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Jack Shepherd Co-Founder & Head of Growth

eCommerce: The Statistics & Trends Every Marketer Needs to Know (2021)

It's no secret that eCommerce has become a vital part of almost all businesses around the world. From local independent businesses to titans like Apple and Nike, eCommerce is crucial to its success.

And it has never been more prominent than now. With the rise of social media and mobile commerce, consumers are constantly connected, constantly searching, and constantly available.

With new reports showing that many consumers prefer the experience of shopping online, it's more important than ever to understand the key trends and statistics behind eCommerce.

As an eCommerce marketing agency, we understand the importance of staying informed and current with the latest trends behind the industry. That's why we've done all the hard work for you, and brought everything you need to know into one handy article.

From general demographics and trends to diving into the statistics behind eCommerce, we've compiled everything you need to know into an essential roundup to understand the current challenges facing the industry.

So read ahead to find out all the latest statistics and trends driving eCommerce in 2020.

eCommerce: The Essential Trends

The total global retail eCommerce revenue is projected to reach £3.5 trillion in 2021

This is nearly double the 2017 global retail eCommerce revenue, a recorded £1.8 trillion.

Such an incredible shift in sales in just 3 years clearly shows the rapidly growing strength of eCommerce, with future estimations setting eCommerce higher than ever before.

Global retail ecommerce sales worldwide


In 2021, an estimated 2.14 billion consumers are expected to purchase products and services online

This is more than a 28% increase from the 1.66 billion online consumers recorded in 2016 - another example of the rapid evolution of the eCommerce industry.

But what about B2B?

According to Statista, Global retail eCommerce B2B sales are expected to hit $1.1 trillion for the first time in 2021.

Asia-Pacific and North America lead the regional totals for retail eCommerce

The Asia-Pacific region is expected to account for 62.6% of all digital sales. North America comes in second place, accounting for 19.1% of all digital sales, while Western Europe sits in third, at 12.7%.

ecommerce-sales-by-worldwide-region

As of July 2020, eCommerce sales were responsible for 28.1% of total retail sales in the UK

By the end of 2020, online sales in the UK are predicted to reach a total of £78.9bn.

Shopify is predicted to reach an annual income of almost £35.9 billion in 2020

As one of the largest and most influential eCommerce platforms, the business boasts a current total of more than half a million active users.

By the year 2040, it is estimated that 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce platforms.

Possibly the greatest statistic in understanding the future of eCommerce. This remarkable prediction shows that an eCommerce marketing strategy is important now more than ever before.

93% of all global internet users have purchased from businesses online.

The largest reason consumers say they favour online shopping is the ability to shop at any time of day. One of the greatest advantages to consumers when shopping online is the ability to do so from wherever they are, whenever they want, with mobile users able to access online stores at their leisure.

The rise of voice-assisted purchases

25% of consumers who own smart speakers have used them to make purchases online, and with the increase in smart speaker integration, this number is only expected to go up.

In a study conducted by Microsoft, 2,000 active users of smart speakers were interviewed throughout the US, India, Canada, and Australia. Of those interviewed, 34.9% had actively used their smart speaker to make purchases and had enjoyed the experience.

voice-assisted-purchase-trends

From the future of eCommerce sales to the rise of voice-assisted purchases, so far we've examined the current trends affecting the eCommerce industry. We'll now turn our attention to another rising star - mobile commerce.

Mobile eCommerce and Video Statistics

The role of mobile devices in eCommerce

By the end of 2020, it is predicted that approximately 70.4% of all eCommerce sales will take place on mobile devices. In the first quarter of 2020, it was found that, through the last 6 months, 79% of all smartphone active users had made a purchase online.

This is only expected to grow...

By the end of 2021, smartphone users are expected to push this to 72.9% of all eCommerce sales.

mobile-ecommerce-trends


Video has been shown to increase conversion rates

In 2019, 62% of consumers watched video product reviews before making a purchase. Further than this, 84% of consumers surveyed were convinced to purchase a product or service after watching a promotional video.

People love to watch videos, with internet users spending an average of one-third of their online activity watching video content. Perhaps this is why video content has been shown to boost conversion rates by 80%

These are some of the many reasons why more and more businesses make sure they include video content in their marketing strategy.

Mobile vs Desktop Purchases

While it is true that mobile users do dominate eCommerce sales in terms of quantity, it has been found that sales made on desktops are still worth, on average, significantly more worldwide.

mobile-vs-desktop-purchases

However, new data suggests that the gap between transactional values between desktop and mobile consumers is decreasing in 2020, and that the gap present is significantly smaller in the UK than the global average.

