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21 Ultimate Ecommerce Growth Statistics to Keep Us Wondering in 2021

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As an avid Internet user, you’ve probably bought at least something online in the past year. There is also a likelihood that your online shopping habits have changed at least a little since the pandemic hit.

We know we waited for days during lockdown for our comfort food to arrive. We also know people who have ordered online for the first time. 

Things have been hectic. But when you add it all up in statistics, what does ecommerce growth in 2021 look like?

We’ve gathered all the ecommerce growth statistics in one place so that you can learn more about this topic at your convenience.

Top Facts and Stats About Ecommerce Growth (Editor’s Choice)

  • $4.9 trillion is the expected ecommerce industry’s worth in 2021.
  • 52% of the consumers who shifted to digital grocery shopping say they won’t go back to in-store shopping once the pandemic is over.
  • 209% was the spike witnessed in global ecommerce sales growth last April.
  • The growth of global retail ecommerce sales will slow down to 14.3% in 2021.
  • 13.6% is the drop the apparel ecommerce sales saw in March 2020.
  • The largest ecommerce markets in the world are China and the US.

The Growth of Ecommerce in the US

1. 14.5% was the forecasted growth of the US ecommerce market share in 2020.

(eMarketer, Digital Commerce 360)

It was the highest ever share increase in a single year! The rising percentage of ecommerce’s share of retail sales in the US was record-breaking. 

The US ecommerce growth projections for 2020 were off, as they suggested the growth might slow down. On the contrary, US ecommerce sales grew 44%, which is wild in comparison to 14.9% in 2019.

With all the shop closures and stay-at-home orders, online shopping will continue to be a necessity, but also a favorite pastime for many people.

2. Between 1 and 2% of market share growth was predicted for the top ten ecommerce companies in 2020.

(eMarketer)

Most of the top ten ecommerce companies can expect their market share to grow from 58.2% to 60.1%. 

The highest ecommerce demands on the US market shifted to include everyday necessities such as groceries and household products. 

As more people purchased essential goods online, more consumers flocked to the biggest online retailers. This means that the companies on top bolstered their position on the market. However, other players on the market, such as supermarkets, also increased their ecommerce sales significantly.

3. A 10.5% decrease was expected in total retail spending in the US.

(eMarketer)

While the first quarter of 2020 promised a modest growth of 2.8% in US total retail sales, the rest of the year could witness a significant decrease of 10.5% in total retail sales in the US. Still, that brought the US ecommerce market size to $4.894 trillion in 2021. 

While the ecommerce statistics look promising for the ecommerce industry itself, it’s important to contrast them with the overall state of retail sales.

Ecommerce Growth Statistics 2021

4. $4.9 trillion is the estimated global retail ecommerce market size in 2021.

(eMarketer)

The global ecommerce market amounted to $4.2 trillion in 2020, with a growth rate of 27.6%. The growth is expected to slow down to 14.3% in 2021. With this growth rate, retail ecommerce sales worldwide are still expected to reach $6.54 trillion in 2022.

As more people will shop and do commerce online in the following years, the ecommerce share of total retail sales is also expected to grow.

The question is, how much?

5. Around 22% of total retail sales in 2023 will be made online.

(Statista)

Although some researchers forecast an even larger market share for ecommerce, one thing is certain — ecommerce market share will continue to take up more and more of total commerce sales. 

In 2023, there will be more devices and Internet users than ever before, and we bet that a huge chunk of them will want to raid the sales section.

But how is our shaky economy going to affect the sales section and the ecommerce industry itself? Let’s hear from the experts.

6. Global retail ecommerce sales growth will decrease to 14.3% in 2021.

(eMarketer)

The experts involved in ecommerce sales forecasting estimate that most countries will experience growth in ecommerce this year. However, China and India will see significant deceleration.

The ecommerce sales growth rate in 2020 was estimated at 27.6%. Even though experts expected deceleration in 2020, the final result was enormous growth.

7. 209% is the spike witnessed in global ecommerce sales growth this April.

(Business Wire)

According to the ACI Worldwide analysis, the average transaction volume also grew by 23.5% compared to the same period in 2019. The greatest rise was seen in sportswear, gaming products, as well as home DIY products. 

