How To Sell Online

The 19 Ecommerce Trends + 147 Online Shopping Stats Fueling Sales Growth in 2018

/ 36 min read

Conducting high-level research into who buys what, when and why, with regards to Americans shopping online, can be costly and time-consuming — which is why we’ve done it for you.

BigCommerce has teamed up with retail and payment experts Square to dive deep into the shopping habits, behavior and preferences of thousands of American buyers across multiple generations in 2018.

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Get the Comprehensive Modern Consumer Shopping Habits Study in a PDF version for further reading, research and action. It’s free and a quick download away.

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In addition, we’ll be breaking down the top ecommerce trends of 2018.

We began monitoring the impact of these trends during Cyber Five 2017.

Why?

Because a lot happens in a year within retail and ecommerce.

And every new product, tool, technology and strategy that enters the market hits a crux during Cyber Five.

That’s when those new rules to success have to pass a very hard test:

Do these strategies actually work under the height of industry traffic, sales and scrutiny?

Let me give you an example:

2017 has been the year of Facebook Advertising.

But we’ve all been in that year before, with another tool you have heard of: Google Shopping and PLAs.

Those two tactics still work wonders for brands, with the caveat that:

  1. Competition is fierce and as a result…
  2. Costs are high.

Those two factors often make Google Shopping and PLAs harder for brands making less than $10M in annual sales to compete.

It’s a big-box play where demand is high and visibility is low in supply. And you all well understand economics 101.

Facebook is about to go through the same transition.

But I’ll let one of my go-to experts on Facebook Advertising explain this for me.

In 2018, one thing is guaranteed, Facebook Ad inventory will go up in cost.

Facebook has made a lot of ecommerce owners into millionaires, but now big brands are realizing the power of Facebook and the cost is going up. – Eric Carlson, Co-founder, 10X Factory.

He isn’t the only one who sees this coming.

As a result, many experts are recommending alternate approaches to success for 2018.

This is especially true for brands just breaking into the $1,000,000 in annual revenue club – or at least have it in sight.

Brands like that are considered early stage, high-growth ecommerce companies.

And they have a big challenge to address:

Allocating funds appropriately to sustain and accelerate growth without losing it all.

It’s a hard task at hand. So, here’s what I did:

  1. I reached out to 31 experts to ask what 3 areas they’d focus on (or are planning on focusing on) for 2018 to drive real growth and get ahead of the trends.
  2. Then, I went through all of their answers, and gathered them into categories.
  3. Next, I ranked them based on how many experts said this strategy or areas of focus was important.

And this post is the culmination of that information – along with 147 stats to back up how the industry has gotten here.

Top 19 Ecommerce Trends of 2018

Here are the top 19 ecommerce trends and growth strategies recommended by Internet Retailer 1000 brands and the experts that advise them, in order of priority.

  1. Localization, Personalization & CX.
  2. Community Building, Customer Engagement & CRM.
  3. New Content Types & SEO.
  4. Mobile Optimization.
  5. Social Media Advertising, Campaigns & Retargeting.
  6. CRO & Data-Driven Optimizations.
  7. Technology.
  8. Email Marketing, Automation & AOV.
  9. Influencer Marketing.
  10. Omni-Channel Management.
  11. Payment Solutions.
  12. Branding.
  13. International.
  14. Customer Lifetime Value & Referral Programs.
  15. Catalog Extension.
  16. PR.
  17. Shipping + Fulfillment Optimization.
  18. Sales Tax Liability.
  19. Pricing.

To help keep you focused on these priorities, I’ve broken down the top 10 below, and looked at:

  • What it means
  • Why it’s so important
  • Materials you can use now to brush up on the topic
  • Brands already doing it well so you can mimic their approach, and alter it for your specific audience.

This is your ultimate checklist for what you should be focusing on, in order of priority, for 2018.

Bookmark the page, and dive on in.

1. Localization, personalization and customer experience.

I know what you’re thinking:

There are way too many topics combined into a single strategy here.

But that’s just not true.

Localization is a segment of personalization, and all personalization aims at bettering the customer experience.

Let’s look at it in that lens.

What is customer experience?

Customer experience historically has involved WOW’ing the consumer. Providing exceptional customer service, fast shipping, low prices, an easy-to-navigate site.

This discipline includes:

  • UX
  • Pricing strategy
  • Shipping and logistics
  • Customer service.

In 2018, though, personalization and localization are being added to that mix.

This is because easy-to-navigate websites, fast shipping and transparent pricing are already the norm.

Now, brands must look to new tactics to make their customer experience a differentiator.

What is personalization?

Personalization in ecommerce often refers to personalized merchandising. When personalizing a site experience, brands use a variety of known customer data points to serve contextually relevant content and products.

Those data points can include:

  • Search Queries: Recommend products based on a customer’s search terms
  • Purchase History: Recommend products based on a customer’s past purchases
  • Shopping Cart: Recommend products based on the current contents of a customer’s cart or wishlist
  • Social Behavior: Recommend products based on product rating, shares and likes
  • Geographic Location: Suggest relevant products based on customer’s local climate or other regional considerations
  • Customer Segments: Use purchase histories of customers with similar demographics to recommend products

Using data points like the above, site pages will be altered to best serve and convert the individual consumer.

What is localization?

Localization is a form of personalization in which the IP address of a customer alters site content to provide for more contextual merchandising and content.

Here’s an example from Tyler’s TX. My IP address is coming in from Austin, Texas – so the site serves me Austin, Texas content.

Best Online Guides for Personalization

Here are a few guides you can use to learn about personalization, localization and on-site merchandising to increase your customer experience.

  1. The Ecommerce Personalization Manual: 3 chapters full of actionable steps to increase your revenue through measurable personalization testing and implementation.
  2. How to Use Local Marketing to Sell More: From local SEO to localized merchandising and everything in-between, here’s a step-by-step guide to get more locals to your site.
  3. How 12 Wildly Successful Stores Use Visual Merchandising to Drive Sales: It’s not just about implementing the personalization, it is also about how it looks. This guide will show you exactly how to do it –– based on what is already working in the market.
  4. How 3 Brands Conquered Global Markets via Localization: Localization matters most when dealing with international audiences. Here’s how you can localize to earn global sales, no matter your size.
  5. Personalization Apps + Tools to Help You Implement: A list of tools and apps you can begin using now to implement personalization strategies.

3 Real World Personalization Examples

Here are how 3 brands currently optimized their customer experience using a variety of personalization tactics.

1. Marucci.

Marucci on-site bat customization tool hits it out of the park – seriously.

Customers can build their own bat, including material, color and even initial customization.

Then, once you build the bat, that bat will follow you around the web until purchase.

Check it out.

2. Declaration Co.

You can use a combination of out-of-the-box personalization tools and additional applications to turn your product pages into landing pages (i.e. high-traffic driving, high-converting).

Check out below how Declaration Co. makes this work.

P.S. They use the Personalized Recommendation App by Beeketing.

3. Paul Mitchell.

Wondering how you can collect additional data to better personalize?

