40 eCommerce Statistics to Boost Your Online Sales in 2020

eCommerce Statistics

What is eCommerce Marketing? Ecommerce refers to businesses, companies, and individuals selling goods or services electronically. With some products, such as movies, music, books, and scientific papers, this is the overall preferred type of purchase, as they are also consumed electronically. 

Other goods, such as food, beverages, and consumables aren’t as popular as media products. Even so, eCommerce statistics show these goods are some of the fastest-growing in the industry. The reason why this happens is unfortunately not laziness, but just the opposite – people with money simply no longer have time to cook. 

Now, as the changes in eCommerce reflect some shifts in our real-life, as well as everyday economic and sociological turmoil, it’s often difficult to keep track of all the sharp turns and adapt. This is why businesses will hire an eCommerce marketing agency and hope for the best. 

We have collected the most recent, up-to-date information on eCommerce stats and trends to help you meet your new challenges in 2020. We have included reports from Nielsen and Shopify, and scholarly articles from world-renowned universities. 

So, if you want to know how to draw attention to your product or service online and what conversion-killing traps you ought to avoid, check out our stats and commentaries. And good luck!

Top 10 eCommerce Stats to Help Your Business Thrive, Editor’s Choice

  • In 2021, there will be 2.1 billion digital buyers worldwide, up from 1.66 billion in 2016.
  • Almost 61% of shoppers didn’t finish their purchase because trust logos were missing.
  • Amazon is behind 44% of all eCommerce sales.
  • Mobile payments will have passed the 50% milestone, becoming mainstream in most markets by 2026.
  • In 2019, 14.1% of global retail sales were made online.
  • eCommerce influences up to 56% of in-store purchases.
  • 55% of Americans begin their product searches on Amazon.
  • As many as 18% of local searches lead to a sale within 24 hours.

1. In 2021, there will be 2.1 billion digital buyers worldwide, up from 1.66 billion in 2016.

The number of online shoppers is skyrocketing. The more popular online commerce is, the more trust are people likely to put into this type of service. Ordering food, deciding which retail store’s new collection best fits your style, and even planning our vacations all happen online. And it gets better.

You can do more in-depth research in a shorter timespan and also enjoy competitive price offers. A whole range of digital resources, such as product reviews, are also easier to access online. The best eCommerce sites draw in the biggest number of customers. Not sure about the food quality of this restaurant? Check out the 270 reviews adding up to an average score and make an informed decision.

2. Over 4 billion people (53% of the global population) are connected to the internet, and nearly all of them (92.6%1) go online using their mobile devices.

Every day, 85% of users (3.4 billion) spend six and a half hours browsing the Web. Your customers are spending more and more time online, engaging in an expanding range of activities. Online accessibility, mobile technology, and digital innovations dictate your marketing options. An eCommerce site is a must if you want your customers to see you and buy what you’re offering.

3. About 80% of internet users in the US are expected to make at least one purchase online in 2019.

This shows a steady increase from 2013, when the figure stood at 73%.

4. Most (42%) of online shoppers prefer to pay with their credit cards.

ECommerce trends are dictated by user behavior, so these insights are quite useful to businesses. In the US, there are approximately 160 million credit card holders, which is about half of the total population. All these credit card users are potential eCommerce customers, and businesses will use various types of eCommerce tricks to lure them in.

5. 39% of online buyers prefer to pay for online goods and services via PayPal.

The second most popular payment method, PayPal connects directly to a user’s bank account, so there’s no need to own a credit card. And since buyers can pay for merchandise immediately, sellers receive payments immediately, without having to wait for checks to go through the mail or clear the bank. Convenience drives these eCommerce trends.

Still, there are disadvantages to PayPal that mainly have to do with security measures. Even though the transaction is fast, if you look at all suspicious or dodgy, PayPal may hold payments for 21 days.

