2022 has been a tumultuous year for online retailers. On the one hand, many continued to benefit from the surge in spending during the COVID-19 pandemic—mainly because brick-and-mortar stores were closed due to the restrictions imposed.
One study estimates that thanks to the pandemic, the US ecommerce industry will double its sales mark from four years ago, reaching $1 trillion in sales. In Europe, a study showed that ecommerce sales grew considerably as well, with turnover figures reaching 718€ billion.
On the other hand, the removal of most of the pandemic restrictions meant that consumers started to shop offline again. As a result, online shopping has fallen back to the pre-pandemic levels in every major economy, like the UK.
Still, sales projections show almost no slowdown in the growth of the ecommerce industry as a whole. One estimation shows that the whole industry will grow over 40% from 2022 until 2026, generating $8,148 trillion worldwide.
To show you what you can expect to see in the coming years, we gathered the top 21 most interesting (and shocking) online shopping statistics for you. So you can start 2023 knowing what the future may bring you.
Feel free to jump to the category you’re most interested in:
- 6 Key online shopping statistics
- 5 New online consumer behaviors to watch out for
- 5 New marketing channels and technologies
- 3 payment processing trends
- 2 Holiday shopping stats
6 Key online shopping statistics
The ecommerce industry hasn't stopped growing since the mid-1990s. The latest statistics show that the ecommerce industry will continue to grow its market share within the retail industry as a whole, reaching 22% of all retail sales worldwide by 2023.
While convincing a consumer to make a purchase online used to be a battle of its own, nowadays, most online consumers are used to the idea of buying a product online.
With these changes taking place as you read this, several key facts are bound to happen in the following years, which will define the industry’s future.
US-based online sales will generate $1.2 trillion by the year 2024
U.S. retail e-commerce sales are forecasted to generate $1.2 trillion in sales by the year 2024, a 26% increase compared to 2022, which eMarketer estimates to have generated $952 billion in sales.
That means the entire ecommerce industry will continue to grow uninterruptedly for the next four years, a fact that will continue to drive an ever-increasing number of entrepreneurs to launch and grow their online retail stores.
What’s more, the number of online shoppers in the US is projected to reach 284.6 million in 2025 — that is, 85% of the entire US population — keeping the US as one of the leading ecommerce markets in terms of online shopper penetration.
The ecommerce industry will generate over $8 trillion in sales worldwide by 2026
The U.S. market isn’t the only one that will see high growth in the years ahead. As you saw in the introduction, global retail ecommerce sales are estimated to hit more than $8 trillion by 2026.
The Asia Pacific region will dominate the ecommerce industry
While the US has been and will continue to be one of the leading markets in the ecommerce industry, new regions have started showing signs of high market penetration levels.
Of all the differen regions, one that seems to be the one to take the lead as the main ecommerce market is the Asian Pacific region, which includes China, Japan, and Thailand, among other nations.
According to IPC, the Asia Pacific regional share will increase to reach two-thirds of the entire global ecommerce industry, while North America and Western Europe’s share will decrease proportionately.
B2B ecommerce will become an influential category
The largest ecommerce companies in the world sell directly to consumers — think of Amazon, eBay, Walmart in the U.S., or JD.com (China), MercadoLibre (Latin America), Zalando (Europe), and Jumia (Africa).
However, Forrester Research estimates the B2B ecommerce industry is expected to reach $1.8 trillion in sales, accounting for 17% of all B2B sales in the U.S. by 2023.
Inflation is driving budgets away from online shopping
2022 has been the year of inflation. In the US, it will likely reach 7.7%, whereas, in the European Union, it may be as high as 10%. The same fate awaits countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.
How far this situation will continue is hard to tell. Economists blame a harmful mix of increases in raw material, energy, and food prices, disruptions in critical supply chains, and overly lax monetary policies caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inflation is lowering the purchasing power of consumers. This, in turn, wreaks havoc among retailers, who see themselves scrambling for new customers.
The solution is hardly in the hands of retailers. However, some potential ways to entice new customers and generate new sales are to offer buy now, pay later payment options (more on it later), flexible returns, and cheap shipping options.
Cross-border sales are growing fast
Most ecommerce businesses sell within their geographic boundaries — American stores sell to Americans, German stores sell to Germans, and so on.
The logistics of delivering products cross-border, plus linguistics, cultural, and demographic differences, are some of the largest issues that stop most ecommerce businesses from doing so.
Differences notwithstanding, the cross-border B2C e-commerce market is predicted to reach $4.8 billion in sales by 2026, a considerable size of the total online shopping market share.
5 new online consumer behaviors to watch out for
Just as tastes and technology change, consumer behaviors change as well. The following five cases are new online shopping trends you should keep an eye out for.
Last-mile delivery grows in value
The way you deliver your products matters as much as the product itself. Consumers don’t just want a flawless shopping experience; they also want the delivery to be equally exceptional.