Create an educational survey to lead consumers further down your funnel, as well as collect additional information.

Check out the one Paul Mitchell emailed out to their list:

2. Community building, customer engagement and CRM.

It’s hard to build a community and appropriately engage with your customers if you don’t have a rock solid CRM.

What is a CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. You’ve probably heard of one of the most widely used ones: Salesforce.

What these tools do is aggregate customer information – including order information, additional data points they’ve given you – with touchpoint information.

In other words, you can go to a customer’s profile in a CRM tool and see:

  • When you last emailed them
  • Who last spoke to them on chat and about what
  • When they last bought something
  • What their average LTV is
  • So on and so forth.

For ecommerce brands, this often means pulling in information from:

  • On-site chat
  • Facebook messenger
  • SMS
  • Email
  • Order statuses
  • Customer groups
  • Loyalty programs
  • Referral programs
  • And more

Why does all of this matter?

Because how effectively you speak to your customer, solve their issue and get them to the cart directly affects engagement, conversion and your bottom line.

Omnichannel Applies to CRM, Too

Establish a single customer system of record.

It’s nearly impossible to truly accomplish #1 without one.

Make sure it can resolve identities across devices!

– Eric Keating, VP of Marketing, Zaius

Best Online Guides for Customer Engagement

Get a head start in improving your customer engagement via community and CRM. Here are the best guides to walk you through each aspect.

  1. How to Navigate the Chaotic Chat Channels of Modern Ecommerce Customer Service: Two brands give you a behind-the-scenes look at how they manage exceptional customer service across all channels. Hint: They use Reamaze.
  2. 8 Tools + Must-Know Strategies to Drive Customer Acquisition and Lifetime Loyalty: Everything you need to know from Day 1 to get more customers now and then keep them coming back for the long term (i.e. how to build a community of buyers).
  3. What Sending 100,000,000 Emails Taught Me About What Doesn’t Work: The best way to learn how your customers want to engage? Learn how they don’t. But don’t learn it firsthand. This article will show you the pain, and the solution, so you can go into the game smarter and better.
  4. How to Set Up an Ecommerce Customer Loyalty Program: This guide will walk you through everything you need to know, from why to how and then how to measure.
  5. How to Use Customer Testimonials to Drive 62% More Sales: Already have a ton of engagement? Here’s how you can use that engagement to get even more.
  6. CRM and Customer Relationship Management Tools: All the tools you might need to grow your program and track your conversations more strategically and seamlessly than ever before.

Have You Gone ChatBot Yet?

Now is a great time to starting thinking about chatbots.

There’s a lot of different types of chatbots available now that can help you on-site with customer service, or Messenger bots that can help you build longer and stronger relationships with your customers and fans.

– Richard Lazazzera, Founder of A Better Lemonade Stand

3 Real World Customer Engagement Examples

The very first step to ensuring your customers engage with your brand is to ensure they can SEE that they can engage with your brand.

Here are 3 examples of brands doing just that.

1. Olive Ave.

Olive Ave uses subtle but clear on-site messaging to alert customers to a variety of customer engagement tools, including:

  • Reviews
  • Chat
  • Rewards

This is a common trio of customer engagement tactics – allowing customers to see and leave reviews, talk to someone for help and/or join the rewards program.

See how they did it below.

2. Mountain Crest Gardens.

Mountain Crest Gardens is, in my professional opinion, light years ahead of most ecommerce brands in terms of customer engagement.

They used a tool – Rivet Works – to collect not just customer reviews, but customer photos of their products being used.

And people LOVE it.

They use those photos on their review page (below), on product pages as well as in social media –– always with a call to action for a customer to also submit.

It’s an engagement tactic that kills 3 birds (AKA tactics), with one stone (AKA email).

3. Shongolulu.

Want to know one of the best ways to build customer engagement?

Get them involved directly in your company mission.

Many brands with philanthropic missions, like Shongolulu, encourage customers to become brand ambassadors –– sharing the message with the world.

And it works!

As the micro-influencer and ambassador community grows, so too does your brand’s presence across the web.

After all, it’s always been a small group of dedicated people who changed the world.

Let your brand lead the next charge.

Be Yourself. Sell More. It Can Be That Easy.

Turn yourself and your employees into personalities. You’ll develop quicker and more meaningful relationships with your customers when it’s personal.

In 2018, people connect with other people – not brands, or companies.

– Brett Owens, Marketing Director & Co-Founder, LeadDyno

3. New content types and SEO.

Even during Cyber Week 2017, in BigCommerce’s User Facebook Group, I had brands telling me that while their campaigns performed insanely well, organic still drove the most conversions.

That’s right – organic traffic still ranks as the #1 tactic for driving traffic and conversions for the long term.

This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it tactic. Nor is it one you can just ignore.

  • You want to win at least on long-tail keywords.
  • You want traffic to your site to be at least 50% organic.

This is because:

  1. You don’t have to pay for organic traffic: In theory, you have to pay with your time or a salary to a content creator and SEO manager)
  2. People like to find “the best” on their own, not through ads: If they can type in a keyword on Google, come to your site and be floored at what you offer –– they are converting. And fast.

What is SEO?

SEO is the acronym for search engine optimization.

This is mostly referring to Google’s search engine because it is the most used in the world (next to Amazon’s, but that’s a topic for another time).

The more optimized your website is, the higher you show up in Google’s search results.

Your goal is to rank 0-5 for any related keyword search.

Most ecommerce brands optimize for long-tail, at least at first. Getting high ranking for short-tail keywords is hard. Bigger brands typically win here because of their Domain Authority, which takes into account:

  • How long your site has been live
  • How much traffic it gets
  • How long people stay on it
  • How many people link to it
  • Etc.

Think Far Beyond the Sale

On-site content to draw in customers in times other than a purchase point is becoming super important for LTV increase without large marketing spend.

– Erik Huberman, Founder and CEO, Hawke Media

What are long-tail vs. short-tail keywords?

“Bow ties” is a short-tail keyword. “Bow ties for dachshunds” is a long-tail keyword.

Long-tail keywords are just more specific.  

Best Online Guides for SEO + Content

Optimize your site as it currently is, and get content ideas now from these comprehensive guides.

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Ecommerce SEO: Learn how to attain page 1 ranking + see all the tools the experts use, how, when and why. This is the scientific side of SEO.
  2. How to Master Amazon SEO: Yes, Amazon also has a search engine – called A9. This post will teach you how to rank well there, too.
  3. How to Build a B2B SEO Strategy to Beat Out Your Competition: Online B2B sales are growing. Getting your B2B SEO strategy in shape now will set you up to win for the long run.
  4. The Content Strategy to 3X Your Ecommerce Traffic: You can build it, that doesn’t mean they will come. This guide will show you how to make sure your content, your site and your products get seen. It doesn’t end at publish –– it ends at sales.
  5. How to Turn Product Pages Into High-Converting Landing Pages: This is a HUGE opportunity. Turn your product pages into optimized landing pages and you’ll get more traffic AND more sales. This guide will show you how (plus the good and the bad of the tactic).