6. PayPal had 267 million active registered accounts by the end of 2018.

In the first quarter of 2019, there were 277 million active accounts worldwide, representing a 17% year-on-year growth. In 2002, PayPal was acquired by auction site eBay. It has made great gains in visibility and online popularity since then. The eCommerce markets have recently expanded to brick-and-mortar retailers and shops. As of December 2018, 36% of North American retailers accepted PayPal as a payment method and 34% planned to do so within the next 24 months.

7. In 2018, retail eCommerce sales grew 23.3% over 2017.

Physical sales are still customers’ top favorite purchase option. Still, the penetration of online commerce into consumers’ lives has been growing steadily for years now, showing no signs of slowing down. What’s more, the less popular sectors are expected to become more open for eCommerce options. Ecommerce growth for 2019, 2020, and 2021 is expected to hit 21.5%, 19.8%, and 18%, respectively.

8. In 2019, 14.1% of global retail sales were made online.

Online shopping has witnessed a steady growth in popularity worldwide, just as online retail has. eCommerce’s share of total global retail sales has nearly doubled from 2015 to 2019. Four years ago, just 7.4% of all retail sales were made online, while in 2019 this number rose to 14.1%, generating a total of $3.5 trillion. Statista predicts that in the next four years, 22% of retail sales will come from online shopping channels, so you’d better start working on that eCommerce store right away!

9. Today, eCommerce influences up to 56% of in-store purchases.

(Research Gate)
As the figure above indicates, eCommerce is so much more than just buying stuff on a website. If you do not realize, appreciate, and take advantage of the complex and evolving synergy of online and offline commerce, it’s unlikely that your business will thrive. The very fact that there is such a thing as “offline” shopping in contemporary discourse shows traditional shopping is no longer the norm. It’s as relevant as eCommerce platforms.

10. The value of goods purchased online and picked up in retail locations across the UK, the world’s most mature click-and-collect market, is expected to increase 78% by 2020.

(Ovum’s The Future of E-commerce: The Road to 2026)
The value of goods being picked up from lockers, convenience stores, and other locations is expected to increase threefold by 2020. Today, the majority of retailers utilize pickup points in convenience stores, post offices, and lockers, along with the more established own-store click-and-collect model.

11. By 2019, B2B firms will spend more on eCommerce technology than online retailers.

(Research Gate)
With increased internet penetration both on desktop and mobile devices, the future of eCommerce is getting brighter by the hour. And the number is only expected to rise – by 2021, over 2.14 billion people will be buying goods and services online. That’s up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016. The range of devices with internet connections available to online shoppers allows products to be purchased almost anywhere from any device.

mCommerce Statistics


12. By 2021, 53.9% of all US retail eCommerce is expected to be generated through mobile commerce.

Mobile commerce refers to commercial transactions conducted online, via cell phones. Currently, most people browse the web using mobile devices rather than desktops. Your customers are likely to spend a lot of their waking hours on their phones. Most of the time they do so for no reason whatsoever other than avoiding the boredom trap. So, this is your chance to grab their attention and present your offer.

13. Mobile payments will have passed the 50% milestone, becoming mainstream in most markets by 2026.

(Ovum’s The Future of E-commerce: The Road to 2026)
According to Ovum’s “The Future of E-commerce: The Road to 2026” report, business owners ought to adjust their Ecommerce marketing strategies to this new reality. As payments in general evolve slowly, mobile devices will take the lead but won’t replace desktop outright. Service development and adoption will speed up, and ultimately reduce the use of physical credit cards. What’s more, they will even radically diminish cash payments.

14. 67% of consumers have downloaded a retailer app.

According to the 2018 Synchrony Retailer Mobile Apps study, over half of those who downloaded retailer app(s) did so in order to make use of an app-only coupon or discount. Naturally, this eCommerce marketing strategy doesn’t immediately convert all users into repeat customers. Still, almost 50% actually used the app to make one or more purchases, adding up to a satisfactory result.

