25+ Staggering Online Shopping Statistics You Should Know in 2021

Today, almost 27% of the total world population are involved in online shopping.

Fascinating Facts to Blow Your Mind

  • In 2020, there are around 2.05 billion online shoppers across the globe.
  • The USA is expected to reach 300 million online shoppers by the year 2023.
  • eCommerce sales worldwide are expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021.
  • 63% of people’s shopping journey starts online.
  • Over 40% of all online shoppers use PayPal as a payment method.

The history of eCommerce dates back to 1994—when a man sold a music CD to his friend through an American retail platform (NetMarket). This is the first documented example of a product being sold online. At that point, little did we know this online sale and product purchase will soon turn into a multi-trillion-dollar industry.

The evolution of the Internet and the establishment of Amazon and eBay in the early ‘90s gave wings to the e-commerce industry. More and more people started purchasing goods online, and today, almost 15 years later, 27.6% of the total world population are involved in online shopping. The online shopping statistics reveal by 2040, 95% of all purchases will be done online.

Given the immense potential of the eCommerce industry, a deeper look into the online shopping statistics will help the people involved in eCommerce businesses fully comprehend the online shopping trends.

Global online shopping statistics and facts

1. Online shoppers worldwide are expected to reach 2.14 billion by 2021.

Source: (Statista) (Oberlo)

This shouldn’t be much of a surprise considering the growing popularity of online shopping among the masses. Statista’s forecast on online shopping stats reveals in 2021 for another increase to take place. That being said, the number of e-shoppers is set to reach 2.14 billion. This itself is a slight yet significant increase for the overall e-commerce industry. Interestingly enough, this mere fact points out to an astonishing 27.6% of the world’s population being online shoppers. According to online shoppers statistics, there are around 2.05 billion online shoppers across the globe just in 2020.

2. 95% of all online purchases will take place online by 2040.

Source: (Kinsta) (Nasdaq) (Statista)

Here’s another interesting online sales statistic that throws light on the potential of the eCommerce industry. Online purchasing trends reveal 95% of all retail sales will take place online in the year 2040. That’s a massive spike considering the percentage of online sales was a mere 14.1% in 2019.

3. More than 75% of online shoppers purchase at least once a month.

Source: (Statista) (Sleeknote)

According to Statista’s online purchasing statistics, 75% of online shoppers shop at least once a month. Anyway, let’s break it down for a complete and more precise picture and better understanding:

  • 31% of the customers prefer making a purchase once a month,
  • 24% do their shopping every two weeks,
  • while just 20% are more frequent online shoppers with a habit of doing it once every seven days.

4. 63% of shopping journeys started online.

Source: (Sleeknote) (Oberlo) (Marketing Charts) (Marketing Charts/Wunderman Thompson)

For 63% of customers, their shopping journey started online. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. With today’s advanced technology and the world of smartphones, this was doomed to happen. However, they might not actually buy the product from the online marketplace, but the initial research about the product starts right there-online. A survey by Marketing Charts (May 2020) indicated the starting point of shopping research to take place via Amazon with an incredible 63%. Further data showed the following:

  • Other search engines (like Google) are of great help to debuting online shoppers with 48%.
  • Retailer’s sites have a visitor rate of 33%.
  • While other sources that enable a shopping interest to be satisfied occupy a mere 25%.

5. A record-high 53.9% of all eCommerce sales are predicted to happen via mobiles in 2021.

Source: (Statista) (OptinMonster)

Gone are the days when mobiles were considered a luxury. Nowadays, smartphones have been instrumental in the growth of online shopping. Statista’s online retail sales statistics showed 49.2% of all eCommerce sales in 2020 are done through mobile devices. In comparison to 2019, where eCommerce sales marked just 44.7%. Nonetheless, this immense growth that is set to take place in 2021 denotes around 15% growth since 2016, where 34.5% of online purchases were made online.

6. eCommerce sales may reach $6.5 trillion by 2023.

Source: (Statista) (Oberlo)

The eCommerce industry has been galloping since the last decade. According to Statista’s global online shopping statistics, eCommerce sales are expected to touch a whopping $4.2 trillion in 2020 and an, even more, gigantic $6.5 trillion by 2023. This, however, represents a 500% spike since 2014, where the eCommerce sales were a somewhat humble $1.3 trillion.

