Once you know about the rise of eCommerce (see eCommerce define), you're probably going to be looking for some eCommerce business ideas.
And the best way to make sure you're picking a profitable idea is to look at some trends and statistics.
Luckily, we've put together this comprehensive guide on the growth of eCommerce, some interesting statistics, and the latest trends.
Give it a read through and you'll be ready to get to work on starting an eCommerce business and move on to our eCommerce business guide for more tips on sustainable growth.
As eCommerce has grown, so too have the options for accessing eCommerce news.
Here are our top five sources for eCommerce news:
- BlueCart. We'd be remiss if we didn't list ourselves here. We have many in-depth guides and eBooks on eCommerce topics ranging from the best banks for eCommerce business to eCommerce shipping solutions, such as expedited shipping methods. Our passion for the industry is clear. We have a comprehensive understanding of challenges and trends in the industry and love to share our knowledge to help you grow your business. In fact, we love eCommerce so much that we created BlueCart eCommerce, an all-in-one solution for food suppliers. Whether they want to make D2C (see D2C meaning) or B2B sales, this no-fuss platform handles the heavy lifting, letting them focus on sales.
- National Retail Federation. As the largest retail trade federation, the NRF provides in-depth original research and professional insights on the biggest names in the industry. Whether you want to see the latest direct to consumer trends or learn about the major headless eCommerce providers, the NRF has the info you're looking for.
- Forbes Retail. A major player in the magazine world, Forbes' online retail section offers great insight into the world of eCommerce as well as brick-and-mortar retailers. They have many well-researched pieces on industry trends and the way the market has transformed over the past decade. They're also a great resource for anyone who runs an online B2B business.
- The Goods. Vox's retail-centric blog covers topics ranging from stock market news to eCommerce statistics and more. Though it's not exclusively focused on eCommerce, Vox offers a unique take on the retail industry and consumer intent. If you're looking to understand why your buyers act a certain way or get tips on psychological pricing, The Goods is a valuable resource.
- Retail Dive. If you're looking for a news source that's specifically dedicated to eCommerce, Retail Dive is a great option. They cover many important topics including eCommerce payment gateway and eCommerce fulfillment. They're only in fifth place since they tend to focus more on news from major retailers than the larger eCommerce industry.
The eCommerce industry saw unprecedented growth in 2020 with a global increase of about 20% over 2019. In the U.S. alone, more than 16% of all retail sales happened online. It’s a 45% increase over the previous year that can be attributed to a few factors.
First, the convenience of online shopping and an increased reliance on mobile devices has continued to have a major impact on retail sales. Second, the COVID-19 pandemic led to more people staying home, increasing the need for products and services being delivered. Lastly, access to the internet has grown in several important countries, increasing the total market size. It may be the perfect time to learn how to start a subscription box business to expand the market for your products.
Recent years have been banner years for eCommerce and established some new norms that have changed the future of eCommerce.
Here are the five biggest eCommerce trends as of late:
- Emerging markets. Recently, markets like India, China, Brazil, Russia, and South Africa saw stronger growth than the U.S. This trend is expected to continue and an estimated 3 billion buyers will have access to the internet in the next two years. eCommerce businesses that include these markets in their eCommerce business plan are likely to see strong growth in the next decade, which is already being seen by the best direct to consumer brands.
- Changing consumer behavior. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the eCommerce industry saw an increase in purchases and new buyers. There was also a shift in the types of products and services being purchased. Customers’ desire for quick, contactless shipping helped drive this trend and is likely to continue. Essentials like health, hygiene, and groceries all saw strong online growth. They're also more likely to use an online marketplace over a business-owned eCommerce site and expect good, branded eCommerce packaging. Luckily for food suppliers, BlueCart eCommerce lets them get their products in the hands of businesses and customers quickly. The easy-to-use digital catalog and integrated payment processing, which is ideal for ACH payment, make selling a breeze.
- The Growth of B2B eCommerce. One surprising trend in recent years was the growth of B2B eCommerce (see what is B2B). More than $1.3 trillion in B2B eCommerce sales were made in 2020. That's more than a quarter of total global increase eCommerce sales. In the next decade, expect to see continued growth for B2B businesses and a rise in B2B eCommerce platforms.
- AI and AR. Artificial intelligence and augmented reality are slowly becoming important tools in the eCommerce space. By understanding customer behaviors and providing new ways to see products, more customers are buying than ever. AR in particular is being used with product images for customers to see how products would look in their homes. This trend looks to continue over the next few years and will soon be a necessity in many industries.
- Rising acquisition costs. One side effect of increased competition is rising costs. As more businesses entered the fray, customer acquisition costs also rose. This further highlights the need for a strong organic eCommerce SEO plan to help attract customers. You'll also need to know how to do an eCommerce SEO audit. This will keep costs lower while letting you compete with the bigger names in the industry.
There are many statistics that may be valuable for your unique business and industry, but many are useful for everyone.
Here are ten statistics about the eCommerce industry as a whole:
- There was nearly $4 trillion in global sales for eCommerce businesses in 2020.
- 55% of online shoppers will tell friends and family when dissatisfied with a product or service.
- 61% of U.S. online consumers have made a purchase based on recommendations from a blog. This highlights the value of SEO content for eCommerce.
- There are between 12 and 24 million eCommerce sites across the globe today.
- The eCommerce industry is seeing more than 20% growth each year. Yet, more than 45% of American businesses don't have a website.
- 23% of customers will abandon their orders if the checkout process requires account creation.
- Slow-loading sites see a 75% increase in abandonment rate vs. quick-loading sites.
- eCommerce sites with a presence on social media make an average of 30% more sales than those that don't.
- Email marketing is still the best form of eCommerce marketing with a return of $44 for every $1 spent. That's why it's used so much for both DTC marketing and B2B marketing.
- Nearly 70% of B2B businesses expect to stop printing catalogs in the next 5 years. This is even the case for many wholesalers (see what is wholesale).
eCommerce Market Size
In 2020, the eCommerce global market reached new heights with more than $4 trillion in sales across the globe.
China makes up the largest portion of this market, both in total sales and size of customer base. Few U.S.-based eCommerce businesses have grown much market share there, so there's a lot of potential upside.
US eCommerce Market Share
In 2020, more than 16% of all retail sales in the U.S. happened online, accounting for $374 billion in sales. This is up from around 11% of retail sales in 2019.
On a global scale, the U.S. accounts for only 10% of the total eCommerce sales. This number is likely to decrease more as the emerging economies continue to grow.
To Statistical Infinity and Beyond!
The eCommerce industry has shown accelerated growth over the past few years and more businesses are adopting the model every day. By following the trends about, reading various news, blogs, and eCommerce books you can be a part of this growing industry. You should also look into on page SEO for eCommerce for even more ways to attract customers.
Whether you're looking to better understand eCommerce analytics or pick out the best eCommerce software, BlueCart has an answer. Or, if you're looking for a comprehensive eCommerce platform for B2B and DTC food suppliers, check out BlueCart eCommerce. It's the best eCommerce platform for SEO, easy to use, and comes with a robust set of reporting options.