15. Where transaction value is concerned, mobile commerce grew from $50.92 billion in 2014 to $693.35 billion in 2019.

(Ovum’s The Future of E-commerce: The Road to 2026)
In their report titled “The Future of E-Commerce,” Ovum decided to define m-commerce as
remote consumer-to-business (C2B) mobile payments. The “follow the money” motto works swell for making predictions about the future. The mobile-first landscape is growing stronger with reliable, positive mobile purchase experiences.

This is important. To add some of the big money to their own revenue, businesses are advised to consider eCommerce optimization options, such as flow optimization to navigation, homepage, purchase, and, of course, mobile optimization.

16. 22% of millennials prefer to shop on their mobile device.

(Research Gate)
According to “E-Commerce Trends,” a paper from the Quebec University in Montreal, millennials are growing attached to the idea of making spur-of-the-moment purchases via their mobile devices.

17. Eight out of 10 mobile users look for local businesses online.

(Research Gate)
What is eCommerce and how it can be useful in the market? Canadian bicycle retailer Primeau Velo had a 9-to-1 (9:1) ROPO Ratio, where every $1 spent online drove $9 of in-store sales.

What’s more:

Nearly a fifth of local searches lead to a sale within the next 24 hours. Retailers now have a slew of advanced tools for measuring their ROPO ratio – the in-store impact of digital efforts. They can figure out exactly which ads, listings, and site visits are responsible for driving store visits and purchases by analyzing the data gathered through social media, geolocation/mobile tracking, real-time inventory software, ERP, CRM, and POS systems.

18. Online shopping on mobile increased from 8% to 15%, while shopping on desktop dropped from 78% to 63%.

These 2019 eCommerce statistics indicate that purchasing goods via desktop is decreasing. To put these figures into perspective, the share of shopping via a smartphone in the US almost doubled, from 8% to 15% over the 2016-2017 period. The same goes for tablets, where this share doubled from 5% to 10%. Desktop shopping, however, had to suffer some losses due to these new developments, and it dropped from 78% of the overall to 63%. As you can see, these trends have been on a roll for a while now, and they show no signs of slowing down.

19. More than 1B consumers with mobile phones used them for banking purposes.

Phone eCommerce statistics show the highest penetration of m-banking is in the developed markets. In the US, the number was expected to reach 111 million by 2016. Almost 70% of millennials in the US used mobile banking in 2018.

Here’s the thing – mobile banking is exploding, with new ideas from voice-first development to putting humans back into the digital experience. The open system of banking data, however, is not as safe as a closed one, available before banking went online. For the sake of competition, these safety risks are a necessity, and more and more money is invested in cybersecurity.

eCommerce Marketing


20. The fastest growth in retail eCommerce between 2018 and 2022 is expected in India and Indonesia.

With recent digital development exploding in the Asia-Pacific region, it is no surprise that the fastest growing online retail markets are Indonesia and India, followed by Mexico and China.

21. Ecommerce retail sales are expected to account for 33.6% of total retail sales in China in 2019.

China is the largest ecommerce marketplace in the world. Still, China has been widely known as the world’s “factory,” producing cheap, low quality goods. This is all about to change in the near future, with some developments already evident. According to the Made in China 2025 plan, the country aims to move to producing higher value products and services. It is, in essence, a blueprint to upgrade the manufacturing capabilities of Chinese industries.

22. Returned merchandise cost US retailers $284 billion in potential sales.

(Ovum’s The Future of E-commerce: The Road to 2026)
This is according to a survey by the US National Retail Federation. AR apps will also allow consumers to view products in their homes and purchase them on the spot from their mobile devices.

23. The total, global M2M connections will rise from over 493,000,000 in 2018 to over 570,000,000 in 2019.

(Ovum’s The Future of E-commerce: The Road to 2026)
With the rise of IoT technology, or data sharing between connected devices over the internet, quality management can be improved, along with customer relations. With more sophisticated data hierarchy and analysis as well as product and worker tracking, workload management is likely to thrive. Even starting an eCommerce business these days will likely involve at least some AI and IoT involvement. IoT will help retailers all over the world enhance their image and reduce poor quality complaints and even work injuries.

24. 2.62 billion internet users access social media at least once a month.