Content marketing is harder than ever. Don’t give up.

Content marketing hasn’t changed much from last year beyond the fact that it’s harder than ever before to rank.

  • You’re competing with more brands.
  • You’re competing with more landing pages.
  • You’re competing with more videos on YouTube.

So, it’s time to invest in creating content that is both optimized for search and maximized for shareability on social media.

– Ross Simmonds, Founder, Foundation Marketing

3 Real World Content + SEO Examples

The best advice out there right now in terms of SEO for ecommerce brands is this:

Turn your product pages into optimized landing pages.

How do you do that?

Check out the brands below.

1. Jackson Galaxy.

Jackson Galaxy uses video, clear CTAs, lots of copy and tons of reviews to turn their product pages into an SEO-optimized landing page.

2. BlanksUSA.

BlanksUSA uses campaign pages as landing pages in order to drive long-tail traffic to products easily grouped for a specific customer segment.

In this case, for the small-business audience.

3. Orion Cooler.

And what if you just want to make sure your homepage is optimized? Well, be sure you include:

  1. Interactive graphics
  2. Videos
  3. Cross-linking.

Orion Coolers does this well.

4. Mobile optimization.

Mobile optimization these days isn’t just about having a site that is responsive.

That’s just step #1.

Having a mobile-optimized site also means including:

  • Mobile-optimized search
  • Digital wallets
  • Product videos

And that’s just for starters.

Mobile and Desktop UX Should Be Equal

Mobile experience need to be on par with desktop. That’s just expectation these days.

– Josh Mendelsohn, VP Marketing, Privy

Digital Wallets + Mobile Optimization

Mobile commerce is continuing to rise thanks to one new technology: digital wallets.

These wallets allow for one-click purchasing that makes buying on the go less annoying.

Examples of digital wallets and one-touch payments include:

  • Amazon Pay
  • Apple Pay
  • PayPal One-Touch
  • Visa Checkout

Focus on Mobile Checkout

Offer Apple Pay, PayPal Express or Visa Checkout and don’t make the customer have to fill in all of their details on a mobile phone.

Ease of purchase is key.

Also, think about credit. PayPal Credit was previously expensive for the retailer.

Today’s buy-now, pay-later systems are not – including PayPal Credit and Klarna.

– Rupert Cross, Digital Director, 5874

Best Online Guides for Mobile Optimization

Mobile is the New Desktop

In the digital space we’ve been banging the drum on mobile for years now and there are still many sites that don’t get it.

Optimize your forms, create mobile-first designs, load pages quickly. Mobile is here. Understand how your customers use mobile and optimize.

– Stephen Slater, Digital Advertising Manager, TopRankMarketing

3 Real World Content + SEO Examples

1. Couture Candy.

On mobile, what would you do?

Fill out your email and begin an account…or just use Amazon Pay?

2. CocoWeb.

Same scenario here –– sign up, or just hit Apple Pay and be done with it?

“We have seen an AOV increase of over 25%, a mobile conversion increase of over 75%. We accomplished this while decreasing mobile paid traffic by over 50%!” 

3. Solo Stove.

You don’t even need to take them to a cart. Just use a pop-up like Solo Stove does to help the customer decide where to go next.

Make sure payment is one of those options.

Mobile Means Everything

Mobile experience will be key in 2018.

Mobile traffic has already overtaken desktop traffic, and we are seeing mobile sales approach desktop sales.

This trend will continue, with mobile eventually overtaking desktop sales.

Retailers with a mobile-first mentality will outperform those that treat mobile as a second priority. This mobile-first mentality applies to everything: web design, email layouts, reward programs and more.

– Steve Deckert, Co-Founder, Smile.io

5. Social media advertising, campaigns and retargeting.

Social media advertising, specifically Facebook Advertising, was all the rage in 2017.

Many an ecommerce business owner turned a pretty $1,000,000 in annual revenue off of this tactic.

And while many may still be able to do so in 2018, it is likely that the cost is going to go way up.

In the meantime, be sure you have the basics down:

  1. Upload your catalog to Facebook Shop
  2. Use Dynamic Product Ads to retarget site visitors based on what they viewed.

Social Media is Scientific

Brands need to gain a scientific understanding of social media marketing and become experts in A/B testing in site building, content development and marketing/advertising.

All of these work together.

– Krista Fabregas, Editor, Ecommerce & Retail, FitSmallBusiness

What is Social Media Advertising?

Social media advertising is a popular channel for ecommerce brands to use to run campaigns, drive traffic and close sales.

It works best when:

  • Retargeting customers who visited a site to come back and close a sale
  • Using customer testimonials and videos to earn visibility
  • Creating an online, loyal community

Facebook Advertising has historically been the most popular social media advertising channel.

The Pillars of Modern Social Media Advertising

Good social media advertising and marketing is about 3 things:

  1. Engaging with consumers where they are – in social media – and not just using social media as an advertisement, but as a way to truly engage with and celebrate your fans
  2. The use of user-generated content in your social media, which will help you both celebrate your fans and provide a more authentic engagement experience for consumers
  3. Leveraging micro-influencers in a broad and authentic way to expose your content to new consumers.

– Neal Schaffer, Author, The Business of Influence

Best Online Guides for Social Media Advertising

Retargeting and Engagement Go Hand in Hand

Building a culture around your brand will be the only way to compete and thrive in a marketplace that turns everything into a commodity driven by price and reviews.

So focus on engagement, retargeting and community.

– Bryan Bowman, Founder, eCom Underground

3 Real World Social Advertising Examples

1. Tommy John.

Tommy John uses a gifting video along with a customer testimonial in this re-targeted Facebook Ad.

2. Rollie.

Rollie is an Australian brand that has (clearly) just launched in the US. They are likely targeting me based on my geographic location and having visited their site before.

This link leads back to a specific campaign page.

The ad is an image.

2. Nike.

Nike is using the multiple photo option ad (aka, not a video) and promoting customized items in the ads.

Video + Ads = Success

Facebook prioritizes videos and videos help build way more trust then just a regular ad. Videos are so powerful and using Facebook Custom Engagement Audiences you can sequence potential customers who watch 10 seconds of one of your videos to another video.

Using Facebook Video Ads combined with Custom Engagement Audiences alone you can sequence potential customers all the way down a video funnel that goes from Awareness to Engagement and then to Conversion.

In 2018 video will continue to be a huge opportunity for ecommerce brands.

– Daniel Wallock, Marketing Strategist, Wallock Media

6. CRO and data-driven optimizations.

CRO stands for conversion rate optimization, which you can only do through data-driven optimization and decision making.

These two aspects are tied hand in hand. You cannot do one without the other.

Average ecommerce conversion rates rest at about 2% – and that’s not very good.

Conversion rate optimization allows you to run tests to determine which various designs, language, etc. increase sales versus others.

Then, you can launch updates sitewide to see a major lift.

CRO Tools Are Cheap and Easy

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) to me is priority 1, 2, and 3.

The tools are cheap and easy to use. The data they can provide is invaluable.

