Ecommerce Marketing / Ecommerce Research

The 17 Ecommerce Trends + 96 Online Shopping Stats Fueling Sales Growth in 2019

Tracey Wallace / 20 min read
ecommerce trends

The 17 Ecommerce Trends + 96 Online Shopping Stats Fueling Sales Growth in 2019

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Already, 2019 stands to be one of the most inventive, transformative and just plain interesting years in retail yet.

With naysayers decrying the death of retail, fanaticals continuing to double down on Facebook Ads (and selling courses to others on how to do the same), and the lines of exactly is retail, content and media blurring – little left untouched in the year before the new decade.

This article is BigCommerce’s annual publication of our survey out to industry experts, influencers, consultants, entrepreneurs and executives – all of whom work on, with or invest in Fortune 1000 companies and rising DNVB stars.

We asked each expert for their predictions and advice on the following questions:

  1. What will change in retail in 2019?
  2. If you started a brand now, what you focus on for long-term, sustainable growth?
  3. If you were heading up a large, legacy brand, what would you focus on for 2019?

Their collection of insights has highlighted 17 stark trends.

We’ve broken those trends out to predictions for the entire industry all up, those specific for start-ups and those for large, legacy brands looking to stay relevant in 2019.

There are a few trends, in particular, that stand out across the board. These are our own predictions for 2019.

Top Ecommerce Trends & Predictions for 2019
  • Paid Media Will Need Experts: The high cost of paid media (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.) and the difficulty in securing return on ad spend will make paid media teams ever-more important for ecommerce brands – and ever-more allusive and expensive to boot. Gone are the days where you could expect to hit $1,000,000 in revenue based on your own paid media education.
  • Content & Commerce Take Precedence: Due to the high cost of paid media and paid media teams as well as consumers’ devouring of more top-of-funnel content, content and commerce will continue to be a money-maker for brands who invest appropriately. SEO is a big part of this effort, as is content distribution and network.
  • Headless Commerce Becomes Mainstream: The best content & commerce experiences will remove barriers (read: clicks) to checkout. They will also create the best, most memorable customer experiences possibly on the web (and off, but more on that in a bit). To accomplish both of those tasks, folks will lean more heavily on headless commerce using WordPress, Drupal or other CMS systems as their presentation layer of choice.
  • Experiences Will Bleed Over to Offline, In-Store Shopping Interactions: As online experiences become more and more seamless, brands will look to build moats around themselves with high-quality and high-interactivity offline experiences. These could be in the form of hotels (like Shinola’s hotel), events (like Sweetgreen’s events) or through malls (like Neighborhood Goods).
  • AI will make it all possible: To do all of this, brands need to maintain headcount and margins –– which means tasks that are manual right now by current employees will need to be offloaded to AI where efficiency and personalization can be managed, and then executed by the human to deliver best-in-class experiences across all channels.
  • The retail workforce will change: To account for all of the offline experience needs, expect an increase in hiring from older generations who once built the meccas of retail experiences in their heyday. Millennials, by and large, don’t have the offline experience needed to execute these experiences at scale. Instead, millennials will continue to dominate online ecommerce and digital marketing channels, leveraging what is for the first time ver 4 generations of humans in the workforce at the same time to fulfill what are now seeming to be generationally acquired skills.

At the end of this piece, we’re also wrapping up all the data from our 2018 omnichannel consumer research report about where consumers shop, and why.

Because trends and predictions are helpful, but data can help you make the case to your boss.

Let’s dive in. In the case you want to go to specific topics, here is the full list of all 17 trends:

  1. The Paid Media Wars Continue (And Heighten)
  2. Content, Commerce & Community Become the Trifecta of Success
  3. Democratization of Retail for DNVBs and Legacy Brands Alike
  4. Regulation is coming. More of it. Everywhere.
  5. More Permanent Offline, In-Store Shopping Experiences Become Key Part of Growth Strategy
  6. Collaborations to Create Limited Editions & Drops Drive Loyalty & Sales
  7. Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning Are Finally Here
  8. Focus on Community Building, Becoming a Part of Your Customers’ Lives
  9. Find Ways to Advertise Less, Sell More – ASAP
  10. Build for Customer Experience Across All Channels
  11. Build a “real” brand: Communicate, Convert, Measure, Repeat
  12. Make Organizational Changes & Acquire DNVBs
  13. Focus on Content & Commerce Initiatives Before It’s Too Late
  14. Create a Retail Experience Like None Other
  15. Build Partnerships with Competitors and Influencers Alike
  16. Update Your Full Funnel Marketing Approach – or Else
  17. Plug in Culturally or Become Irrelevant (or Languish in Negative Sentiment)

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7 Ecommerce Trends for the Entire Retail Industry

Artificial intelligence and machine learning gains lead increases in productivity in 2019 as employees focus more on conversion, voice search, SEO, content and community, and paid advertising plays.