(Research Gate)
This makes social media an excellent hunting ground for your future customers. The ability to not only direct shoppers toward a new product or an attractive deal, but to engage with them and create a sense of community, is incredibly useful. A complete social media eCommerce presence also includes direct sales through some networks. It’s also important to have the back-end tools in place to let customers share products and recent purchases with friends and followers through just a single click.

25. 50% of millennials prefer to shop in-store.

(Research Gate)
While brick-and-mortar experiences are much more popular with generation X-ers and boomers, even millennials enjoy walking into a store at least half the time. Online merchants are doing their best to understand how they can make their shopping experience more life-like and personal. At the same time, brick and mortar stores are going out of their way to establish a strong online presence and offer online payment options along with effective eCommerce marketing.

Nordstrom, for example, opened a 3,000 sq/ft store that holds no merchandise. Instead, they focus on try-ons, stylists, and tailoring. This fashion safe space is made more pleasant with fresh juice and manicures. People can also pick up or replace online purchases here.

26. Over 60% of millennials and generation Z-ers are likely to complete transactions on their mobile devices.

According to recent Visenze research, nearly 80% prefer to learn about new products on a phone throughout the day, while going about their business. The future, in that sense, is probably almost entirely mobile-first, as new generations are likely to put more trust into eCommerce on this medium.

27. The US B2B eCommerce market could reach $1.1T and account for 12.1% of all B2B sales by 2020, and over $6 Trillion worldwide.

(Research Gate)
How much is the eCommerce industry worth? Consumers are spending more time, with increasing frequency, on an expanded range of diverse digital activities. It is undisputed that internet accessibility, mobile technology, and digital innovations are redefining consumers’ every interaction. What’s more, they will continue to enable and disrupt many aspects of consumers’ lifestyles well into the future.

28. 89% of buyers search online in a B2B purchase process.

(Research Gate)
Out of these 89%, as many as 74% search online in a B2B purchase process for more over
50% of their purchases. Walking around the block and memorizing the stores you run into, or simply asking your neighbors for advice on the best place to eat is no longer the top go-to solution. Checking for online product reviews, photos, and recommendations from all over the world now takes the cake – global culture and free/cheap shipping make merch from anywhere more readily available than ever. This is how eCommerce website marketing (and app marketing) became more important than almost any other kind of marketing.

29. As many as 18% of local searches lead to a sale within 24 hours.

(Research Gate)
Most have to do with finding a good place to eat or buying headphones. Again, browsing the web for the best reviews, the most comments, and the most memorable experiences is easier than just walking in circles and spending your money on lukewarm, bland meals.

30. 55% of Americans begin their product searches on Amazon.

(Research Gate)
The mind-boggling information that Amazon is behind 44% of all eCommerce sales can be damaging for the morale of pretty much anyone thinking about building an eCommerce website and marketing products online. eBay is behind 7% of sales, a distant second. With its own shopping app and 40% mobile reach in the US, Amazon ranks way ahead of everyone else yet again.

In fact, the Amazon monopoly is so overwhelming that Congress is launching an investigation into whether it’s guilty of “anti-competitive conduct.” The committee is questioning the inner-workings of the entire system and will try to assess “whether existing antitrust laws, competition policies and current enforcement levels are adequate to address these issues.” The answer to the question of what is eCommerce might change if new insights bring forth change. (The Guardian)

31. 268 million consumers in Europe shop online, and 200 million European consumers buy from abroad electronically.

(E-commerce in Europe)
In an attempt to pursue its Digital Single Market Strategy, the European Commission is working towards more connected, safer online shopping options. To this effect, it passed a new, revised Payment Services Directive. Geoblocking is also limited, allowing customers to view previously inaccessible content. Finally, revised consumer protection options and revised value-added tax rules will apply from 2021. With these improvements, cross-border eCommerce business will flourish.

32. €198 billion – the total that European consumers estimate of the amount they spent online in 2017.