Look for little wins here and there and over the course of the year you will find that you have made it far more likely that a visitor to your website becomes a paying customer.

– Zach Heller, Owner, Zach Heller Marketing

CRO Best Practices

Here are a few key best practices and tools to use for CRO and testing.

  • Keep yourself out of the picture: Don’t create navigation categories just to create categories. Only include links your shoppers find valuable. This is not the time or place to rely on aesthetics or your gut feeling. Instead, use Google Analytics or your ecommerce analytics to determine your most frequently visited landing pages (i.e. Women’s, Men’s, New Products, etc) and then link out to those within your site navigation.
  • Use tools to avoid assumptions: Consider using Crazy Egg, HotJar or Lucky Orange, tools that provides heat mapping. Heat mapping is an insanely valuable way to better understand how a shopper uses your site. This type of information is extremely informative, especially when coupled with additional metrics regarding your online store, like in-store search and website exit rates.

  • Create categories based on search: If you’re a BigCommerce merchant, use your in-store search analytics to help determine what shoppers are looking for, then bring those categories front and center. If you’re not a BigCommerce merchant or you’d like another look at what shoppers are searching for on your site, use Google Analytics: Google Analytics > Account > Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms.

Get more in touch with your market

Regularly get your customers on the phone. Ask why they choose you. Ask what problems drove them to you in the first place. Ask how they view you compared to competitors.

Ask, ask, ask.

Their answers are literally what should go on your website to connect more deeply with your market and generate more sales.

Nothing generates more ideas for how to improve your website than these conversations.

– David Tendrich, Co-Founder & CEO, Reliable PSD

Best Online Guides for CRO

Testing is Always Priority #1

Every brand has to first test their way to success. That’s always a top priority.  

The second is to spend 10% of your time/budget testing new techniques and technologies.

And the third is to be sure to share your successes and failures with everybody internally. That way, you can be sure you have a staff with a knowledge base.

– Jamie Turner, Author, Speaker, and CEO, Jamie Turner Live

3 Real World CRO Examples

OK, so this is the one section of the post where I can’t give you any original examples.

A/B testing is a private strategy for businesses, and rarely do they share their insights beyond the internal teams.

That makes sense.

You don’t want to show your strategic and data-backed advantages to your competitors, do you?

I found a few examples, but none show you side-by-side design comparisons.

1. Andreas Carter Sports.

One of the biggest changes we made was to the ‘Add To Cart’ button. Simply changing it from black to a blue color has reduced abandoned carts by up to 50%. – Jeremy Hagon, Marketing Manager, Andreas Carter Sports

2. SerengeeTee.

We have continued to improve conversion through A/B testing and design upgrades. Last year, conversion was 4.2%; this year, we are at 4.6%.

The average conversion rate in our industry is somewhere in the 2-3% ballpark.

This has given us an edge against other clothing brands. – Jeff Steitz, Founder and CEO at Serengetee

3. Natomounts.

I have 30 BigCommerce sites up and the reason I keep coming back is because my development staff and design staff are familiar with the templates and the backend. We can quickly create a website or create a duplicate website for A/B testing in less than a few days. – Brandon Chatham, Founder & CEO of NatoMounts.

The One Tactic Above All Else

Every business, depending on what stage they are in, will have different priorities, but I know what we’ll be focused on.

We’re going to add more great private label products and drive more traffic via email marketing.

But number 1 for us, as always, is continual conversion optimization.

– Jason Boyce, Founder, Dazadi

7. Technology.

There’s been a massive shift in retail. Everyone feels it.

  • It’s why there is so much more competition.
  • It’s why marketing matters so much more than ever before.

It all comes down to two things: cost of entry and scale.

The cost of entry and cost to scale have dramatically reduced over the years. It would be impossible a decade ago to launch a website paying only $30 a month.

Today, that’s the norm.

And because the cost to entry is so low, more people has entered. And a lot of those people are scaling –– again, because the technology to do so costs so little.

Suddenly, marketing to earn your fair share of the market is one of the most important factors to success.

And if that’s the case, well…

Then you better make sure you tech stack works for you.

Let’s listen to Grant Yuan, President of CuttingBoard.com.

My advice for other business owners is this: it’s important to save time and work on the things that matter.

Rather than tying up time with manual data entry and packaging, focus on things that help your business grow – like marketing, business development, etc.

Let tools and integrations take care of the other elements of the business, and outsource work when you need it.

Don’t be afraid to invest in resources that help you grow faster and with less stress.

20 Most Popular Ecommerce Tools

Here are some of the most popular tools, apps and technologies for ecommerce brands. 

  1. MailChimp.
  2. Shipstation.
  3. QuickBooks Online.
  4. Facebook Ads Extension.
  5. JustUno.
  6. Buy Buttons.
  7. Yotpo.
  8. ShipperHQ.
  9. Smile.io.
  10. AfterShip.
  11. inkFrog Open.
  12. Signifyd.
  13. Xero.
  14. Stamps.com.
  15. PixelPop.
  16. InStockNotify.
  17. Shippo.
  18. Soundest.
  19. Form Builder by POWr.
  20. BigCommerce.

3 Real World Examples of Brands Using Technology to Grow

1. So Suzy Stamps.

Honestly, InStockAlerts is worth its weight in gold. When I was starting out, I didn’t have a lot of inventory. I didn’t understand how fast I was going to grow. So, I’d do a new product release and within an hour I’d be out of stamps.

Suddenly, all my customers wanted to know when a product would be back in stock. They wanted an email to let them know so they didn’t miss out on it a second time.

I knew I didn’t have time to send everyone an email! Then, I have more sales with no additional time spent. It’s magic. – Suzanne Moore, Founder, So Suzy Stamps

2. Atlanta Light Bulbs.

We also use PriceWaiter on our product pages – which lets the buyer name a price. The buyer goes to our site and says, “Hey, I want to buy 50 of these at $2 a piece.”

On the backend, we have loaded up all of our pricing rules into the PriceWaiter system. That app knows if we are willing to sell X items for Y dollars –– as long as the order value is above Z.

PriceWaiter auto-calculates all of that on the fly for the B2B buyer so they don’t have to wait to hear back from us. They just get a message that says we’ve accepted their offer, or if the price is too low, we offer them a different deal. –– Doug Root, CEO at Atlanta Light Bulbs

3. Incy Interiors.

We use several different integrations with BigCommerce right now, but we like the social tools that make it easy to optimize things like email campaigns we send out through MailChimp.

We’re currently setting up a more robust CRM system, but we use MailChimp to work on lowering cart abandonment rates and staying in touch with our customers.

We also like that the social media tools for Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram make it much easier to share our products. – Krista Withers, Founder of Incy Interiors

Your Secret Weapon

Leverage new technologies and services to make purchases as easy as possible. Never forget that there is tech out there to help you solve a variety of problems.

– David Mercer, Founder, SMEPals

8. Email marketing, automation and AOV.

Email marketing has long held the #1 position as the most profitable growth channel for online stores.

