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16 Online Shopping Statistics: How Many People Shop Online?

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To shop with online retailers or visit a physical store — this is the choice every consumer faces when making a purchasing decision.

The factors leading into this decision can depend on things like how much time you have and where you’ll get the best value, but the decision ultimately comes down to convenience.

Blame it on Amazon Prime, but consumers now demand faster access to the products and services they desire. I, myself, can attest to this.

For many of us, this trend has shifted our focus to online shopping. There are many perks to this option:

  • You don’t have to leave your bed,

  • You can opt for next-day delivery,

  • You have access to more product information, and

  • You may have a more personalized shopping experience.

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know the ecommerce industry and online shopping is growing at a fast rate.

But, have you ever wondered how many people are actually shopping online — or what shopping behavior looks like across different verticals?

Let’s take a look at online sales from a high level.

In the United States alone, ecommerce sales are expected to surpass $740 billion by 2023.

A rise in online purchases is a result of many factors, such as

  • The increased use of smartphones and mobile shopping,

  • Social media and social commerce,

  • Transformative technology,

  • Online marketplaces, and

  • The way shopping behaviors have changed from generation to generation — Baby Boomers to Millennials to Gen Z.

Not to mention all the perks we previously discussed.

For this reason, staying on top of ecommerce trends can help you build advanced strategies that will help set you up for ecommerce success in both the near and far future.

5 Essential Online Shopping Statistics

Whether you own an online store or are looking to launch a scalable small business, understanding how internet users shop is key to your business model strategy.

You can find thousands of ecommerce statistics on the web, but we’re here to give you the five leading statistics you need to know.

1. High shipping costs are the #1 reason for cart abandonment.

While fast shipping is in great demand, high spend for it isn’t. In a study of U.S. shoppers over the age of 18, it was discovered that high shipping costs are the primary reason for cart abandonment for online sales.

2. Amazon is the leading mobile online shopping app.

Despite seeing an increase in direct-to-consumer strategies, a study in September 2019 found that the most popular online mobile shopping app, by reach, was Amazon. This statistic tells us that mobile commerce, especially the use of mobile apps, are increasingly important when developing an online selling strategy. In addition, retailers should consider including Amazon and Walmart in their omnichannel strategy.

3. 43% of global shoppers research products online via social networks.

With the introduction of more social commerce tools — like checkout on Instagram — the industry has also seen growth in the power social media has in users’ purchasing awareness and decisions.

4. Clothing is the leading online vertical.

59% of U.S. shoppers purchased clothing online between Q2 2018 and Q2 2019. With books, movies, music & games, shoes, and consumer electronics falling close behind.

5. Direct to site, email, and SEO are the best traffic sources.

Ecommerce success is more than having a beautiful website  — you need a healthy amount of traffic to your online store. In a recent Statista survey, direct to site, email, and SEO were found to be leading traffic drivers.

Ecommerce is Growing Every Day

Ecommerce sites are growing in numbers. It’s clear that launching an online business can aid total retail sales, as it gives potential customers a more convenient way to shop and interact with brands.

Let’s take a look at the ecommerce market in numbers.

Ecommerce will make up 22% of global retail sales by 2023.

22% of global retail sales will be thanks to ecommerce by 2023. To give context to this growth, 14.1% of global retail sales were ecommerce purchases in 2019.

The growing number of ecommerce websites is definitely a contributing factor to this holistic number. But, there are many more ecommerce trends, in addition to those listed earlier, that are igniting this growth:

  1. The rise of mobile ecommerce,

  2. The increased implementation of omnichannel strategies, and

  3. An overall shift in shopping trends — like the power of influencers and social channels (a nod at checkout on Instagram).

Q2 of 2019 already had a 4.2% increase over Q1.

Taking a more granular view of ecommerce growth, U.S. ecommerce is experiencing exponential growth on a quarterly basis. While seasonal fluctuation is always something to consider, this statistic proves there is consistent growth in the ecommerce market.

By 2023, U.S. ecommerce revenue will be $740B!

As mentioned in the introduction, we’ll not only see ecommerce purchases increase in the United States, but revenue as well. With over 70% revenue growth from 2019, this statistic tells us more consumers are looking to make more buying decisions online.

With more revenue comes an increased average order value — making it possible for legacy products to make a statement online. For example, DTC furniture brand Burrow has already begun to transform the furniture industry with their headless commerce approach.

Ecommerce accounts for close to 11% of all retail sales in the U.S.

11% may initially feel small when you consider how large the topic of ecommerce has become in recent years. This statistic is a sign of good health as the share of ecommerce sales continues to grow in the retail space. You can expect this percentage to exponentially increase in years to come.

Amazon, Google, and Meta remain some of the biggest companies online (not just for ecommerce).