Here is how it breaks down according to our experts.

The Paid Media Wars Continue (And Heighten)

David Jaeger, CEO, Result Kitchen

Google will become a far more dominant player in creating retail and ecommerce sales, clawing back ad budget from advertisers, and local deliveries from Amazon

Jack Cooper, Andertons Music Co.

Of course paid media spend will continue to rise.

I think e-commerce retailers will be quick to adopt the new Facebook Search ads and some retailers will have great success with it.

Jason Boyce, Co-founder & CEO, Dazadi

Amazon Sellers will begin to feel the profit squeeze as Amazon Sponsored Ads bidding gets out of control.

Lianna Patch, Head Puncher, Punchline Conversion Copywriting

More and more retailers will abandon the tough-to-track, insanely expensive direct mail approach — and double down on their email segmentation and personalized email marketing instead.

Bryan Eisenberg, author Be Like Amazon, Chief Evangelist JudoLaunch, Bryaneisenberg.com

I have seen this cycle before as AdWords was rolled out, then Facebook ads as well.

Smart online paid ad strategies for ecommerce brands will separate the growing brands from those that are getting by in 2019.

If you are an ecommerce merchant, the best place to advertise hands down is Amazon.

Yes, Amazon. People go to google to find information, to Facebook to socialize with friends, and Amazon to buy things.

Last year Amazon’s advertising division was its fastest-growing division. Despite that, it is still a drop in the bucket compared with the online ad revenues generated by google and facebook. Advertising on Amazon is in its infancy.

Amazon’s PPC platform is still only a couple years old and the vast majority of merchants selling on the platform do not have a sophisticated strategy to use Amazon’s advertising services to drive paid traffic to their listings.

Steve Deckert, Co-Founder, Smile.io

Increased competition for ad spend will cause record ad prices. Winning retailers will invest in selling to existing customers for two reasons: 1. to increase CLV in order to justify spending so much in ad prices. 2. to increase sales.

Jamie Turner, Author, Speaker, and CEO at 60SecondMarketer

Precision marketing is a concept you’re going to hear more and more about in 2019. What is it?

It’s the ability of marketers to hyper-target prospects based on their behaviors, their desires, and their previous purchases.

A full-on precision marketing campaign uses information about previous purchases to hyper-targeted ads to individuals and then allows you to calculate a return-on-investment on an ad-by-ad basis.

Keep an eye out for precision marketing – it may be something new to you today, but tomorrow, you’ll be talking about it and using it on a regular basis.

Content, Commerce & Community Become the Trifecta of Success

Bill Widmer, Content & SEO Expert, BillWidmer.com

More eCommerce stores will use content to grow their business.

In the digital marketing world, blog content and SEO are commonplace. But very few eCommerce stores are utilizing their blog. Sure, they might have their product pages optimized for search – but optimizing a page can only get you so far.

To rank, you need backlinks and you need to match the user’s search intent. If someone is searching for the best white shoes for their wedding, product pages won’t rank for that – articles will.

Plus, Google is starting to push more informational content above product pages.

It’s what people want – and Google gives people what they want.

Beyond utilizing a blog, I bet we’ll see more eCommerce stores using other mediums, like YouTube or podcasting, to grow their audience and customer base.

Rupert Cross, Digital Director, 5874

Headless – content and commerce is the future, particularly for brand-driven experiences.

Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10xFactory

You will see the rise of brands and people that focus on building a connection with their customer & LTV, and you’ll see people who simply look at themselves as a product base business fall off.

Shane Barker, Digital Strategist, Shane Barker Consulting

Retailers will up their social media game and find new and innovative ways of engaging their followers on social media.

The time when product quality and customer shopping experience were the two cornerstones of a good retail experience is over.

Nowadays, customers want to know and interact with the brand at multiple touch points. They also want to know the brand’s story.

With so many people spending the majority of their time online, it is important for retailers to get their attention online. And a lot of retailers are realizing this and finding ways to engage with their customers on social media.

Birchbox leverages Facebook’s Live feature to share engaging videos with their customers. And fashion retailer, MISSGUIDED, leverages Instagram Highlights to post tutorials, and about new products, back-in-stock products, etc.

The retailer’s regular and engaging posts have helped them get a massive Instagram following of 3.5 million people.

These are just a few of the numerous examples of retailers leveraging social media to engage customers.

Catalin Zorzini, Founder, Ethical.net

I think more and more businesses will realise that ethics should be at the core of any sort of enterprise.

It can’t be about infinite growth anymore, the planet is making that very clear.

So projects that genuinely have this at the forefront of their business model (rather than using ethics as a buzzword for free press) will benefit from the support of a larger audience and will be able to build a healthy, future-proofed company.