(E-commerce in Europe)
European integration began over 60 years ago. Today, the European Union consists of 28 countries with a total population of almost 500 million. With many European countries like France, the Netherlands, and Germany enjoying immense GDPs, online consumers are likely to spend a lot of money online. They have also been using one currency since 2002, further facilitating the transaction process. In addition, there are a number of market clusters, where neighboring countries share similar languages, cultures, and technical standards.

33. 57% is the global average of online shoppers who make purchases from overseas retailers.


Is e commerce always global? Being a big fish in a small pond is not a good idea if you want to make serious money. In fact, it’s not even an option, since your neighbors are likely to look beyond their borders for that perfect item.

But there’s good news:

An actual, physical presence around the world is not a requirement for taking your business global. Online shoppers are getting more and more accustomed to making purchases from foreign sellers. In fact, during a six-month evaluation period, Shopify’s researchers found that North Americans are the only ones predominantly buying from domestic eCommerce merchants. During that period, shoppers from other continents made the majority of their purchases from a retailer located outside their country.

34. The top online purchasing categories in 2018 were fashion at 61% and travel at 59%.

The 2018 Nielsen report on the state of connected commerce is based on a survey that polled over 30,000 online consumers in 64 countries. This pretty accurate view of contemporary eCommerce basics and global consumer habits comes from the opinions and data from countries in Europe, Latin America, AsiaPacific, North America, the Middle East, and Africa.

Books and movies were the third most popular category at 49%. IT and mobile came fourth at 47%, and event tickets amounted to 45%. Online shopping is one of the most popular internet activities on a global scale – and some purchase categories are simply better suited for this medium.

The most popular eCommerce business examples are also from these categories. Warby Parker, one of the most profitable eCommerce businesses, sells eyeglasses without the markup. Bonobos sells men’s pants, while TOMS offers a variety of shoes with a twist – they match every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes for a child in need.

35. The online purchase of restaurant/meal kit delivery amounted to 33% in 2018, 2% higher than in 2017. 

Packed groceries (30%), medicine and healthcare (27%), and fresh groceries (26%) were the other consumable online purchase categories buyers were the most enthusiastic about. Consumers have less and less time to prepare food and consumables themselves, and this is how eCommerce works – it satisfies a market need.

The thing is people give up on the idea of making their own food often enough to outsource and seek help from restaurants. Quality time preparing food is now but a pipe dream for busy, working individuals. So, this is one of the fastest growing online purchase industries. Even packaged groceries are now e-commerce friendly, as are medicine/health care products, and stuff for babies and children, and pets. Even the frequency of buying booze online has increased by two points.

36. Consumers indicate that they are purchasing entertainment (61%) and services (56%) categories more often online than in-store.

Some products are easier to purchase online by default, as they are consumed on connected devices. eCommerce website marketing facilitates the process of searching and comparing products and service specifications, as well as their availability and prices. Also, the consumer gets to enjoy products from beyond home borders, which would otherwise be either inaccessible or difficult to pursue.

This includes books, music, gaming, and similar products. Event tickets are often bought online, especially for people traveling abroad to attend the events in question. After 20 years of eCommerce retailing, these products have a higher sales volume than more traditional consumer goods.

37. On average, 26% of global online shoppers purchased FMCG products in 2018.

According to Nielsen’s eCommerce statistics, that’s a 2% increase compared to 2017 for fast-moving consumer goods. FMCG, or Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), are products businesses can sell quickly and at a low cost. Packaged foods, over-the-counter drugs, beverages, as well as other consumable goods are some examples.

38. 49% of consumers would rather shop online if they had a money-back guarantee for products not matching what was ordered.

One of the biggest challenges eCommerce websites face is trust. When you’re not satisfied with brick-and-mortar service, it’s easier to return the faulty or otherwise misunderstood item. For most consumers, the idea of knowing for a fact they can easily return the undesired item to the seller and get their preferred one sent to them is of vital importance. Ideally, consumers wouldn’t have to pay any additional shipping costs and wouldn’t damage the goods they returned.

39. 61% of shoppers report leaving a transaction due to extra costs, such as shipping fees.

