Must-Know eCommerce Statistics for 2021

  • The global pandemic has caused a surge in eCommerce.
  • Over 90% of all purchases are expected to be made online by 2040.
  • Businesses should create an online presence to boost sales.

With over 12 million eCommerce sites worldwide and around 576,000 new websites created daily, the eCommerce industry is expanding at a rapid pace. Notably, the global pandemic has been the biggest reason for the eCommerce boom over the last year. Consumers have embraced new shopping habits and companies have to adapt in order to sustain themselves.

More and more consumers are turning to online shopping during the pandemic.

To prepare your business for success in 2021, WebsiteSetup.org curated the most important eCommerce statistics, facts, figures, and trends to help boost your sales this year.

General eCommerce Trends

Even pre-pandemic, eCommerce has been growing in popularity due to the rapid technological advances around us. Online stores have made shopping more convenient and accessible to users, and as businesses continue to improve their services and platforms, eCommerce will become increasingly integrated into our daily lives.

Here are some statistics about the rise of eCommerce over the years:

  • U.S. eCommerce sales reached $794.5 billion in 2020 — a growth of 32.4% YoY. (eMarketer)
  • In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online. (Statista)
  • Around 95% of all purchases are expected to be via eCommerce by 2040. (Nasdaq)

Consumer Behavior Statistics

When stay-at-home orders were enforced, many consumers turned to online shopping to buy food and other necessities. Online restaurant orders surged, and buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) orders grew 59% in August 2020, a 259% increase year-over-year.

With convenience and delivery impacting brand loyalty, it’s essential for eCommerce businesses to focus their efforts on improving customer service in 2021. Keep these statistics on consumer behavior and preferences in mind to help you find strategies to attract and retain customers.

  • In 2020, U.S. consumers spent over 14 billion hours online shopping. (Adobe)
  • 98.1% of shoppers say delivery impacts their brand loyalty. (Retail TouchPoints)
  • 77% of consumers say they would shop more from a website where they are allowed to chat with an associate. (LivePerson)
  • 84% of shoppers reported that they are unlikely to shop with a brand again after a poor delivery experience. (Retail TouchPoints)
  • Consumers prioritize convenience over cost —they’re willing to spend more to get what they need. (Deloitte)
In 2020, U.S. consumers spent over 14 billion hours online shopping.

Impact of COVID-19 on e-Commerce

When COVID-19 hit and caused many brick-and-mortar stores to shut down, some businesses were able to thrive by shifting to online sales instead.

Here are some trends on how the pandemic has impacted the eCommerce industry, which can help you plan for the future of your business.

  • Over 90% of shoppers reported that their online shopping frequency increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (DealAid)
  • Due to the pandemic, 13% of consumers said they were increasing their use of in-store pickup and drive-up options. (NPD)
  • In April 2020, online grocery shopping was around 77% higher than before the pandemic. (NPD)
  • When stores closed in April 2020, consumers made smaller purchases and prioritized buying essentials online. (Adobe)
  • At the beginning of the pandemic, 30% of footwear sales were online, but the shutdown of physical stores increased online sales to almost two-thirds of footwear sales generated online in April. (NPD)
  • Digital restaurant orders increased by 138% in May 2020 compared to the previous year. (NPD)

It is evident that the global pandemic has amplified the importance of eCommerce. Purchases that were traditionally made in person have shifted online. Even after lockdown orders were lifted, consumers continued to shop digitally and from their mobile devices. If your business doesn’t have an online presence yet, you should start creating one to keep up with the pace of the eCommerce industry. Online tools and resources have made the process of creating and operating an eCommerce site a whole lot easier.

Keep these eCommerce trends in mind as you continue to build your eCommerce business, and leverage digital tools and social platforms to improve the shopping experience for your customers.

Lisa Xu

Lisa Xu is a content writer based in Canada. She has covered topics across various industries, including business, tech, and cybersecurity. Her work has been published on local news outlets and tech blogs.

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