Democratization of Retail for DNVBs and Legacy Brands Alike

Mike Wittenstein, Strategic Storyteller and Experience Designer, StoryMiners

As the technology originally developed for much larger brands trickles down, customers will get more of what they want (products, prices, terms, experiences, personalization, etc.) from smaller stores.

It will become harder to squash the little guys.

Jason Greenwood, eCommerce Manager, HealthPost, & Founder, Greenwood Consulting

eCommerce experience & marketing personalization will move from being an exception to the norm & base consumer expectation in 2019.

Nando Caban-Mendez, eCommerce Whisperer, AllyOne (formerly Ally Digital)

The “Mainstreaming” of eCommerce for small/med business.

Businesses of all sized start to realize eCommerce (enterprise-level stores, features, and tools) is more accessible than they thought.

Smarter one will start to capitalize on that and rely else on “being discovered” in marketplaces.

Jeff Sauer, Founder, Data Driven

Big brands will get bigger, small brands will get craftier, and focus will always win over FOMO.

The most profitable brands are those who focus on doing fewer things, better.

Kunle Campbell, Founder 2X media, https://2xmedia.co

Expect to see at least three major billion-dollar acquisitions by legacy retailers of digital native direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands.

Amazon will likely acquire its first digital native direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand.

Brian Beck, SVP Strategy, Guidance

We will continue to see a right sizing of retail. We continue to be over-stored in the United States.

Consumer preferences have now clearly shifted towards Ecommerce and towards retailers that really connect with buyers in ways that go beyond simply a transaction.

Based on this, I think we will see a strengthening among retailers that ‘get it right’ and reinforce these relationships at the same time the field will continue to narrow.

Regulation is coming. More of it. Everywhere.

James Thomson, Partner, Buy Box Experts

State tax organizations will come down hard on online sellers for back taxes – we will see a flood of companies that don’t have cash or assets available to cover these liabilities.

Jesse, Manager, Torque King 4×4

The new cross border sales tax laws will drive customers to take extra time to find the cheapest price online.

More Permanent Offline, In-Store Shopping Experiences Become Key Part of Growth Strategy

William Harris, Ecommerce Advertising Expert, Elumynt

Retail in 2019 will see more online businesses building up their offline sales.

Good Housekeeping put up an incredible retail experience at the Mall of America in 2018 where shoppers could see, feel and test out products that they would then purchase online.

I think we will see a lot more of that starting to go beyond just “testing” with some early adopting brands getting into it in 2019.

Emil Kristensen, CMO and co-founder, Sleeknote

That online and offline markets will become more connected and offer consumers a better user experience across all channels whether online or offline.

Casey Armstrong, CMO, ShipBob

DNVB malls will become a thing.

Brandon Lilly, Senior Brand Director, Marketing 360

I believe we’ll see a move towards local businesses. Locally owned and operated, local manufacturing, local pick-up, etc.

With the influx of fake reviews and low quality dropshipped products on Amazon we’ll find that more and more shoppers will trust their local shops and keep local money local.

Collaborations to Create Limited Editions & Drops Drive Loyalty & Sales

Shayla Price, Digital Marketer

In 2019, the retail industry will witness an increase in brand-influencer collaborations.

Similar to the Post Malone-Crocs partnership, companies will give cultural influencers more room to design limited-edition products.

These collaborations have proven to boost brand awareness and revenue.

It’s very likely that these one-time products also could transform into short-term, in-person customer experiences.

Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Machine Learning Are Finally Here

Jeff Stripp, VP, Marketing & Sales, Zogics

Continued you growth and us of AI, chatbots as it relates to service and sales.

I see ai becoming more useful in the guiding users through their journey, a blend of content (video & other) served up by a chatbot at the right time and place in the buyers journey.

AI will continue to evolve in the service arena as well.

4 Ecommerce Trends for Start-Up Retailers

Starting up a business in 2019 is definitely harder than it was a few years ago.

For many, it takes tens of thousands of personal investment or venture funding in order to properly go about it and see revenues in the short-term.

But, you can still build a solid disruptor brand for a niche audience without that amount of investment via smart strategy and the right ecommerce platform.

Our experts explain.

Focus on Community Building, Becoming a Part of Your Customers’ Lives

Jeff Sauer, Founder, Data Driven

In my opinion, the best way to sell more products starts with building an audience, next comes perfecting the product, and finally, use paid media to scale successes.

Building an online business may not require a big ad budget (that comes later), but it does benefit from thousands of passionate fans giving you validation on product ideas and providing valuable audience and demographic data.

David Jaeger, CEO, Result Kitchen

Create/expand platforms for engagement for your brand.

Last centuries advertising is today’s social/personal engagement. Become part of the customers life.

Find Ways to Advertise Less, Sell More – ASAP

Mike Wittenstein, Strategic Storyteller and Experience Designer, StoryMiners

I would uncover ways to woo customers without having to interrupt them so much with advertising and digital communications.