According to a white paper by Retail TouchPoints, 84% of shoppers are unlikely to shop with a brand again after a poor delivery experience, and 98.1% say that delivery impacts their brand loyalty.
60% of consumers trust chatbots for their shopping needs
A few years ago, chatbots came as one of the largest discussion topics in the marketing community. Many reports indicated that chatbots were superior to email marketing and would disrupt the marketing world. While such predictions haven’t been met, recent studies show people have started to use chatbots as a shopping assistant.
A LivePerson's study found that 60% of consumers stated they would purchase more from a website that offered a chatbot concierge.
Simultaneously, 77% indicated they trust chatbots to take down their name and address information, and 76% said they trust them to help choose products.
A Juniper Research report estimates that chatbot-based spending will grow from $2.8 billion in 2019 to $142 billion by 2024—an average annual growth of 400%. The report explains that the main cause for such an increase in chatbot use comes from recent advances in NLU (Natural Language Understanding) technologies.
The report also anticipates that over 50% of retail chatbot interactions will be completed successfully—without the need for human intervention—by 2024. China will be the leader in chatbot use, reaching $80 billion in sales by 2024, which accounts for over 55% of global chatbot spend in that year.
Free shipping has become the new common
After Amazon introduced two-day free shipping to their Amazon Prime members, online consumers in every country where Amazon competes started to ask for faster, cheaper shipping.
The recent GlobalWebIndex 2020 Flagship report states that 53% of consumers list free shipping as the main reason they shop online.
Intelligence Node’s Consumer Buying Behavior report found 50% of shoppers choose online stores that offer fast, easy, and affordable delivery. Similarly, the National Retail Federation found that 75% of consumers expect delivery to be free even on orders under $50.
Sustainability is a growing concern for consumers
Sustainability has become one of the largest concerns for most online consumers, including manufacturing standards, shipping policies, and packaging options.
According to GlobalWebIndex 2020 Flagship report, 46% of Internet users want brands to be eco-friendly, while 44% also want them to be socially responsible.
A 2019 Nosto survey found that 75% of consumers want brands to reduce packaging, while 32% stated they would pay more for a product from a sustainable brand.
Loyalty is crucial for long-term success
Despite the fact the pandemic increases the number of online consumers, most tend to buy from the same companies. As of September 2019, online shopping statistics based on mobile shopping app usage showed that most US-shoppers bought from Amazon, Walmart, and eBay.
For the rest of us, that means developing brand loyalty is the key to driving long-term success. McKinsey’s research shows that 75% of consumers have tried new websites and brands during the pandemic, 65% of which will continue to purchase from these brands after the pandemic passes.
To increase your customer loyalty, you need to implement a loyalty program. A study by Yotpo found that nearly 68% of respondents said they would join a loyalty or VIP program. More importantly, 56% stated they would be willing to spend more on a brand they liked even if they found cheaper options.
Nearly 30% of overall respondents stated they had increased their loyalty to brands to support them during the pandemic.
Besides offering free shipping and discounts, Yotpo found a loyalty program should include “early access to sales” (60.1%) and “early access to new products” (50.8%).
A Forrester Research report predicts B2C ecommerce businesses will increase their spending on loyalty and retention marketing by 15% in 2021 while cutting back on product or performance-based marketing.
5 marketing technologies shaping online shopping trends
Facebook ads and email marketing are two standard marketing channels for every ecommerce business. However, the last couple of years has seen the rise of new technologies and channels that will likely change the ecommerce industry. Here are five statistics that will help you understand what they are.
Live streaming is becoming a critical sales channel
Live streaming, the process of broadcasting video online, isn’t only meant for gamers and social media influencers.
In 2022, Coresight estimated that ecommerce stores generated $20 billion in sales from live streaming.
By 2026, this number may reach $57 billion, becoming a relatively popular channel for online retailers.
Considering that live streaming already generates an estimated $180 billion in sales, Coresight’s research shouldn’t shock anyone.
Headless commerce technology adoption is growing
Headless commerce is a technology solution that stores, manages, and delivers information without a front-end delivery layer. Instead of coupling the front-end with the back-end as most websites do, a headless commerce platform removes the former and leaves the latter. This technology allows for endless personalization options, faster changes, and no design constraints.
In the eCommerce Leaders Survey Report on Site Performance report, 61% of surveyed retailers stated they would leverage headless commerce technology, while 62% agreed it can significantly improve engagement and conversions.
Pinterest is a must-do for ecommerce stores
Pinterest has become one traffic acquisition powerhouse for ecommerce companies. In contrast with most social media companies, Pinterest works as an image search engine, much like Google does for search queries and YouTube for video.
As of November 30, 2022, Pinterest has 445 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs) worldwide. According to Pinterest global internal data:
- 60% of their global audience is made up of women
- 45% of US-based users have a household income of $100k per year
- 97% of the top searches on Pinterest are unbranded
- 80% of users have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest
Like every new ad platform, Pinterest’s advertising costs are cheap, and its audience has been less exposed to ads, increasing the chances of running profitable campaigns.