With little to no surprise, companies like Amazon, Google and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) continue to take precedence in the internet world. While they traditionally do not offer commerce solutions, these companies are focusing on more innovation in the commerce space. As we have seen omnichannel strategies become increasingly vital to growing companies, the leading internet companies are capitalizing on the opportunity to be leaders in the commerce world.

Get to Know the Customers Who Shop Online

No consumer is made equal. But, understanding the behavior of consumers shopping online can help you create a digital strategy for your business.

Over 75% of people are shopping at least once a month online.

As the need for convenience becomes more prominent for consumers, it makes sense that over 75% of them are shopping online at least once a month. When creating your ecommerce strategy, think on how you can capitalize on this statistic.

Customers buy more entertainment online than anything else.

Gen Z and Millennials have let us know that experience purchases are becoming increasingly more favorable. Per this Statista statistic, books, movies, and games is the product category with the most online purchase preference. This is another reason why we’ve seen brands like Spotify, Netflix and Disney+ become increasingly popular with consumers.

Windows OS takes the lead for most orders.

Understanding what technology your consumers use to place orders on your website is crucial. Windows OS continues to take the lead as the technology that customers use most to place online orders. When creating your UX or store design, keep in mind how that experience looks and feels on Windows OS.

Customer average conversion rates hover between 2.7%–3.2%.

In B2C ecommerce, average conversion rates hovered between 2.7% and 3.2% between late 2018 into early 2019. The highest peak, 3.2%, took place during Q4, a popular time for holiday shopping.

How Customers are Paying Online

Now that we’ve covered popular customer behaviors, it’s time to look at how they pay. Payment processing across ecommerce has experienced a lot of innovation since its debut. Let’s take a look at the payment landscape in ecommerce today.

The top mobile payment platform is WeChat Pay.

WeChat Pay, a part of WeChat which isone of the most popular messaging platforms in China, takes the top spot for mobile payment platforms around the world. The payment platform allows users to pay in Chinese Yen (CNY) and transactions are settled in a foreign currency.

94% of Chinese users use mobile payments, while only 45% of Americans will.

With WeChat Pay leading the world in mobile payment platforms, it makes sense that 94% of Chinese users use mobile payments. More notably, only 45% of Americans look to mobile transactions. While the gap is substantial, the U.S. is beginning to see more mobile payment growth.

Americans favor PayPal over any other digital wallet

When it comes to U.S. online payment options — PayPal takes the cake at 89%. Between ownership of Venmo, an easy-to-use app, credit card options, and more, PayPal has made online payments easier and more convenient for consumers.

Get Ready for the Holiday Season

You can’t prepare an ecommerce strategy without taking holiday season prep into consideration. The holiday season is typically the highest revenue driving time of year for retailers — both online and offline.

Average order values (AOV) are around $140 from Thanksgiving–Cyber Monday!

$140 average order value between Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday is definitely a statistic to get excited about. The holiday season overall also sees high average order value at nearly $132. This signals that running seasonal promotions and marketing can have a strong return on investment.

Conversion rates peak to 6.1% during Thanksgiving–Cyber Monday!

If you needed another reason to believe that the holiday season is a revenue driver, read this: conversion rates peak at 6.1% on desktop between Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday. For smartphone purchases, 3.2%, and for tablet purchases, 5.5%. Throughout the entire holiday season, conversion rates peak at 4.7%.

Most purchases will be made on desktop, tablet, and mobile devices.

Even though we see a rise in mobile purchases, desktop remains the top purchasing device for holiday season shopping. Following desktop are tablet purchase, then mobile devices.

42% of holiday shoppers research online and buy online, while 23% will buy in-store.

When it comes to holiday shopping, many consumers do research before purchasing products. However, in a recent study, a majority of the consumers interviewed completed research and ultimately converted online, whereas only 23% ended up buying products in-store.

The Best Time to Start an Ecommerce Store? Right Now

The ecommerce industry is booming like never before. Online purchases are increasing, especially as consumers are hungry for more convenience — which means fast and free shipping and personalized user experiences. If you are entertaining the idea of selling online, there has never been a better time to join the market.

Growing demand for online shopping.

More and more customers are searching and buying products online. Find your niche, pick your product, and build a customer base. For a deep dive on how to sell online in 2020, read our guide.

No coding required to build and grow.

Don’t know HTML or how to code? Not a problem. With technology like BigCommerce making website building as easy as possible, you can make the store of your dreams with no coding required.

Data available for perfecting marketing and sales growth.

All of the above data was taken for free online, meaning marketers and salespeople can use this data to find which customers and which sectors will be the most profitable.

New customers come online everyday.

Much of the world has internet access, but a solid percentage doesn’t. With growth in internet connectivity, you can be sure that customers will be popping up all around the globe to find products like yours.


We are seeing a lift in online purchases around the world. When building your online business, it’s important to understand how your customers behave and how consumer behavior around the world.