There is a few reasons for this:

  • Building your email list drives top-of-funnel connections – allowing you to build out a funnel that turns email addresses into real, loyal customers.
  • Receipt emails are the most opened emails bar none. Your opportunity to upsell or drive loyalty here is huge.
  • Your email marketing open and click-through rate are easily measurable, and give you a good understanding of how engaged your audience is (or isn’t).
  • Because metrics are easy to track, A/B testing messages to increase engagement is relatively easy, and won’t affect on-site conversions.
  • Doing all of the above is free once you capture that email (also depending on the cost of your email service provider).
  • Best yet, all of the above can be automated. This means you can set and forget, check the number, re-optimize and then go about your business is other areas.

All in all, email marketing drives increased loyalty, repeat purchases, net new purchases and increased AOV, and it can do all of that without you having to actually send individual emails to individual customers.

Automation is the real winner here – and email marketing is a test-bed of measurable aspects you can manipulate in order to drive growth behind the scenes.

Automation That Feels Human

Every ecommerce brand should prioritize their automation, whether that’s automated emails or on-site campaigns.

It’s the name of the game and one that you’ll need to do without sacrificing too much of the human touch to execute it well.

–  Kayla Lewkowicz, Marketing Manager, Privy

Best Online Guides for Email Marketing and Automation

3 Real World Email Marketing Examples

Email marketing doesn’t always have to be about journeys and streams.

Those are big parts of what makes email marketing work. But the #1 thing you must do is this:

  • Be honest.
  • Be open.
  • Be transparent.

You want your audience to connect. Here are some great ways to do it.

1. Dorco.

Dorco sent out a personal email from the CEO of the company to promote an organization called ShowerUp –– a mobile truck that goes around to homeless communities to provide hygiene options –– like shaving –– to the community.

It’s a heartfelt letter with a real signature. It also includes a coupon code so that you can give and get discounted off.

It’s a win-win-win.

2. Care.org.

Sometimes, philanthropy and sales can go hand in hand.

This is especially true with Care.org. They run a gifts.care.org site that allows folks to buy gifts that help those in the underdeveloped world.

Here is an example of one of their holiday emails to their base.

3. Kelty.

Remember, beyond giving and philanthropy, your emails should build community among your base.

Kelty, a camping site, does this incredibly well. Each of their emails is themed, with an image to support the message.

Yes, they showcase products. But they also showcase content to help readers and customers nail down their next adventure.

9. Influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing is one of the most effective strategies to growth for online brands.

Why?

Because consumers trust other people’s opinions over almost anything else.

Word of mouth is powerful – and today, word of mouth doesn’t have to happen face to face.

Instead, it can happen Instagram post to Instagram Post or YouTube Video to YouTube Video.

And better yet, for brands at least, you don’t have to pay an insane amount of money to make influencer marketing work for you.

You don’t have to be, know or pay for Kylie Jenner, for instance.

Instead, you can empower a group of micro-influencers to create a groundswell of support that isn’t expensive to maintain and that feels more natural, community-driven and honest than large payouts to big names.

Influencers Are Vital

A strong network of influencers is a vital part of building a strong, sustainable ecommerce business.

– David Mercer, Founder, SMEPals

Most Commonly Used Influencer Marketing Strategies

  1. Content Featuring Your Products or Services
  2. Product or Service Reviews
  3. Promote Giveaway Contests
  4. Offer Discounts to Drive Conversions
  5. Offer Custom URLs for Free Access

Best Online Guides for Influencer Marketing

3 Real-World Influencer Marketing Examples

1. Natori.

Natori promoted their line of sports bras through fitness influencer Sarah Dussault.

Natori is a brand that sells luxury lingerie, women’s clothing and home décor.

If they were to promote any of their other products through this specific influencer, it wouldn’t be as relevant.

But in this case, the product they were promoting was a line of sports bras, so a fitness influencer like Sarah was a good choice.

2. Skullcandy.

Skullcandy works with YouTube influencers to offer honest reviews of the product. This is a great tactic to use if you are certain of your product’s quality.

Check out the video below for an example.

You’ll notice that the influencer doesn’t mince words – these headphones used to be expensive. They don’t cost as much anymore.

Thoughts like that help to convey honest value and feedback to the audience. In YouTube influencer marketing, you often won’t have much say over what an influencer says about your product.

3. Di Bruno.

Product and service reviews similar to the YouTube example above can also be done in print/text.

An excellent example is Hello Subscription’s detailed review of their experience with Di Bruno Bros. Hello Subscription is a blog dedicated to promoting and reviewing subscription boxes.

Their Co-Editor, Tom, reviewed a “House of Cheese Pairing Club,” box from Di Bruno Bros. The review included more than 20 images, and detailed descriptions of the contents of the subscription box, about which Tom also shared his honest opinions.

10. Omni-channel management.

Omni-channel may be an industry buzzword, but the need for it at the level of growing brands cannot be ignored.

Most brands sell in more than 1 place. Here is a non-exhaustive list of options:

  • Webstore
  • Brick-and-mortar
  • Amazon
  • eBay
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Houzz
  • Alibaba
  • Wholesale
  • Etsy
  • Pop-up Shops
  • Events + Markets

And that list is only ever going to grow.

For brands, the first trick is deciding which channels make the most sense for you.

The second trick is to scale each of those channels, and subsequently the brand, effectively – maintaining exceptional inventory, branding and customer experience across the board.

So…let’s start from the beginning here…

Omni-Channel Requires Rethinking

The rapid growth we’re seeing in the ecommerce space has far reaching implications for the tools and services we use to convert customers on a daily basis.

This also means that ecommerce brands need to focus more attention on how new tools and new customer behavior will interact.

Omni-channel sales require businesses to rethink how goods and services will reach consumers or at least attract consumer attention.

–  David Feng, Co-Founder, Re:amaze

What is Omni-Channel Management?

Omni-channel management is process and strategy by which brands manage their inventory, branding and customer experience across a variety of channels.

Common tools brands use include:

  • ERP
    • Brightpearl
    • NetSuite
    • Sage
    • SAP
  • System Integrators
    • eBridge Connections
    • Jasper Studios
  • POS
    • Square
    • Springboard Retail
    • ShopKeep
    • Hike POS
    • Amber POS
    • Lightspeed Retail POS
  • CRM
    • Salesforce
    • Reamaze
    • Hubspot
  • APIs

Best Online Guides for Omni-Channel Management

Gain Control, or Lose It All

Gain control of your distribution channels, addressing sales tax liability and expand into international marketplaces. That’s a good 2018 strategy.

– James Thomson, Partner, Buy Box Experts

3 Real World Influencer Marketing Examples

1. Glory Cycles.

Glory Cycles began on eBay and has since build a legacy brand on their own webstore.

But they haven’t left eBay behind. Today, they use the marketplace to sell returned items for a profit.

We don’t put a lot of energy into our eBay efforts, but we do use it to sell our returns.

The reason for that is we’re a bit limited in what our vendors allow us to sell on that platform, so it’s primarily a channel for moving returned product.