(Baymard Report)
Hidden costs aren’t doing anyone any favors, as every eCommerce business owner should know. Customers feel betrayed and manipulated, and the integrity and reputation of a brand or website suffer a great deal. Ecommerce conversion rate is lower if consumers find anything at all unclear about the full cost of a purchase.

This is huge. According to the Baymard report, as many as 24% of people surveyed claimed inability to accurately calculate total order cost up-front was behind their cart abandonment decision. Not only should businesses never lie to customers regarding even the most meager additional costs – they must go out of their way to be as clear and straightforward as possible.

40. A Shopify article indicates that almost 61% of shoppers didn’t finish their purchase because trust logos were missing.

SSL Certificates are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key to an organization’s details. For best-chance eCommerce conversion rate optimization, don’t forget to include some form of safety assurance, since consumers are likely to look for it. Typically, websites use these certificates to secure many aspects of eCommerce, such as credit card transactions, logins, and data transfer. Lately, securing web browsing has become the norm. There are different types of trust indication, the most frequent ones being Site Seal, TrustLogo, and Corner of Trust.


What is eCommerce & eMarketing?

Ecommerce refers to selling goods or services electronically. E-marketing, on the other hand, is all about driving traffic to said goods and services, and drawing consumers’ attention to them. Usually, some consumers are more likely to enjoy a product than others, and this is where market research is useful. If a targeted audience sees your product and finds it appealing, you’ll get more conversions for less marketing money.

How do I get into ecommerce marketing?

The easy part is always the same. First, you register your business and pick a smart name. Then, you get a business license, employer identification number, and other necessary licenses and permits. Design a catchy, stylish logo, and on you go to the tricky part. And that’s driving top-of-funnel traffic to convert into sales and repeating customers. To do this properly, you’ll need to do a lot of work on learning who your target audiences are, what they like about their product, and where you can find them. Millennials are mostly on Instagram, and elderly buyers are elsewhere, so choose your channels wisely and don’t forget to integrate multi-channel efforts. A sound business plan and in-depth marketing analytics are key.

What is the difference between eCommerce and digital marketing?

In short, digital marketing is about marketing the client’s goods or services to a specific, targeted customer, on a local or global scale.

On the one hand, eCommerce simply involves selling or buying goods and services. For example, you could be selling a couch or potatoes or a concert ticket online, and that would be eCommerce. On the other hand, finding the audience for said products and getting them to make repeated purchases or even tell their friends how amazing you are would be digital marketing.

How many eCommerce businesses are there?

In today’s economic landscape, the eCommerce industry has blossomed to 24 million online stores. The monopoly held by Amazon, Alibaba, and Aliexpres is so overwhelming, though, that any small business that wants to sell goods on the internet should simply pick a pre-existing channel. Even eBay is only behind 7% of eCommerce sales.

eCommerce Is the Present and the Future

And that’s all, folks. An extensive list of 40 eCommerce stats cherry-picked for relevance and contemporaneity. All sources included are reputable, recent, and linked in the description below. Our top experts provided short comments, elaborating on the relevant info for crystal clarity.

The line between eCommerce and brick-and-mortar stores is increasingly blurred. Online-only apparel shops manifest physically in your block, offering style advice, try-ons, fresh juice, and a haircut. And yet, no actual merchandise is sold in the store! Physical shops without an online presence and eCommerce purchase options are killed off by competitors at an increasingly worrying pace.

If anything, these eCommerce statistics highlight one crucial fact – any company is an eCommerce company; otherwise it either doesn’t exist or won’t be around for long.

Andrea Stojanović is a writer dedicated to dispelling myths about (un)successful startups, cybersecurity, and the current economic issues in first world countries. Since she was 19 years old, she’s been dabbling in technical writing and film criticism, publishing reviews and news articles. She strives for accuracy and professional integrity, with a healthy dose of skepticism of shady or biased sources. While the pursuit of absolute truth is unachievable, good writing and proper, in-depth research can take us a long way.