Advertising is broken, inefficient, and too costly. That’s one place where I’d try to differentiate my online business.

Jason Greenwood, eCommerce Manager, HealthPost, & Founder, Greenwood Consulting

I would start by building my audience through content and social (organic, paid, influencers) vs paid search.

Nando Caban-Mendez, eCommerce Whisperer, AllyOne (formerly Ally Digital)

Less emphasis on Amazon, more on marketing through social and organic content.

Build for Customer Experience Across All Channels

Alex Birkett, Sr. Growth Marketing Manager, HubSpot

You always have to think about finding the edge where you can compete and others will struggle.

In 2019, that’s almost certainly a combination of three things: product, customer experience, and at least one exploitable customer acquisition channel.

Unique product differentiation is probably where it all starts, as you see companies like Four Sigmatic (mushroom coffee) and MeUndies crush it, but then you also need a good channel strategy to distribute (in both of the above cases, that seems to be podcasts and influencers, but it could be different for you depending what you’re selling).

Customer experience is almost becoming table stakes, but I would over index on customer happiness.

Jeff Stripp, VP, Marketing & Sales, Zogics

I would focus on delivering “experiences” in a micro sense – by combining platforms like WordPress and BigCommerce to make the management of Content and Commerce easier and more seamless for the user.

Jay El-Kaake, CEO, Fera.ai

Invest in a better first time visitor shopping experience.

Emil Kristensen, CMO and co-founder, Sleeknote

Segmenting your marketing audience and target messages to the individual.

Especially when it comes to on-site messages and email marketing.

We have the data to do this, yet few ecommerce take advantage of this.

There are a lot of ways to segment in ecommerce (age, interests, gender, and so on) so use that data to only send relevant messages to your audience instead of sending the same message to everyone (as most ecommerce do right now).

Brandon Lilly, Senior Brand Director, Marketing 360

I would focus on a personal shopping experience.

Messenger or live chat, active and integrated social channels, and dynamic shopping pages will all personalize the experience per shopper increasing brand loyalty and return customers.

Build a “real” brand: Communicate, Convert, Measure, Repeat

Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10xFactory

I would focus on actually becoming a brand.

This means:

  1. Communicating frequently with your customers to understand their pain points, why they don’t buy, why they do buy, etc.
  2. Focusing on LTV – branding nearly everything in my shipments to customers, doing things to surprise and delight your customers
  3. Focusing on the interactions that result in my customers coming back and buying again, i.e. email follow up, fulfillment inserts, direct mail, and more.

Shane Barker, Digital Strategist, Shane Barker Consulting

If I was starting an online business today, my focus would be on connecting with consumers through multiple digital touch-points and delivering a consistent brand experience.

I have seen big retailers fail at online retail just because they get stuck with the logistics aspect too much to care about consumer experience.

Today, it is not enough to offer good quality products and deliver them on time.

Today, consumers truly want to associate with brands that they like or connect with.

Retailers and brands that are engaging with consumers throughout their purchase journeys are more successful.

So, the focus has shifted from products to developing customer relationships and brand associations.

6 Ecommerce Trends for Large, Legacy Brands

Digital transformation is the biggest keyword for this industry.

With leaders like Walmart and West Elm either acquiring tons of DNVB brands or putting them in their showroom for association, foot traffic and loyalty, the time is now to figure out how you can win some of those community points from the up-and-comers, who have swooned the millennials.

Good news: legacy brands can still win Gen Z. And, they are more primed to do so with already owned physical square footage.

Of course, those stores must be social media primed and culturally plugged in, with a few technological surprises around each corner.

Our experts explain.

Make Organizational Changes & Acquire DNVBs

Mike Wittenstein, Strategic Storyteller and Experience Designer, StoryMiners

Switch out my shareholders so that I would be freer to make more meaningful and valuable promises to my customers.

I think the demand for quarterly returns in publicly traded retail companies is the toughest constraint to deal with because legacy investors want yesterday’s decisions (footprints, technology stacks, cultures) to make them money today.

The retail landscape has changed significantly since they placed their original bets and we have a new game now.

In my opinion, with more ‘patient money’ from a newer crop of investors, management can make the needed changes to infrastructure and tech, and evolve their culture and experiences to meet customer and employee demands more profitably in the long run.

James Thomson, Partner, Buy Box Experts

I would develop a separate division that has the goal of building smaller, more nimble brands that are designed to be viewed as successes if they generate tens of millions of dollars of sales, not hundreds of millions of dollars.

These brands need to be researched and launched in under a year, using more experimentation and willingness to fail so as to learn and refine than what traditional brands today are willing to tolerate.

Kunle Campbell, Founder, 2X media

Acquire an upcoming DTC brand.

If this is not possible, I will create a portfolio of independent DTC brands from the ground up and attempt to disrupt some own-branded line.