It’s extremely simple with the BigCommerce integration.

For a long time, we shied away from doing a lot of eBay business because we didn’t want to run two separate systems, but with BigCommerce we can run everything from a single location.

When we get an eBay order, it still comes through as a normal order in BigCommerce, and that was very attractive to us. –– Clive De Sousa, President, Glory Cycles.

In this model, BigCommerce serves as the inventory management hub.

2. BeachRC.

BeachRC sells on eBay, Amazon, their webstore and brick-and-mortar. They use BigCommerce as their inventory hub, and Square as their POS.

BigCommerce’s Amazon integration is really good – and it’s really helped us out. We’re converting more ecommerce and online sales due to our Amazon presence now.

I would have never gone out to put products on Amazon on my own. The fact that it was going to be easy to integrate directly through BigCommerce is why I did it – and now, we see 1 out of every 10 orders coming to us through Amazon.

It’s a great gateway to gaining customers, especially when you are strategic about which products you put up there, and which you make exclusive for your own site.

I think beyond just selling on Amazon for Amazon’s sake. Being there helps to create more customers for our website, too. It helps us with volume and with growing our website and our clientele.

I’d say 99% of everything we do is through BigCommerce. We’re not using Amazon Seller Central very much. I want to make everything easy and streamlined for my team, so we use the BigCommerce Control Panel and Channel Manager to do almost everything. – Brent Densford, CEO of BeachRC

3. Casey’s Distributing.

Casey’s Distributing built an app on top of BigCommerce’s API to sell wholesale to brands across the globe. The app uses Casey’s Distrubuting’s inventory in BigCommerce as the hub of its system.

We’re building an app for the BigCommerce app store that will connect our inventory feed to BigCommerce store owners who want it. Working with thousands of retail businesses, we know that one of the challenges when starting a store is figuring out what to sell.

Well, Casey’s can help – and we’re using the BigCommerce API to do it.

Soon, BigCommerce store owners new to selling online can add NFL/NBA/NCAA/NHL/MLS merchandise to their sites to sell. These are brands people know and love.

The app will connect all the dots for BigCommerce customers. They can add products through it, pick the teams they want and then the app will update the quantities for them and it will help them remove products after they become obsolete.

It’s a no-brainer if you are just getting started. The API makes it incredibly easy. – Ben Johnson, VP Operations at Casey’s Distributing and President, MaxQV, LLC.

That app is called League License.

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147 Online Shopping Statistics Behind Why These Ecommerce Trends Matter Most

For article length sake, I cannot go into this amount of detail for the other 9 topics considered very important by experts.

However, the 10 tactics above are in order of priority. Start from #1 and work your way down.

Get these channels and strategies optimized, and you’ll be ready to tackle the other 9 – and will have a bulky bottom line which which to do it.

Struggling with getting your CEO, CMO, founder or even yourself on board with some of these ideas and strategies? 

Not to worry. This is where data comes into play. 

BigCommerce and Square, as mentioned earlier, teamed up to dive deep into the shopping habits, behavior and preferences of thousands of American buyers across multiple generations.

You can download that full guide below. 

Free Download

Get the Comprehensive Modern Consumer Shopping Habits Study in a PDF version for further reading, research and action. It’s free and a quick download away.

Download Report Now

That deep dive and research also gave us 147 stats on exactly how U.S. shoppers shop online, including:

  • Who does the shopping
  • Where they shop
  • When they shop
  • Why they shop
  • What they buy when they shop
  • How they shop 

Why is this research so important?

Because it’s easier than ever for businesses to have a digital presence across a variety of channels.

A 2017 point-of-sale solutions survey of 1,164 U.S. business owners conducted by Square and Mercury Analytics found that:

  • 56% have a physical store.
  • 21% have a pop-up store, or pop-up at events.
  • 34% sell through their own website (using a website building platform).
  • 25% sell through Facebook (40% on social media as a whole).
  • 16% sell through Amazon (more should, considering almost half of purchases begin here).
  • 22% sell through other marketplaces (including Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc.).

However, despite how easy it is to launch a webstore, scaling an online business remains extremely difficult even for the most seasoned ecommerce expert.

Ecommerce sales are growing, but many retailers are struggling to capitalize on their digital sales channels.

The secret to success in 2018 is no longer just get it out there and see how it performs. The most successful retailers are strategic and targeted in their efforts, both offline and on.

It’s called omni-channel selling, and it’s something BigCommerce and Square have been exploring over the past year, in an attempt to help connect the dots between your business and the those who want to buy from your business.

Are you an omni-channel seller?

It’s not just about broadcasting on all channels, though. Effectively targeting a ready-to-buy audience requires solid data and statistics on your customers.

Below, you’ll find ecommerce trends, data and statistics reporting on exactly how Americans shop online, why customers convert, why they don’t and who your business should be targeting on the various online channels in order to optimize for ROI.

This data gives you a window into what consumers look for in an online shopping experience, showcasing the potential to adapt your ecommerce business to fit the modern shopper.

These findings can percolate through every aspect of your business: product pages, emails, content marketing and much more.

Online Shopping Trends and Statistics
  1. General online shopping statistics.
  2. Ecommerce trends by generations.
  3. Ecommerce trends by parental status.
  4. Ecommerce trends by gender.
  5. Ecommerce trends by city-size.
  6. Spending and conversion rates.
  7. Buying frequency.
  8. Customer location at time of purchase.
  9. Types of online goods purchased.
  10. Influencing factors on conversion rates.
  11. Social media as an influencing factor.
  12. Online shopping in society.
  13. Shopper characteristics by channel.

Let’s dive in. 

General Online shopping data:

  • 51% of Americans prefer to shop online in 2018.
  • 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone.
  • Ecommerce is growing 23% year-over-year, yet 46% of American small businesses do not have a website.
  • Online orders increase 8.9% in Q3 2016, but average order value (AOV) increased only 0.2% — indicating that transactional growth is outpacing total revenue.

Online shopping trends by generation:

  • 67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop on online rather than in-store.
  • 41% of Baby Boomers and 28% of Seniors will click to purchase.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers spend nearly 50% as much time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours).
  • 48% of millennials have shopped on marketplaces, 76% at large retailer sites, 46% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 29% at category-specific online stores.
  • 56% of Gen Xers have shopped on marketplaces, 76% at large retailer sites, 49% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 37% at category-specific online stores.
  • 59% of Baby Boomers have shopped on marketplaces, 74% at large retailer sites, 42% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 39% at category-specific online stores.
  • 51% of Seniors have shopped on marketplaces, 66% at large retailer sites, 30% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 44% at category-specific online stores.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers spend 6 hours per week shopping online
  • Baby Boomers spend 4 per week shopping online.
  • Seniors spend 2.5 hours per week shopping online.