7. 80% of online shoppers admitted innovations made their shopping experience a lot more pleasant.

Source: (National Retail Federation) (Smart Insights)

An ancient philosopher of Greek origin once said: “The only constant in life changes.”

You or your business cannot evolve if you keep on pacing in the same place. The basics of eCommerce revolve around cutting-edge technology, and your business should be able to keep pace with all the latest advancements made in your field. That’s the only way your business can survive in this competitive market.

As a result of the newly improved and advanced shopping experience, 80% of online shoppers, alongside the statistics on online shopping, stated technologies and innovations enhanced their shopping experience.

In addition to this, 66% of shoppers declared their in-store shopping had seen improvements also. Whereas 63% admitted, their mobile shopping became easier and much better with the involvement of innovations.

Some of the upgraded and newly integrated shopping innovations are the following:

  • Availability of 24/7 customer support,
  • chatbots to provide instant solutions,
  • product recommendations based on shopping history,
  • and understanding of the new online shopping trends and customer reviews also help your business grow rapidly.

8. Over 60% of customers stated a smooth search and navigation is considered an essential site element.

Source: (Statista) (Sleeknote)

A smooth and flawless user interface will undoubtedly attract more visitors to your website. Recent online shopping data reported that search and navigation are the most important site elements for 61% of the customers. This is followed by product rating and reviews (53%), a convenient checkout process (50%), and the speed of the website (48%).

To conclude, the above mentioned are the most essential on-site elements regarded by the majority of customers.

Understanding the eCommerce shopping behavior

9. Millennials, with more than 65%, represent the biggest online shoppers.

Source: (Kinsta) (Statista)

A survey published by Kinsta (2021) on understanding the demographics of online shoppers found that Millennials and Gen Xers are more likely to make an online purchase rather than a physical one (in a store).

Let’s take a look at Statista’s breakdown based on shopping preferences according to age groups (2017):

  • Millennials hold a top rank position with 67 percent.
  • Generation X occupies 56 percent.
  • Baby Boomers hold a position with 41 percent.
  • Seniors, however, occupy a low yet significant 28 percent.

10 . Men spend $69 more during online shopping than women.

Source: (Kinsta) (Transaction Agency) (Savvy)

Shocking! There goes the stereotype that women are bigger spenders than men. There has always been an assumption for women to be big spenders, but if a recent study is to be believed—men spend 28% more money shopping online than their female counterparts. Now that’s certain to raise several eyebrows.

Anyway, let’s dig a bit deeper and see how this came to happen in the first place.

In a recent study by KPMG, we found out while men and women spend more or less the same amount of time shopping online, men still tend to spend larger amounts of money than women do. For instance, women spend $151 on average on a single transaction than men, who spend more, or $220 to be exact. Even though the difference may look like no big deal, still, $69 does count (at least in this case).

In a different survey by the Transaction Agency, the reason for this difference in amount spending was revealed. Apparently, men are more into luxurious stuff, electronics, while women are most drawn to food and cosmetics.

11. 60% of women are regular shoppers on Amazon’s e-store.

Source: (Retail Customer Experience)

When it comes to gender-based online shopping statistics, women have a higher shopping frequency. According to the latest online retail statistics, 60% of women frequently shop on Amazon, compared to 46% of men. Women are also more likely to purchase a product via mobile, with 40% of them admitting to shopping via smartphone compared to 22% of men.

In terms of online shopping vs. in-store shopping, 44% of men said they prefer shopping in physical stores simply because it allows them to get to touch the product. As well as 33% of women admitted doing the same.

12. People return around 30% of all products bought online.

Source: (Invesp)

Since people can’t physically touch the product online, a hassle-free return is all they expect in case of a damaged product. According to eCommerce product return policy statistics, 67% of online shoppers check the return policy before purchasing.

Further data indicated 30% of products bought online are usually returned instead of almost 9% bought in-store. However, an incredibly high portion of online shoppers (92%), declared they would make another purchase only if the return policy granted a smooth return of products. On the other hand, for 79% of them, a free return delivery sounds like an attractive offer.

13. 10% of people, while in a drunken state, contribute to eCommerce sales.