Focus on Content & Commerce Initiatives Before It’s Too Late

Bill Widmer, Content & SEO Expert, BillWidmer.com

Again, it all comes back to content.

I would launch a content initiative – be it a blog, videos, podcast, or a combination of the three – and use that content to gain more traffic, build brand awareness, rank on Google, and create trusting relationships with my customers.

Brandon Lilly, Senior Brand Director, Marketing 360

Content. Content, content, content.

Idea boards on Pinterest, how-to’s on YouTube, live product announcements on Facebook, user-generated content on Instagram.

The more valuable content your create the more content shoppers will consume.

If you’re adding value to their social spaces, they’ll spend their dollars with you when it counts.

Michael Vasta, Ph.D, Senior BigCommerce Project Manager, American Eagle

To ensure the brand stays relevant you must emphasize the positive history; that’s the reason why it’s a large legacy brand.

The consistency that you will always be there and have the ability to handle new trends will give buyers confidence.

Through visual refreshes the brand can stay with it and have a modern style but still what consumers trust underneath.

Create a Retail Experience Like None Other

Zach Heller, Sr. Director of Marketing, New York Institute of Career Development

At this point you have to rethink the in-store experience.

What is a retail store for? Because the answer to that is not the same as it was even 5 or 10 years ago.

People visit your store rather than shop online for a reason. Find out what that reason is and give them more of it.

William Harris, Ecommerce Advertising Expert, Elumynt

Find a better way to bring the “in-store experience” online as well as bring the “online experience” to the storefront.

Brands are making progress here, but it still feels disconnected.

Large legacy brands need to make this happen in 2019 if they want to avoid the fate of Sears.

Steve Deckert, Co-Founder, Smile.io

Have brick & mortar experiences augment the online shopping experience.

Brick & mortar isn’t dead; it’s just different.

Use retail space to create communities of customers, to educate them on products, to support your customers, and to create amazing customer experiences.

Shayla Price, Digital Marketer

In 2019, brand relevance will emerge from customer personalization.

Consumers understand that large brands collect data about them.

While everyone isn’t thrilled about it, some customers prefer the data be used to enhance their shopping experiences.

That means more relevant product recommendations, customized email campaigns, and access to store specials specific to their desires.

Build Partnerships with Competitors and Influencers Alike

Jason Greenwood, eCommerce Manager, HealthPost, & Founder, Greenwood Consulting

Create major/long term partnerships and ambassadorships with social media influencers and micro-influencers.

Lianna Patch, Head Puncher, Punchline Conversion Copywriting

  1. Abandon the “every brand for itself” mindset and form strategic partnerships with competitors and upstart startups.
  2. Nix all “How do you do, fellow kids?” language from my copy assets.

Update Your Full Funnel Marketing Approach – or Else

Eric Carlson, Co-Founder, 10xFactory

For me, everything starts with the foundations of a business and the person that is the closest to the customer actually wins.

We have been able to increase website conversion rates from ~ 1% to 4% simply by interviewing customers who bought, those that didn’t, and understanding our customers on a deep level.

Once you can do this, you can adjust your marketing to attract your best customers and to speak their language.

If you want to stay relevant, you need to understand that messaging & experiences that resonates with your customers – and the closest you get to your customers, the more you win.

Scott Ginsberg, Head of Content, Metric Digital

Disruptor brands are taking share from established brands for two reasons. They’re better at performance marketing, and they’re better at user experience.

For these legacy brands to stay relevant, they need to change their metrics.

Large brands drive “Reach & Awareness” as an objective, whereas the Disruptor Brands focus on “Conversions” as an objective.

Bryan Eisenberg, author Be Like Amazon, Chief Evangelist JudoLaunch, Bryaneisenberg.com

Get serious and sophisticated about your complete online and offline digital presence.

Get someone internally or externally who is an expert in the deep science of succeeding with your brand on Amazon (they are the Google SEO/PPC of a decade ago).

Create immersive digital experiences for your customers in your online and brick and mortar shops.

Spend on creating a digital experience of your product lines that goes beyond simple product photos.

If you don’t do it in your space, someone else will.

Now, while ecommerce is still only 9% of all retail commerce in the US, is the time to plant your flag and stake your claim in your category online.

Remember that today it is the fast fish who are eating the BIG fish.

Learn to be like Amazon!

Plug in Culturally or Become Irrelevant (or Languish in Negative Sentiment)

Maddy Osman, SEO Content Strategist, The Blogsmith

There are many lessons to be learned from the market’s reaction to Jan Singer’s (now former Victoria’s Secret CEO) comments about not considering plus-size and trans women in relation to the company’s annual Fashion Show.

Though the current American political landscape may suggest otherwise, the world of consumers are ready to see more inclusivity and diversity in branding and advertising.

Legacy brands are perfectly poised to act as the trailblazers for this movement.