Ecommerce trends by parental status:

  • Parents spend more of their budget online in comparison to non-parents (40% vs. 34%) and spend 75% more time online shopping each week (7 hours vs. 4 hours for non-parents).
  • Parents spend 61% more online than non-parents ($1,071 vs. $664).
  • Nearly half (49%) of parents stated that they cannot live without online shopping.
  • 53% of U.S. parents have shopped on marketplaces, 78% at large retailer sites, 53% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 34% at category-specific online stores.
  • 54% of non-parents have shopped on marketplaces, 72% at large retailer sites, 39% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 37% at category-specific online stores.

Online shopping trends by gender:

  • Men reported spending 28% more online than women during the past year.
  • 52% of men have shopped on marketplaces, 75% at large retailer sites, 39% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 31% at category-specific online stores.
  • 56% of women have shopped on marketplaces, 74% at large retailer sites, 48% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 40% at category-specific online stores.
  • Men and women both report spending 5 hours per week shopping online.

Online shopping trends by city-size:

  • Although they have greater proximity to physical stores, customers in large or mid-size metropolitan areas spend more online annually ($853) than suburban shoppers ($768) or those in rural areas ($684).
  • Americans in metropolitan areas are spending the most online.
  • 63% of suburban shoppers share that shipping costs are their least favorite part of online shopping.
  • 38% of rural shoppers cite strong concerns about online privacy.
  • 49% of Americans in metropolitan areas have shopped on marketplaces, 76% at large retailer sites, 45% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 30% at category-specific online stores.
  • 60% of Americans in suburban areas have shopped on marketplaces, 73% at large retailer sites, 44% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 42% at category-specific online stores.
  • 58% of Americans in rural areas have shopped on marketplaces, 71% at large retailer sites, 39% on webstores or independent boutiques, and 40% at category-specific online stores.
  • Americans in metropolitan areas report spending 4.5 hours per week shopping online.
  • Americans in suburban and rural areas both spend 5 hours per week shopping online.

Online spending and conversion rates:

  • 51% of Americans think shopping online is the best way to shop, with 49% preferring shopping in-store.
  • Americans spend 64% of their shopping budget in-store, and 36% online.
  • In the last year, shoppers have spent the most with ecommerce marketplaces ($488), closely followed by major online/offline brands ($409) such as Nordstrom or Best Buy.
  • 74% of Americans have shopped at large online/offline brand name retailers, 54% on ecommerce marketplaces, 44% at small and specially online brands and 36% at category-specific online retailers.
  • When shopping online, nearly half (48%) of online purchasers first turn to a mass commerce marketplace.
  • 31% first shop at a large online/offline brand name retailer, 12% first shop at a category specific online retailer, 7% first turn to a small/speciality online retail brand (more on conversion rates here).
  • 52% of smartphone owners use online banking (or e-banking), indicative of a further trend towards mobile shopping

Online shopping buying frequency stats in America:

  • 95% of Americans shop online at least yearly.
  • 80% of Americans shop online at least monthly.
  • 30% of Americans shop online at least weekly.
  • 5% of Americans shop online daily.

Customer location when making a purchase online:

  • A quarter of online shoppers (25%) have made an online purchase from a brick-and-mortar store.
  • 43% of online shoppers have made a purchase while in bed.
  • Millennials and Gen Xers are nearly 3x as likely as Baby Boomers and Seniors to have made an online purchase from bed (59% v 21%).
  • 23% of online shoppers have made an online purchase at the office.
  • Nearly 3 in 10 (29%) of Millennials and Gen Xers have made a purchase from the office.
  • More than 15% of Baby Boomers and Seniors have made a purchase from the office.
  • 20% of American online shoppers have purchased from the bathroom or while in the car (a +1 for mobile commerce).
  • Millennials and Gen Xers are 5x more likely to have made an online purchase from the bathroom (31% v. 6%) than Baby Boomers and Seniors.
  • One in ten customers admitted to buying something online after drinking alcohol.
  • Men are more than twice as likely as women to have made a purchase after consuming alcohol (14% to 6%).
  • Younger generations are 5x more likely to drink and shop than their older counterparts (15% to 3%).
  • Parents are twice as likely as non-parents to have made an online purchase after drinking (15% v 7%).

Statistics about types of items purchased online:

  • 60% of shoppers have purchased clothing, shoes and accessories items from large retailers, 54% at marketplaces, 44% from category-specific and 45% from webstores.
  • 43% of online shoppers have purchased computers or electronics from marketplaces, 41% from large retailers, 29% at category-specific online stores and 17% at webstores.
  • 34% of shoppers have purchased beauty items at marketplaces, 31% at large retailers, 29% at webstores and 25% at category-specific online stores.
  • 55% of shoppers have purchased books, movies and music shop at a marketplaces, 36% at large retailers, 24% at webstores and 21% at category-specific online stores.
  • 18% of shoppers have purchased flowers and gifts on marketplaces, 18% at large retailers, 24% at webstores and 28% category-specific online stores.

Stats about what influencing factors get people to buy online:

  • The top three factors that are very or extremely influential in determining where Americans shop are price (87%), shipping cost and speed (80%) and discount offers (71%).
  • Seniors are less influenced by discount offers than other generations: 47% to 74%.
  • Almost a quarter of online shoppers (23%) are influenced by social media recommendations.
  • 42% online customers find recommendations from friends and family influential, twice the number who cite advertisements as influential when determining where to shop.
  • Younger generations more receptive to advertising: Millennials and Gen X are twice as likely as older generations (27% vs. 14%) to be influenced by advertising.
  • 23% of shoppers are influenced by social media recommendations/reviews.
  • Online shoppers want products to be brought to life with images (78%) and product reviews (69%).
  • Female respondents cited that they enjoy online shopping (51% vs. 37% of male respondents), invest more time (60% vs. 46% for male counterparts) to find the best deals and often search for coupon codes to get discounts (48% vs. 29% for males).
  • 66% of online shoppers have decided not to buy an item because of shipping costs.
  • 72% of females and 59% of males have decided to abandon their purchase because of shipping costs.
  • 49% of cite not being able to touch, feel or try a product as one of their least favorite aspects of online shopping.
  • 34% said difficult to return items and long delivery estimates were also a pain (indicating a desire for same-day delivery).
  • 21% of Americans state that unattractive or hard-to-navigate websites is frustrating when buying online.
  • 78% of online shoppers want more images from ecommerce sites.
  • 69% of online shoppers want more reviews from ecommerce sites.
  • 46% of online shoppers want more product comparisons from ecommerce sites.
  • 42% of online shoppers want more testimonials from ecommerce sites.
  • 30% of online shoppers want more video from ecommerce sites.
  • 42% of online shoppers have made a purchase they later regret.
  • Millennials are more likely to experience purchaser’s regret than any other generation (51% v 37%).
  • 21% of Americans have accidentally bought something they didn’t want.
  • More than half of Millennial and Gen Xers (55%) have overspent when shopping online, while just under two in five (38%) of baby boomers and seniors have done the same.
  • 48% of online shoppers have bought or spent more than planned when shopping online.

Social media as an influencing factor on conversion rates:

As social commerce continues to grow, these trends are indicative of the massive potential for retailers to connect with shoppers on their favorite platforms.