Source: (Kinsta)

Well, here’s a fun fact. Online shopping statistics point out that 10% of the customers have made a purchase while being in a drunken state. In addition to that, men are more likely to make purchases under alcoholic influence—14% of them admitting to having done so, compared to 6% of women.

14. 42% regretted purchasing while being drunk.

Source: (Kinsta)

Well, this was expected. Kinsta’s online purchasing stats revealed, 42% of customers who bought a product in a drunken state regretted their purchase. Moreover, 21% unintentionally bought a product they didn’t want in the first place.

15. More than 50% of people across the globe bought a product from an overseas retailer.

Source: (Shopify) (Acquireconvert)

The eCommerce industry has played a pivotal role in connecting buyers and sellers across the globe. Therefore, in a 6-month survey based on Shopify’s customers, we found out 57% of customers have bought something online from an overseas retailer.

United States online shopping statistics

16. E-wallets, with more than 35%, are the most preferred payment mode.

Source: (Statista)

35% of shoppers use e-wallets for their transactions, followed by credit and debit card payments, say the online retail shopping statistics. In America, though, credit and debit cards are most popular, with 82% of people admitting to having paid with cards. E-wallets such as PayPal, WeChat pay, Alipay are the second-best with 66% share.

Furthermore, Statista’s survey on the USA preferred online paying method for 2018 revealed the following results:

  • credit cards were Americans most preferred payment method (44%),
  • while debit cards occupied 32%,
  • and last but not least, PayPal, among the other e-wallets, received 14% of America’s votes.

17. The US is expected to have 300 million online shoppers by 2023.

Source: (Statista) (OptinMonster)

It’s no surprise that Americans prefer online shopping over traditional brick-and mortar-shopping. And recently published data by Optin Monster confirmed that not so surprising fact. According to US online shopping statistics,

69% of Americans have already done online shopping. Therefore, by 2023, 93% of the USA’s population is expected to indulge in the same.

18. A household with over $50,000 of annual income spends approximately 10% of their earnings on online shopping.

Source: (The Washington Post)

It’s obvious that people who earn more spend more. According to research in the Washington Post from 2019, families that have much higher yearly incomes enjoyed the commodity of spending three times more than the ones with lower incomes. For instance, a household with a yearly income of more than 50,000 U.S. dollars is bound to spend exactly 9.7 percent on an online shopping spree. In comparison, lower-income households spend just 3.4 percent of their earnings online.

19. eCommerce sales in the US can touch $690 billion in 2020.

Source: (Emarketer) (Digital Commerce 360)

Given the growing number of online shoppers, the eCommerce industry seems to be in its golden era. A recent survey by Emarketer indicated that in 2020, US shoppers are estimated to spend a whopping $690.84 billion in online shopping. While eCommerce sales are predicted to see a growth of 13-15% each year in the United States. According to online retail sales statistics, eCommerce sales in the USA are expected to break past $891 billion by 2022.

20. Free shipping attracts 79% of the buyers in America.

Source: (Walker Sands) (Word Stream)

While extra shipping charges continue to be the prime reason for shopping cart abandonment, online shopping statistics in the USA reveal that 79% of Americans are more likely to buy a product if available at zero shipping cost. On the other hand, there are 54% who declared that free returns and exchanges are what they are looking for. While 42% of Americans are excited when it comes to getting their item the very same day when it was ordered.

21. Alaska is the USA’s top spender.

Source: (Business Insider)

Alaska accounts for 0.002% of the total US population. Still, when it comes to spending money on online shopping—they’re the top spender with 0.33% (with an average purchase of 160 U.S. dollars) of America’s total eCommerce sales.

22. Amazon, with over 35%, is the most preferred marketplace in the USA.

Source: (Emarketer) (Statista) (TechCrunch) (Marketing Charts)

According to online shopping statistics from Emarketer (2020), Amazon accounts for 38.7% of all eCommerce sales in the US. By 2021, more than 50% of all e-retail sales will be coming from the marketplace. Amazon’s popularity can also be understood by looking at the fact that 83% of American adults purchased a product at least once through the Amazon store in the course of the first six months of 2019.

23. 54% of online shoppers will buy a product if it is discounted.

Source: (nchannel) (Statista)

Who doesn’t want their favorite product to be available at a discount price? 54% of online shoppers will buy the product if the item in their cart is discounted. Nonetheless, an online survey by Statista from 2018, revealed around 71% of respondents searched for discounts before their actual purchase.