Buy now, pay later (BNPL) becomes a standard payment method
Buy now, pay later has been around for many years. Leading companies like AfterPay and Affirm have been since the early 2010s, while Klarna was founded in the mid-2000s. However, BNPL has gone mainstream relatively recently.
According to Juniper Research, 2022 saw 360 million people worldwide using BNPL to finance their online purchases.
By 2027, they estimate BNPL will become the go-to option for over 900 million people.
The BNPL has grown so much that Precedence Research estimates it generated $179.5 billion in sales worldwide. By 2023, they expect it to grow over 40% until it surpasses the $3 trillion mark in 2030.
According to C+R Research, 60% of Americans have used BNPL so far, with Paypal, Afterpay, and Affirm being the top three companies in the space.
If your store doesn’t offer any BNPL options in 2023, you should reconsider it. You could be leaving many potential sales on the table without you even knowing it.
Conversational commerce plays a crucial role in online shopping
Selling through social media, known as “social commerce,” had been a trend for over 10 years before it truly took off after platforms like Instagram and Pinterest made it a reality.
Now, it’s time for conversational commerce. As one of the newest frontiers in online shopping, conversational commerce is the act of selling through home assistants like Siri and apps like WhatsApp.
According to Juniper Research, in 2022, $13.3 billion in sales were generated through conversational commerce. In 2023, the company expects it grow 89%, hitting the $25.1 billion mark.
3 payment processing trends
Traditional banks have started to face stiff competition from tech giants like Amazon, Apple, and Google, threatening to disrupt the entire financial industry. Here are three statistics that show how much it will change in the future.
PayPal still rules the online payment processing industry
Payment processing is the process in which a financial institution executes the transaction between the customer, their bank, and your company; in the online world, the companies that execute such processes are known as “gateways.”
According to Datanyze, PayPal is the most popular payment gateway company, with almost 55% of the market share. Stripe, Amazon Pay, and Braintree own another quarter of the market; smaller competitors like Square, Authorize.net, and Klarna take a smaller but still sizable part of it.
Mobile wallets are the new common
The days of people shopping with bank-issued debit and credit cards are over. Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Amazon have started to offer Visa and MasterCard cards, cutting the banks from the business altogether.
Mobile wallets — apps that store payment card information — have become one of the biggest online shopping trends in recent years. Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Amazon Pay will likely be the new normal in an online shopper’s life.
By 2024, a Juniper Research report says that half the world’s population will use mobile wallets.
The number of people using digital wallets will increase from 2.3 billion this year to nearly 4 billion, or 50% of the world’s population, by 2024. This, in turn, will push wallet transaction values up by more than 80% to more than $9 trillion per year.
Mobile payments will take almost a quarter of the payment industry
Mobile payments are any financial transaction where a user pays digitally — that is, without using any debit or credit cards. These payments include transactions made through mobile wallets and peer-to-peer money transfers.
The increased adoption of mobile payments will change the way consumers shop both online and offline. Someone who makes an online purchase with a mobile wallet will also wish to use one in a brick-and-mortar store and vice-versa. Therefore, companies with both an online and offline presence should allow consumers to pay through their mobile devices.
The IMARC group forecasts worldwide mobile payments to grow from $1.15 billion to $3.1 billion from 2019 until 2024, representing an adoption growth rate of 23%.
2 Holiday shopping statistics
Holidays are always special times for retail businesses. The following online shopping statistics will show what happens around two of the most popular festivities — Cyber Week and Christmas.
In 2022, Cyber Week, the five days between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, saw consumers spend $35.27 billion, a 4% increase from 2021, according to Adobe data.
Almost a third of the sales came from Cyber Monday, which saw consumers spend a record $11.3 billion. Black Friday stood close, with $9.1 billion in sales.
Shopify confirmed a similar trend, with merchants generating $3.4 billion in revenue on Black Friday, a 21% increase from 2021.
As a final but crucial note, Adobe stated that for the first time, 51% of online sales during this period came from mobile devices, compared to 46% last year.
In other words, mobile shopping is finally the main way consumers shop online.
In 2022, holiday retail sales in the United States were forecasted to reach $942.6 billion, a 6% year-over-year increase.
According to Deloitte, consumers expect to spend the same as last year ($1,455). 63% expect to carry their purchases online (mostly due to convenience), while 35% plan to do it in-store.
So there you have it, the 21 essential online shopping statistics you need to know to approach this new year fully aware of the opportunities ahead. Next time you decide to plan your ecommerce marketing strategy, make sure to use the data shown here to prepare for the coming changes properly.
Ivan Kreimer is a freelance content writer for hire who creates educational content for SaaS businesses like Leadfeeder and Campaign Monitor. In his pastime, he likes to help people become freelance writers. Besides writing for smart people who read sites like Getsitecontrol, Ivan has also written in sites like Entrepreneur, MarketingProfs, TheNextWeb, and many other influential websites.
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