consumers are also more mobile-oriented than ever before. One of the most shocking ecommerce stats is that the percentage of orders placed via mobile phones jumped by 20% between 2017 and 2019.

21. Ecommerce was invented in 1979.

(Adext)

One of the least known facts about online shopping is that it was invented in 1979. This would mean that ecommerce is already more than four decades old. On the other hand, when observing the beginning of the ecommerce that we know today, it appeared about 25 years later, somewhere in 1994.

22. During the Christmas season, Amazon sells more than 300 products every second.

(Adext)

Everyone is aware of the fact that Amazon is the biggest name in the ecommerce industry. However, the majority of people will get stunned to learn that, during the Christmas season, they sell over 300 products every second. As far as facts on online shopping go, this one might be the best indicator of how massive some of these ecommerce businesses are.

23. An average online platform has three seconds to make shoppers stay.

(Redwood)

One of the most important online retail shopping trends is expediency. You see, an average online platform has only three seconds to make a great first impression and convince its shoppers to stay. Failure to do so right away might make 40% of its potential customers to go to the competitor.

24. Poor customer experience drives away 80% of first-time shoppers.

(Oberlo)

As we’ve already mentioned, time is of the essence. Still, being fast doesn’t make up for a quality customer experience. As many as 80% of first-time shoppers might leave and never come back because they feel like they weren’t treated right the first time around. Since return business is pivotal for the profitability of the company, this is something that has to be worked on.

25. Search and navigation are important to 61% of online shoppers.

(Sleeknote)

Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that about 61% of shoppers care deeply about search and navigation. We’ve already mentioned that people often use e-commerce platforms in order to do the research. Well, this would require them to check out several different items. Therefore, their experience depends on their ability to efficiently use the search box, as well as their options of navigating back and forth.

26. Chatbots are far more popular than service agents.

(OptinMonster)

According to some surveys, it takes only 11 minutes of conversation with a customer service agent for a person to just give up. The problem is that there are some problems that may take longer than that to resolve. This is one of the main reasons why 80% of online businesses have a chatbot integrated on their website. By automating these processes, these businesses are improving their infrastructure while, at the same time, improving the customer experience.

Online Shopping Statistics - Woman Using Laptop

Online Shopping Statistics During Covid

27. Retail prices dropped by 2.4% in May.

(Hug)

One of the things worth mentioning is the fact that retail prices dropped by 2.4% in May, which was the largest drop since 2006. This is one of the most pivotal online shopping vs high street statistics out there that indicates a future trend. During the survey, only 9% of people stated that they would return to high street shopping as soon as they are allowed to. Others were still fearful of the whole situation.

28. 58% of online shoppers are more likely to place additional orders in the coming months.

(Zoovu)

The situation with the pandemic doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, which is why 58% of online shoppers are quite likely to place additional orders in the following several months. This might seriously reverse the current statistics for online shopping vs store shopping.

29. 60% of the EU consumers expect they will still buy online even after the end of the pandemic.

(Zoovu)

Some people believe that the current statistics of people shopping online are just temporary flukes caused by an unprecedented global crisis. Still, 60% of consumers from the EU expect they will continue to buy online even after the pandemic ends. Apart from being safer, this method is much more convenient. This might make people stay for good.

30. Between April and May 2020, there was a massive spike in ecommerce website traffic.

(Statista)

The spike in ecommerce website visits between April and May 2020 was quite incredible. Namely, in April 2020, there were 18.55 billion visits to ecommerce websites, while in May, this number reached 21.28 billion. Compared to the same period last year, the numbers were 14.06 billion and 14.83 billion, respectively. These online shopping growth statistics are, beyond doubt, the result of the pandemic.

31. Books and literature ecommerce website traffic also increased in 2020.

(Statista)

The traffic on platforms specialising in books and literature had grown by 16% between January and March 2020. Since the majority of students and schoolchildren are now forced to take classes online, they’re also obliged to turn to digital learning materials. Books and literature were already among the most dominant online shopping industry trends. Now, the situation seems to be going even more in their favour.

32. The search volume of the keyword ‘buy online’ has increased to 22.2 thousand in 2020.

(Statista)

According to online purchase statistics, another unexpected effect of the pandemic is the increase in online shopping that comes out of necessity. Even the people who have never before used this trend are now forced to do so. In 2019, the keyword ‘buy online’ generated about 18.1 thousand monthly online searches across the globe. In 2020, this number exceeded 22.2 thousand average searches per month.

Conclusion

The trend of online shopping growth is constant due to its convenience and pragmatism. It’s much easier for people to order items online. It’s also easier to compare retailers and items they’re interested in. In moments of crisis (like the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic), shopping online and having items delivered to your home is the safest possible option. That makes this trend so resilient and enables its growth even when the rest of the global market is suffering.

Overall, one of the biggest differences that we’ve seen in the past lies in the stellar rise of m-commerce, as the majority of online shopping stats indicate. The online world has become incredibly mobile-oriented in the previous several years, which is why it’s not surprising that the same thing is happening to the world of ecommerce. As for the future course of online shopping, we’ll have to wait and see.

FAQ

How does online shopping work?

Online shopping is a concept that allows buyers from all over the globe to purchase from sellers using a web browser or an app. Consumers place an order via their platform of choice and wait for the item to be delivered to their home address or local post office. They pay either directly or upon delivery.

Who buys online the most?

When it comes to the specific age group that places online orders the most, millennials definitely take the cake. This is because they are at the interception of being tech-savvy enough to buy online (compared to baby boomers) and have a higher average income than their younger counterparts. As the purchasing power structure of the global demographics shifts, we might start seeing more of Gen Z-dominated ecommerce.

How many people shop online?

Ecommerce statistics show that worldwide there are about 2.14 billion people shopping online in 2021. This is somewhere around 27.08% of the human population. Since there are more than 7.p billion people in the world and this number is constantly growing, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Why do people shop online?

The list of reasons people buy things online is a lengthy one. First of all, they love the convenience of comparison shopping. Second, they have a wider selection of items and retailers to choose from. Third, they usually have access to better prices than the ones offered by their local retailers. Other than this, they also appreciate having access to reviews from other shoppers. It also goes without saying that buying online is a timesaver.

What percentage of sales are online?

According to the most recent statistics, in January 2021, online shopping accounted for 36.3% of all retail sales in the UK. In 2020 as a whole, about 27.9% of all shopping in the UK was done online. With this number, it is clear that the UK is among the leaders in the whole European region. Still, the online shopping growth statistics for the UK indicate that as online shopping grew significantly in 2020, this growth will not be as pronounced in 2021.  

Is online shopping taking over retail?

While traditional retail still produces superior numbers, the online sales statistics indicate that ecommerce might be taking over in the nearest future. Since ecommerce and traditional retail often share the same audience and ecommerce statistics mark growth every single year, there is no other way to interpret this phenomenon.

What are the disadvantages of online shopping?

Although the majority of online shopping statistics sound impressive and optimistic, this trend also has some downsides worth considering. Delay in delivery is the first concern, as well as the potential shipping costs. Other than this, some buyers are suspicious because they can’t inspect the product in-person before placing an offer. Lastly, the nature of this form of commerce is prone to frauds and scams. All in all, it will take a while to sort out all these concerns.

Sources:

EJ Style
Enable registration in settings - general