24. Social media has played a critical role in the growth of the eCommerce industry.

Source: (RyRob) (Omnikick)

Reading a blog about a product motivates a remarkable 60% of online shoppers to go ahead with a certain purchase, say internet shopping statistics. Moreover, 65% of customers visit a particular website after watching a product video on YouTube.

25. Around 80% of online shoppers between 18 and 34 age find products on Facebook.

Source: (Axios)

Facebook’s massive reach persuades retailers to promote their products on Facebook. Axios research from 2018 revealed that 78% of customers aged 18-34 first found a certain product they wanted on Facebook. Since Facebook receives more than 1 trillion clicks per month, it is one of the best mediums for retargeting ads.

Further data into the matter indicated that similarly to Facebook, other platforms help customers find desired products, like:

  • Instagram and Pinterest with 59 percent.
  • Twitter occupied 34 percent.
  • Snap contributed with 22 percent.

26. Unexpected shipping cost is the no.1 reason for cart abandonment.

Source: (Statista) (Practical eCommerce)

Go ahead and ask any e-retailer what irritates them the most? Most of them will revert to shopping cart abandonment as an answer. Cart abandonment is a major concern for e-retailers. The latest stats revealed almost 70% of all carts are left abandoned. Among the many, unexpected shipping costs were the prime reason for shopping cart abandonment, with 56% of potential buyers absconding their cart due to additional charges. And 34% said having to create an account was the second biggest reason.

Online shopping statistics during Covid-19

27. Global eCommerce traffic recorded 42 billion visits in June 2020.

Source: (Adobe) (Statista) (Digital Commerce 360)

The coronavirus confined people into their homes due to the lockdown imposed by the majority of governments. The situation caused a state of unrest among the masses as they were drawn into panic buying. According to online retail shopping statistics, eCommerce websites recorded a whopping 42 billion monthly visits in June 2020, with the demand for everyday items such as groceries at its peak. For example, just in the USA, 42% of the people purchased groceries online.

28. The demand for healthcare products skyrocketed after the Covid-19 outbreak.

Source: (Chain Store Age)

This was bound to happen as people feared running out of basic necessities. Adobe reports that during the initial phase of the coronavirus, sales of sanitizers, masks, and gloves grew by a massive 807%. This was followed by toilet papers (217%) and nonprescription medicines for flu, and painkillers (231%).

Conclusion

These are some of the online shopping statistics that’ll help you understand much better the online shoppers’ behavior overall. I’m sure that you feel more confident about your eCommerce knowledge, now that you know how many people are shopping online, the fact men are spending more money on online shopping than women do, or what is the preferred method of online payment, etc.

Since the e-commerce industry is certain to bloom in the coming years, I hope many of you (future or recent entrepreneurs), absorb these facts and trends and realize that getting your business online will most probably send your sales up and high. However, having just an online store won’t be sufficient to do so.

Make sure you keep up with all the latest technological advancements, use of social media and other marketing strategies, etc.

FAQs

1. How many people shop online?

The online shopping trend has seen a massive surge in the past decade. With more and more businesses turning to online marketplaces, the number of online shoppers is bound to rise drastically. There are around 2.05 billion online shoppers across the globe in 2020, which is roughly 26.28% of the total world population. The percentage of online shoppers is expected to reach 26.80% by 2021.

2. What percentage of sales are online?

Given the growing popularity of the eCommerce industry, online shopping will account for 22% of all retail sales worldwide by 2023. That’s quite staggering. However, in 2020, the online sales percentage was as high as ever – 21.3 percent. According to recent online shopping retail stats, that’s 15.8 percent than the previous year and 14.3 percent from 2018.

3. What age group does the most shopping?

Millennials and Gen Xers are the biggest online shoppers. According to online shopping statistics, 67% of the Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers are more inclined towards online shopping than traditional brick-and-mortar shopping.

4. What is the biggest online retailer?

With a monthly average traffic of more than 3.5 billion visits just in 2020, Amazon is most definitely the biggest online retail company worldwide. As a matter of fact, Amazon is expected to seize half of the USA market by 2023. This being said, Forbes reports Amazon was the largest eCommerce retailer with net sales of $77 billion in 2018 as well.