Mobile Commerce and the US

In 2019, mobile purchases were responsible for an estimated 34% of all US eCommerce sales, suggesting once again how consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile devices to make purchases.

Mobile consumers and Apps

Along with the rise in mCommerce comes the rise of users making purchases through apps. In a recent study, it was found that mobile consumers who use apps make double the purchases rather than through search engines and web browsers.

It has also been found that apps have, on average, a 14% higher conversion rate than web stores in 2020, showcasing the power of a well-optimised app for almost all retail businesses.

Influencing purchases in mCommerce

When it comes to influencing purchases through mCommerce, feedback and recommendations from users' friends reign supreme, with 87% of smartphone users having previously been influenced by a friend to make a purchase.

In second place is marketing emails from businesses, which was responsible for having influenced 69% of consumers in their decisions, while online ads ranked third with 67%

what-influencers-mobile-purchasing-decisions

As eCommerce continues to rise in 2020, so too does Commerce. The rise of mobile shopping continues to increase as users are more connected than ever before - with almost every mobile phone capable of making purchases.

Although we know mobile purchases are already responsible for a huge chunk of eCommerce revenue, we can only expect this to increase in the coming years.

Mobile purchases are already becoming responsible for the majority of eCommerce sales, with 70.4% of all eCommerce sales expected to come from mobile platforms by the end of 2020.

It is clear that mCommerce is an incredibly important factor that any marketer needs to consider, as it's only certain to continue to grow.

Social Commerce Statistics

Facebook, Instagram, and Social Commerce

In a recent survey conducted by Shopify, 35% of those interviewed agreed that Facebook is an important factor in choosing which businesses to use and buy from. People can use the site not only to find recommendations, but check reviews and stories related to individual brands, and it seems users are turning to social media instead of search engines or a blog post to find reviews.

Partner platform Instagram is responsible for one of the newest trends in Social Commerce strategies, deemed 'Shoppable Posts' - achieved through attaching links to specific items within photos uploaded to the platform such as items of clothing, jewellery, even cars!

Users report that these posts provide a seamless shopping experience, as products are presented in a pleasing manner, and options to view products shown are not detractive from the overall pleasing photo.

instagram-ecommerce-posts

With both sites still holding increases in the number of their monthly active users, it may be worth considering if Social Commerce is a viable source for your brand in 2020.

The global Social Commerce market will increase by 34% by Q4 2021

The total revenue generated solely through Social Commerce worldwide is predicted to exceed £696 billion in 2023.

Social media referral traffic has increased significantly in the last two years.

As the number of monthly active users on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and more increases, so too does the potential to reach new audiences and drive them to your site through social media referrals.

Since 2018, referral traffic generated through social media has increased by more than 100%

70% of consumers search for products they want to buy on Instagram and Facebook

As well as being driving forces of their own in the Social Commerce industry, both platforms are a great tool for people to view potential products and purchases before buying them.

Out of those only buyers surveyed, 30% agreed that they would purchase directly from social media platforms like Pinterest, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram. This number appears higher in Millennials, however, with more than 50% of those surveyed agreeing they would purchase directly through social media.

71% of people will recommend the brand they bought on social media in 2020

One of the key trends we have seen is the importance of receiving recommendations directly from friends, and this latest statistic shows us that people are only too happy to share their recommendations online.

Perhaps this is why brands and businesses are examining how they can use social media to improve their image, drive engagement, and deliver exceptional customer service - the main factors behind Social Commerce.

52% of online and offline purchases were influenced by Facebook in 2015

Today, this number has risen significantly, and Facebook is now responsible for influencing an estimated 85% of all purchases.

Posts with 80 characters or less get 66% more audience engagement

Out of all posts examined, it was found that those posts containing only 80 characters or less were responsible for 66% more engagement than longer posts.

character-length-engagement

Another important factor to consider in every Social Commerce strategy is click-through-rate (CTR). To boost your CTR on social posts, consider adding a photo - It's been found that social media posts with a photo achieve 84% higher click-through-rates than those without.

So far, we have analysed the current trends and statistics of eCommerce in 2020, as well the rise of both mCommerce and Social Commerce, the latter relatively new but rising rapidly.