  • 30% of online shoppers say they would be likely to make a purchase from a social media network like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.
  • 20% of online shoppers would be likely to make a purchase from Facebook.
  • 17% of online shoppers would be likely to make a purchase from Pinterest.
  • 14% of online shoppers would be likely to make a purchase from Instagram.
  • 12% of online shoppers would be likely to make a purchase from Twitter.
  • 10% of online shoppers would be likely to make a purchase from Snapchat.
  • Men are more likely than women to make a purchase through Facebook (23% vs. 17%).
  • Men are more likely than women to make a purchase through Instagram (18% vs. 11%).
  • Men are more likely than women to make a purchase through Twitter (17% vs. 7%).
  • Men are more likely than women to make a purchase through Snapchat (15% vs. 6%).
  • 29% of online shoppers would be likely to follow a brand on Facebook.
  • 21% of online shoppers would be likely to follow a brand on Pinterest.
  • 21% of online shoppers would be likely to follow a brand on Instagram.
  • 18% of online shoppers would be likely to follow a brand on Twitter.
  • 13% of online shoppers would be likely to follow a brand on Snapchat.
  • 20% of online shoppers would purchase an item a friend has included on their Pinterest board.
  • 18% of shoppers would purchase an item a friend liked on Facebook.
  • 21% of online shoppers would purchase an item featured in a brand’s Facebook post.
  • 18% of online shoppers would purchase an item from a brand’s Pinterest board.
  • 51% of Millennials would be likely to make a purchase over social media.
  • 36% of Gen Xers would be likely to make a purchase over social media.
  • 14% of Baby Boomers would be likely to make a purchase over social media.
  • 3% of Seniors would be likely to make a purchase over social media.
  • 29% of Millennials and Gen Xers would likely make a purchase through Facebook if given the option.
  • 26% of Millennials and Gen Xers would likely make a purchase through Pinterest if given the option.

Online shopping in society:

  • 2 in 5 (40%) online shoppers say they couldn’t live without online shopping.
  • Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers are more than twice as likely as seniors to say they couldn’t live without online shopping (43% to 20%).
  • Online shoppers are nearly twice as likely to say they could not live without online shopping as they are to say they could not live without streaming music (40% to 21%).
  • Online shoppers are 8x as likely to say they could not live without online shopping as they are to say they could not live without dating apps (40% to 8%).

Shopper characteristics by channel:

Marketplace shopper characteristics and trends.

  • 55% of all ecommerce sales are done through branded stores, vs. 45% via marketplaces.
  • Of the 45% of all sales through marketplaces, the most common destinations are:
    • Amazon – 36%
    • eBay – 8%
    • Etsy and others – 1%
  • Shoppers on marketplaces search for product online more often and spend more online, too.
  • The marketplace shoppers is more likely than the average shopper to enjoy taking their time to find the right deal (62% v. 54%).
  • More likely to research brands before making a purchase (61% v. 48%).
  • Average amount spent per year on marketplaces: $488.
  • What marketplace shoppers buy: Book, movies, music (44%), Clothing, shoes and accessories (43%), Computers and electronics (34%), Health and beauty products (29%).
  • 70% of shoppers plan to check out Amazon Prime on Prime Day, per DigitalCommerce360

Recommended Posts

Learn more about Amazon’s evolution from bookstore to worldwide sales giant.

Large retailer shopper characteristics and trends.

Shoppers on large retailer sites are high spends and are less likely to shop elsewhere.

  • Those who have ever shopping at a large online/offline retailer are less likely to research brands before making a purchase (53%) than those who shop at small/speciality (58%), marketplaces (61%) or category-specific (61) online retailers.
  • Average amount spent per year: $409.
  • What larger retailer shoppers buy: Book, movies, music (28%), Clothing, shoes and accessories (47%), Computers and electronics (32%), Health and beauty products (24%).

Online store shopper characteristics and trends.

Shoppers on webstores enjoy shopping and visit a variety of retailers.

  • Small/speciality online shoppers spend the majority of their budget elsewhere — a yearly average of $501 on marketplaces, $404 at omni-channel retailers and $233 at category specific online retailers.
  • Those who have ever shopped at a small/speciality online retailer are more likely than the average shopper to say they enjoy shopping (55% to 45%).
  • Average amount spent per year: $182.
  • What webstore shoppers buy: Book, movies, music (15%), Clothing, shoes and accessories (27%), flowers and gifts (15%), Health and beauty products (19%).

Category-specific shopper characteristics and trends.

Shoppers on category-specific sites are loyal to brands, not to the retailer type.

  • Category-specific shoppers are more likely than the average shoppers to tend to stick to certain brands or retailers (52% v. 42%).
  • And they’re more hesitant than the average shopper to make large purchases (49% to 41%).
  • Average amount spent per year: $259.
  • What marketplace shoppers buy: Book, movies, music (21%), Clothing, shoes and accessories (30%), flowers and gifts (19%), Health and beauty products (19%).

For more information, see the full data analysis on omni-channel selling here.

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  • Glad to read this Ecommerce Trends post. Extremely helpful !

  • Fadiyah Sameh

    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

  • 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

  • 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:)

  • Hi Tracey this is my first comment for this article. Could you suggest me how can I apply amazon site?

  • amazing idea you share. I like very much…

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  • Great analysis :)
    Can you also share some stats of Singapore.

    https://iprice.sg/coupons/lazada/

  • Online shopping is good and it is time saving, selection very easily and not is continent to busy people,handicraft persons any online shopping is very helpful to people’s.

  • amberharper

    Brilliant Article, really very impressive data you have shared about Online shopping. Buy best quality product at https://BoliesOnline.com/

  • Jennifer Finney

    Fantastic data! Thanks for sharing!

  • Nakul ODD

    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.

  • Great in-depth info. Looking forward to seeing more like this.

  • Alice Mario

    Great! Lots of useful information. Cloud Computing in ERP is widely used by many big online retailers. The Cloud based ERP System manage all their online retailing needs.
    http://www.erpisto.com

  • Blase dillingham

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

  • 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.

  • Jyoti Singh

    Really nice information you had provided here. And i hope this will be useful for many people. So please keep update like this. http://sg.collectoffers.com/Lazada

  • Fabric Fabric

    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.

  • 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.

  • Really learn a lot of thing about eCommerce trends from this well research post. Its a log post but really worth reading the full post.

  • Amazing post! It is must read post for every online marketer. Thanks for the detail post.

  • Wiktoria Lipkowska

    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!

  • Andrea L.

    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!

  • Thanks for the information, Its good to know the fact that its the e-commerce trend that defines any company strategy for beating the competition.

  • Anmol Gupta

    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!

  • This is really huge stats and its kind of difficult to understand the difference as well. Anyway need to give more time to understand the data, but in first glance what I have learnt that is the trends are always changeable entity. Here is a post on which going to help in eCommerce business in 2017 https://www.clippingpathindia.com/blog/2017/02/17/whats-hot-and-whats-not-for-e-commerce-in-2017/ , hope people will find it helpful for their business.

  • Magento_oCodewire

    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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