That said, the growth in ecommerce wasn’t able to compensate for the dramatic drop in in-store shopping activities.

8. 20% is the projected ecommerce sales growth for nine countries that were hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.

(eMarketer)

When it comes to ecommerce growth in 2020, nine countries, led by the Philippines, Malaysia, and Spain, witnessed a significant rise in ecommerce growth compared to 2019. Even for countries that experienced a lower ecommerce growth rate, the situation has put a spotlight on the importance of ecommerce, as well as its limits. 

The region with the highest growth in 2020 was Latin America, with 36.7%.

9. 6.1% is the expected annual growth in ecommerce revenue between 2020 and 2024.

(Statista)

According to the latest analysis by Statista, global ecommerce revenue is expected to show a CAGR of 6.1% by 2024. So, when it comes to investment, ecommerce growth projections promise great potential in the next following years.

Online Shopping Growth Statistics

10. 16.1% of all retail sales in 2020 were accredited to ecommerce.

(Oberlo)

While this does not seem like a significant rise compared to 2017, when the ecommerce retail market share came in at 10.4%, its overall market share has grown a mighty 54.8% within only three years. The percentage of retail sales online is predicted to reach 22% by 2023. If that happens, that will come out to an incredible 112% increase in only six years.

11. Apparel ecommerce sales saw a 13.6% year over year drop in March 2020.

(Digital Commerce 360)

All things considered, online retail sales statistics were wild last year. But the apparel ecommerce industry seemed to have had the wildest ride of all. From a steady increase in January and February, the apparel ecommerce industry has experienced a rollercoaster of sales growth. 

As people sat in Zoom meetings in their pajamas and button-up shirts, the sales of tops increased, while the sales of pants and jeans plunged where they couldn’t be seen.

The first week of March was when the pandemic became more of a concern in the US. Since then, there had been not only drops in sales, but also some surges in April. As apparel takes the largest market share of the online retail industry, it was interesting to follow its fluctuations in 2020. The remaking of the apparel industry in 2021 is hopefully going to be a long-expected change.

12. 40% of growth in online grocery shopping was noticed last year.

(Supermarket News)

Ecommerce growth statistics have shown that online grocery shopping has always been growing more slowly due to, well, people liking to choose groceries on their own. Also, no one wants to worry about their ice cream melting on the way home. At least that’s how it used to be.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation changed in favor of online shopping. Now, 52% of polled consumers say that they’ve bought groceries online in the previous twelve months— more than ever before.

13. 52% of the consumers who shifted to digital grocery shopping said they won’t go back to in-store shopping once the pandemic is over.

(Supermarket News)

Combine this with 60% of those who started online shopping for non-grocery products, and it seems that most retailers will have to reconsider their stance on ecommerce and put an online shopping option in place. 

The Coresight Research US Online Grocery Survey shows that online retail sales growth will be on the rise, but we are yet to see what will really happen once the pandemic is over.

Ecommerce Growth Statistics - Person Shopping Online

Thought-Provoking Ecommerce Growth Facts

14. Global ecommerce trends show an ever greater reliance on AI and machine learning.

(PR Newswire)

The global use of artificial intelligence in retail and ecommerce is expected to reach a CAGR of 42.8% between 2019 and 2025. AI and ML are giving ecommerce marketing experts an unprecedented amount of data.

We don’t need to look into thousands of pages of reports to know this — anyone scrolling through their media feed will inevitably stumble upon a super-personalized product recommendation. But AI use in ecommerce doesn’t stop there. It’s also used for merchandise planning, designing pricing strategies, and doing product promotions.

15. Global implementation of 5G will boost ecommerce market growth further.

(Forbes)

As you can see from ecommerce return rates statistics, the inability to physically test a product also leads to a significant percentage of returns. 

Many stores already have virtual assistants, AR, and VR apps to help you try on that lipstick or decide on a coffee table. But! With the 5G speed, there will be fewer obstacles for these (and many other) technologies to become a part of our online shopping experience.

With more devices, higher speed, and better mcommerce apps and sites, 5G is bound to take ecommerce to the next level.