Leah Spector, Social Media Manager, BigCommerce

Large legacy brands will need to adopt the socially-conscious attitudes and actions that so many successful DNVBs display.

Buyers today, especially affluent millennials, care about a company’s beliefs on social issues.

Victoria’s Secret’s runway show viewership has been steadily declining over the years thanks in part to a steep decline in live TV audiences, but this year was especially overshadowed by their refusal to include LGBTQIA and plus-size models on the runway, not to mention their CMO’s horrendous comments on that fact.

As a result, inclusive, online-only lingerie brands like ThirdLove have had a banger year. Legacy brands, 2019 will likely be your last chance to show customers you care about something other than profits.

Want more insights like this?

We’re on a mission to provide businesses like yours marketing and sales tips, tricks and industry leading knowledge to build the next house-hold name brand. Don’t miss a post. Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

96 Data Points on The State of Ecommerce Around the World

How the Generations Shop Online

  • Only 9.6% of Gen Z reports buying items in a physical store –– considerably less than their older generations (Millennials at 31.04%, Gen X at 27.5%, and Baby Boomers at 31.9% respectively).
  • Gen Z also spends little on products they find from Facebook –– 11.8% compared to Millennials at 29.39%, Gen X at 34.21% and Baby Boomers at 24.56%.
  • Both Millennials and Gen Z spend the majority of their shopping dollars on products they find on Instagram and Snapchat.
  • Gen Z respondents spend 8% more of their discretionary income each month online than the global average – and tend to prefer online purchases to those made offline.
  • Only 56% of Gen Z consumers made a purchase in a physical store in the last six months compared to 65% of all respondents.
  • Gen Z’s buying behavior. Respondents from this generation were 2X more likely than the average consumer to make a purchase on Instagram over the last six months, and 3X more likely to buy on Snapchat.
  • 30% of Gen Z buyers saw an ad about the product on social media, and 22% visited at least one of the brand’s social channels prior to making an in-store purchase.
  • 6% of online shoppers prefer mobile wallets over other forms of payment.
  • Gen Z shoppers are 2X more likely to complete an online purchase using a mobile wallet like Apple Pay, Amazon Pay or Google Pay than the average global consumer.
  • Gen Z shoppers were 8% more likely than other respondents to be influenced by the availability of financing, given that they likely have lower incomes to support their spending.
  • only one-quarter (27%) of Baby Boomers or Seniors see the availability of financing as influential.
  • Mobile wallets are used 2X more often by Millennials and Gen Z than Gen X or Baby Boomers.
  • Baby Boomers are the only generation have more than 50% report not wanting to use online financing (70.6%).
  • Baby Boomers report that they plain wouldn’t havemade a purchase online without financing (indicating a higher price point) at 47.59% compared to 22.13% for Gen Z, 25% for Millennials and 33.9% for Gen X.
  • Gen Z and Millennials report buying something more expensive than they were originally considering when financing was an option, at 41% and 44.12% respectively. Only 21.39% of Baby Boomers said the same, as did 31.79% of Gen X.
  • Gen Z is the most likely generation to report expecting to return more than 75% of the goods they buy online. Millennials expect to return 50%, with Gen X and Baby Boomers expected to return less than 50%.
  • Only 4% of Gen Z reports expecting to return more than 75% of the items they buy online, but that 4% is 3X higher than their other generational counterparts.
  • On average, all generations expect to return up to 25% of the goods they buy online.
  • Gen Z and Millennials are 2X more likely to return an item because it arrived too late and they ultimately had to buy something else in-store.
  • Gen Z is 2X more likely than Millennials and Gen X, and 6X more likely than Baby Boomers toorder multiple items with the intention of making returns.
  • Nearly 2X more Gen Zers (21.7%) expect to return an item at an Amazon Drop Off versus Baby Boomers (12.13%).

How Consumers Shops Across the Web

  • When asked about their shopping behaviors prior to making a purchase in a physical retail store, 39% of digital consumers visited a brand’s website, 36% read customer reviews, 33% attempted to price match the product online, with 32% finding the brand on Amazon.
  • In the last six months, 78% of global respondents to BigCommerce’s survey made a purchase on Amazon, 65% in a physical store, 45% on a branded online store, 34% on eBay and another 11% Facebook.
  • For 36% of respondents, financing enabled them to buy a more expensive option than they were previously considering, and another 31% of consumers would not have made the purchase otherwise.

How Consumers Shop On (or Because of) Amazon

  • Witha market cap nearing $1 trillion, Amazon owns a staggering 49% of online spend in the U.S. –– roughly 5% of all U.S. retail sales.
  • In the last six months, 83% of US consumers made a purchase on Amazon. Look specifically at the digital-first millennial generation in the US, and that number jumps to 90%. There’s no denying: Amazon is an integral part of all consumers’ shopping journeys.
  • 30% of consumers saw a brand on Amazon before ultimately purchasing it on a brand’s website.
  • 22% of consumers visited a brand site before purchasing it on Amazon
  • Survey respondents no longer view price as the primary reason to purchase on Amazon. For 28% of respondents, convenience reigns.