Now that we've examined how consumers interact with and use popular commerce platforms, it's time to turn to the challenges currently affecting the industry, and how to navigate them.

The Challenges Facing eCommerce

Long checkout processes can be destructive

35% of consumers have reported that they abandoned an order simply because they believed the checkout process was too complicated or long. If you feel that your checkout process is too complicated, it might be time for a redesign.

If they have to create an account, aren't they more reliable?

In the same report, it was revealed that when asked to create an account to continue, 23% of shoppers will leave their carts immediately.

The search for smooth

A large number of global eCommerce businesses are now focussing on creating an optimal and smooth checkout experience. In doing so, they hope to avoid many of the main issues facing the industry at the moment, such as cart abandonment.

One particular method for creating a smooth checkout experience is through the use of virtual e-wallets such as Alipay and WeChat. These wallets are more integrated into the everyday lives of its users, instead of payment gateway 'PayPal' for example, which is only relevant during the checkout stage.

Both Alipay and WeChat boast over 1,000,000,000 users.

Conversion optimisation in 2020

Just as it's impossible to discuss social media without discussing Facebook, it's impossible to discuss eCommerce without discussing the conversion rate.

In 2020, conversion optimisation remains one of the primary focusses for many businesses worldwide as they attempt to make their products stand out on all platforms. Currently, global eCommerce website conversion rates sit at just 4.31%

This can include dynamic ads on Facebook, shopping ads on Google, or other digital marketing efforts. With an optimised checkout process, eCommerce sites may expect as much as a 35% boost in conversion rates.

Load time and the fear of 10 seconds

As a study conducted by Google found, there is a direct correlation between the longer it takes for a page to load, and the probability of a visitor bouncing.

As page load time goes from 0 seconds to 10 seconds, the probability of a visitor bouncing increases by as much as 123%

page-load-time-bounce-rate

Another one to look out for is the number of elements on your page, such as text, images, videos and titles. As the number increases from 400 to 6,000, the probability of conversion drops by 95%

People who have a negative experience on your site are 62% less likely to purchase from you in the future

This illustrates more than ever the need to create a smooth digital experience.

Free Shipping and eCommerce

New studies have found that shipping plays an incredibly vital role in eCommerce. Of 986 US online consumers, only 9% had never abandoned a cart due to the price of shipping.

free-shipping-effect-on-online-shopping

The delivery time also plays a crucial role in cart abandonment

In a separate study where 1,188 US online consumers were surveyed, 44% had previously abandoned their cart due to the delivery time, while 20% had previously abandoned their cart due to unclear delivery dates.

consumers-say-arrival-time-effected-purchase-decision

The Roundup

So far, we've analysed the current trends and statistics affecting how the eCommerce industry is growing and evolving, whether through how consumers use social media to influence their purchasing decisions or the rapid development of mCommerce.

From analysing the latest user demographics to the future of retail, below we've taken all the best bits and laid them out for you, so you don't have to.

The future of retail

With the latest estimation that 95% of all purchases will be made online by 2040, it's more vital than ever to have a solid eCommerce marketing strategy at your disposal.

We've also seen a surge in newer technologies being used to make online purchases, such as voice-assisted shopping via smart-speakers. Some businesses are also experimenting with implementing AI assistance, which we will surely see in the near future.

The rise of social

Just as technology has evolved to provide consumers with successful eCommerce experiences, so too has Social Media evolved to achieve the same thing.

From the huge influence that Facebook has over consumers to new mediums like 'shoppable posts' being introduced, social commerce is becoming more and more prominent - with projections showing that this will only increase with time. If you haven't thought about introducing a solid social commerce plan for your business, now is the perfect time to start.

The same challenges

However, although eCommerce has greatly evolved through the years, the challenges it faces still widely remains the same - click-through-rate, bounce rate, and conversions.

We've already seen the highly destructive impact of page-load times, with a 123% increase in bounce probability if a page takes 10 seconds to load, and businesses are still fine-tuning their campaigns to produce the greatest engagement and CTR possible. As eCommerce continues to develop, these issues won't be going anywhere soon.

Although navigating difficulties such as conversion rates can be tricky, having a solid plan could be vital to the success of your business. If you're ready to boost your conversion rate, why not read our masterclass in doubling your conversion rate overnight? (yes, you read that right.)

If you want to learn more about how to develop and maintain a winning eCommerce campaign for your business, or have a question about your eCommerce campaign you need addressing, feel free to contact us by clicking here or calling 01225 632440.

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