16. Most ecommerce sales will take place on mobile platforms by 2021.

(BigCommerce)

Ecommerce growth includes the growth of mcommerce. 

A global trend that could not pass unnoticeably is the rise in mobile sales. It’s been predicted that a whopping 54% of all ecommerce sales will be made via mobile by 2021.

Judging by most ecommerce growth statistics, the ecommerce of the future will be an (almost) all-inclusive experience.

Ecommerce Market Size by Country

17. The largest ecommerce markets in the world are China and the US.

(Business.com)

Global ecommerce statistics put China’s ecommerce market at number one, while the US ecommerce market comes in second. They are followed by:

  • United Kingdom
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • France
  • South Korea
  • Canada
  • Russia
  • Brazil

Ecommerce as a Percentage of Retail Sales by Country

18. 21.3% of total retail sales in the US came through ecommerce in 2020.

(Digital Commerce 360)

That is a significant increase compared to 15.8% in 2019. This piece of US ecommerce statistics is not unexpected, as the current situation has turned more people than ever towards online shopping. Ecommerce growth trends are expected to continue their way upwards — as most of us plan to keep our e-tail therapy as safe as possible.

19. Ecommerce will account for 52.1% of total retail sales in China in 2021.

(Statista, eMarketer)

That is the first time in history that ecommerce sales surpass one half of all retail sales. The share leaped from 44.8% in 2020, and 34.1% in 2019.

China’s ecommerce industry is clearly expected to continue growing at a startling speed. Ecommerce industry analysis shows that China’s retail industry infrastructure is vastly different from that in the rest of the world, which allows its ecommerce industry more flexibility in significant areas.

20. 28.3% is the projected retail market share of ecommerce in the UK in 2021.

(eMarketer)

The UK is among the world’s largest digital markets. 

The trend of adopting ecommerce accelerated in 2020 as online shopping became a necessity. As more people become involved with the digital world, it is interesting to think about how many will continue shopping online. 

Either way, ecommerce growth statistics show that the UK’s ecommerce market is only expected to go up in the next few years.

21. In Germany, the expected rise of ecommerce sales in 2020 was 16.2%.

(Business Insider)

Online sales statistics show that ecommerce sales picked up speed due to the restrictions and safety concerns imposed by the pandemic. 

One interesting detail seen from Germany’s ecommerce growth stats was the rise of mcommerce sales. Namely, those have been rising even more quickly than overall ecommerce sales.

Final Thoughts

The key takeaway from these numbers is that yes, 2020 was quite a bumpy year for ecommerce as well, but the ecommerce industry found new ways to adapt and keep growing.

In 2021, the advances in mobile commerce, technology, and the rising number of online shoppers worldwide are quite promising. It goes without saying that ecommerce is helping us shop more safely and conveniently in the time of crisis.

When it comes to predictions for ecommerce growth, they have been quite promising for a long time. In 2021, ecommerce growth statistics show that, while there may be ups and downs, the general trend for ecommerce is moving upward.

FAQ

Q: What is the growth of ecommerce?

The ecommerce growth rate predicted for 2021 is 14.3%, compared to an astounding 27.6% growth in 2020. The product categories that grow the fastest are the essentials: groceries, medicine, disinfectants, and cleaning agents.

Q: Will ecommerce continue to grow?

Absolutely. While 2020 had total retail sales on a rollercoaster, ecommerce held up and is still experiencing growth. This will also shape the rest of the market, as many people now combine online research with shopping, and different combinations of online and in-store shopping, such as curbside pick-up, are more popular than ever. 

Q: What percentage of commerce is done online?

About 16.1% of all retail sales in 2020 was done online. That number will continue to grow as more people gain access to the Internet and smart devices, which they can use to shop online.

Q: How big is the ecommerce market?

To determine the ecommerce market size, we need to look at the number of potential customers. The current number of customers comes down to about 2.14 billion people all over the world

Despite there being 12 to 24 million ecommerce stores, most customers flock to the top ten online retailers.

Q: How much is the ecommerce industry worth?

The industry’s worth is estimated to reach $4.9 trillion in sales in 2021. However, as the market is expected to include 2.14 billion people in 2021, the industry’s worth is expected to rise with the growing number of sales, as ecommerce growth statistics show.

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