Consumers’ Least Favorite Part of Shopping Online

  • Eighteen percent of survey respondents now cite shipping costs as their least favorite aspect of online shopping, second only to an inability to touch or try on an item before purchase (27%). Another 15% identify waiting for the shipment to arrive as the worst part of the online shopping process.
  • For Millennials (26.16%), Gen X (32.28%) and Baby Boomers (31.91%), not being able to touch or try on a product remains the #1 online shopping inconvenience. Only 18.4% of Gen Zers ranked this as a top issue.
  • For Gen Z, waiting for the product after purchasing is the #1 issue (19.37%). Paying for shipping costs is the second biggest dislike for all U.S. consumers across generations (18.5%, 26%, 32.3%, 31% respectively).

Online Security Concerns are Rising

  • Site security concerns are top of mind most for Gen Z (9.91%) and Baby Boomers (9%).
  • Three-quarters of consumers believe retailers are collecting email addresses (82%), physical addresses (75%) and phone numbers (74%).
  • Another 56% of consumers believe online browsing history falls into the scope of a retailer’s data collection.
  • 25% of respondents believe retailers collect information on salary, relationship status and profession.
  • If given the option, seven out of 10 consumers would opt out of sharing their data with retailers, even if it meant they could no longer receive special offers tailored to their specific interests.
  • Not surprisingly, 54% of Seniors (aged 73+) and 46% of Baby Boomers (aged 54-72) would not share personal data with retailers regardless of the incentive offered.
  • Gen X (aged 38-53), Millennials (aged 22-37), and Gen Z (aged 18-21), however, have a more collaborative view. All three generations expressed a willingness to share personal data with merchants in exchange for free shipping and/or product discounts.

What Makes Consumers Purchase Goods

  • The ability to touch and try on items is 3x more influential than other options in a consumer’s decision to make a purchase in a physical store.
  • For 36% of respondents, financing enabled them to buy a more expensive option than they were previously considering, and another 31% of consumers would not have made the purchase otherwise.

Returns & Exchanges Data

  • When it comes to returning items purchased online, 50% of consumers mail the item back.
  • When consumers go into the store to return an item that was originally purchased online, 67% browse or shop in that store afterwards.

How People Shop Online in the UK

  • eBay remains a valuable purchase destination in the UK, with more than half (57%) of survey respondents making a purchase on its marketplace over the course of the past six months.
  • 2X as many UK respondents made a purchase on Instagram as global respondents, despite its shopping functionality only becoming available on an international level this past March.
  • Convenience barely beats out price as a primary influencer for UK buyers, at 26% and 24% respectively.
  • UK respondents believed paying for shipping costs to be the worst part of online shopping (24%), followed by waiting to receive the product (17%) and, finally, an inability to touch or try on the product (16%).
  • 80% of UK respondents are familiar with GDPR
  • 23% of UK respondents have requested retailers delete their data
  • 69% of UK respondents believe retailers respect their right to privacy

How People Shop Online in Australia

  • Australian respondents spend approximately 26% of their discretionary income on online purchases.
  • Australian respondents said, on average, they would cap online spending at $473, compared to a max of $922 in the UK and $798 in the US.
  • Australian respondents indicated that they shop on mobile (39%) nearly as frequently as they shop on a desktop (41%), and that they prefer PayPal to a credit card when making an expensive purchase online, 54% to 28%.
  • Nearly half (48%) of Australian respondents visited a brand’s website before making a purchase in store, and another 28% read customer reviews about the brand or product.
  • only 24% of Australian respondents made a purchase there in the last six months. << Amazon
  • 63% percent of Australian respondents made a purchase on eBay in the last six months, only two percent lower than the number of respondents that made a purchase in a physical store.
  • Fifty-seven percent of Australian respondents do not think the presence of more global retailers will impact their decision to buy from local merchants.
  • Only 58% of survey respondents in Australia indicated they would opt out of sharing data with retailers if given the option.

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    Tracey Wallace

    Tracey Wallace

    EIC, BigCommerce | Founder, Doris Sleep

    Tracey Wallace is the Editor-in-Chief at BigCommerce, where she covers all things ecommerce: marketing, design, development, strategy, plus emerging trends, including omnichannel and cloud replatforming.She is also the Founder of Doris Sleep, a bed pillow company selling 100% certified recycled plastic bottle filled pillows in three custom sizes.

    View all posts by Tracey Wallace
    Leave a Comment

    38 comments on “The 17 Ecommerce Trends + 96 Online Shopping Stats Fueling Sales Growth in 2019

    1. clippingpathserviceindia on

      E-commerece is one of the biggest business trends online but most of the investors can’t manage to get the ROI as they expected only because they don’t follow the rends. Its a consisting process you must have to follow the trends always as they are changing all the time. This article is one of the best resource I found thank you very much for your absolute help.

    2. Smith Jhon on

      Very thorough. Some informative thoughts, really remarkable. Great insights about Influencer marketing. I know Its importance, this is the best way marketing investment for our business. Trends are getting covered almost whole things that we need to get.
      Especially I would like to mention the #step3 is a big consideration for us. The real world content + SEO examples extremely the best route that I have crossed ever. Want to share an e-commerce related post that will work for the veteran or new people here? So check it out if you’d like. https://www.clippingpathindia.com/blog/2018/02/20/beautiful-product-photography-ecommerce-sites/

    3. Hunter Hughes on

      Hey Tracey,
      Thanks for the article.Really you provided nice information. I agree with you about e-commerce evolution of modern era.
      This will help lots of people I believe.

    4. Ashley Marsh on

      Great and comprehensive information on e-commerce aspects! Links included with each point are really useful. Helpful for those planning their e-commerce sites this year and also to development firms. Statistics are really helpful in deciding the look of the site and the target markets. Great reading!

    5. Nikitha Kaur on

      Great! Lots of useful information. The E-commerce trends would really help all the Cross border E-Commerce industry people do business globally surviving the Global E-commerce Competition. https://goo.gl/3pc1E2

    6. Fadiyah Sameh on

      Hi, Tracey,
      Your articles always are exceptional, keeping up with the new statistics about eCommerce is very crucial for your e-store growth. When you collect the latest data from your e-store, you should always analyze them and update your e-store personalization depending on these data. In this article https://goo.gl/S4YKwA I have found some handy eCommerce trends you might want to check. Thank you

    7. Paul Cook on

      Everything is going online in the era of technology today. And in this, the trend of online shopping has increased so much … I read your blog … very well explained you … I just saw another blog like ecommerce trends 2018 … maybe Do you like to read https://goo.gl/pbVbXs

    8. Julia Kush on

      Thank you for this article! It’s really useful! I also know that for today a lot of people want to create their own online marketplace. But the majority of them can’t believe that it’s not so expensive and hard to realize. The new free tool called Marketplace Platform Advisor has recently appeared in the online space, and you can try it here: https://roobykon.com/blog/posts/64-marketplace-platform-advisor-is-here
      Marketplace Platform Advisor is completely free, and it helps you to calculate all important steps on the way to creating your e-commerce business. Achieving your goal can be easier than you imagine. So, don’t stop! Good luck:)

    9. VEERA Vlogs on

      Here is great website for online shopper, providing complete features of Amazon Services, Top Rated Products, Best Selling Products, Best Discounted Products, Huge Saving Products, and many more. Your support is more valuable for us!
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    10. Nakul ODD on

      These are great insights, and If you could, will also like to know the changing trends in sharing the buying intentions over the varied online platform. Like percentage of people sharing or asking feedback or reviews before buying something.

    11. Blase dillingham on

      Awesome info, interesting to see the battle of B&M and Ecom unfold and what the solutions to each evolve. Thanks.

    12. Tracey Wallace
      Tracey Wallace on

      Work on generating more backlinks and building your SEO so you don’t have to reply on advertising. Also, focus on turning one time buyers into repeat buyers and building lifetime value rather than focusing on pulling in high #s of traffic. Let me know if you need any ideas there.

    13. Fabric Fabric on

      I am with fabric-fabric.com and spend 3000 a month on google Adword and get double that sale , the cost of advertising is too much for small website .What suggest for that.

    14. ICPS on

      It’s our day to day behavior to purchase anything from online that’s make easy reliable fast and cost effective so why not the eCommerce trend are developed everyday it’s time demand things for both soaper and buyer.

    15. Wiktoria Lipkowska on

      Hi #TraceyWallace!
      I would like to know what is the data source. Can you kindly share them with me i would like to double check some numbers.
      Many thanks!

    16. Andrea L. on

      If you want to find out more about e-commerce trends, The Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2017 (IRCE) is a great opportunity for participants to network with more than 10,000 retail and e-commerce professionals. There is an article I have recently read about how to make the most out of this experience: https://www.robosoftin.com/blog/irce-2017/. I have found some very useful tips. Enjoy reading!

    17. Anmol Gupta on

      The E-commerce marketing trends keep on changing with every passing year. In 2016, we’ve some remarkable trends related to eCommerce web design such as motion animation, long scroll, the card like layouts, flat and material design and of course responsive design. And 2017 is going to be a great year for all the creative web designers who love adopting latest trends while developing an eCommerce website. Here are the 7 e-commerce trends in 2017 you should know to take your business to the next level!

    18. Magento_oCodewire on

      Now a days e-commerce trend spread a lot in each and every business. A lot of need required for e-commerce trend and for online shopping as well.

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