Did you know that over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced worldwide every day? No need to worry – we also have no idea what that number means in real life. What we do know, however, is that for many businesses, this represents a goldmine for insights that can give you an edge over the competition.
Statistics are valuable for e-tailers (online retailers) because they enable them to analyze the market, understand potential growth, and determine how big the competition is. The good news is that you can find a lot of free statistics with a bit of research, which can help you grow your business.
Don’t have time to gather the most important online shopping statistics in 2022? We’ve consulted some of the most credible sources on the internet to gather the following statistics so that you have all the online shipping numbers you need in one place.
Some of the statistics we present may sound discouraging. Still, they can provide valuable information about the reality of e-tailing.
How Many E-Commerce Sites Are There in 2022?
Type any term into any search engine, and you’ll get millions of results. This makes it hard to imagine that, in 1994, there were only 3,000 websites. The latest figures indicate that there are currently almost 1.9 billion sites. But how many of these are e-commerce sites?
It’s not easy to determine a specific number of e-commerce sites because more than 547,200 websites are created daily. Also, for every website that gets added to the worldwide web, many are forgotten and abandoned.
Estimates indicate that there could be between 12 million and 24 million e-commerce sites. Even though this looks like an intimidating number for anyone that wants to start an e-commerce business, the reality is that less than 10% of e-commerce websites make more than $1,000 a year.
Etailinginsights.com puts the number of e-tailers worldwide at 9.1 million, of which 2.5 million are based in the United States.
Etailinginsights.com categorizes e-tailers into three groups:
- Traditional e-tailers: Numbering at 3.6 million, traditional e-tailers use their own websites to sell goods made by other companies.
- Branded e-tailers: Examples include Apple and Nike. They sell their own products on their own websites or in marketplaces. There are around 5.2 million of these.
- Virtual goods e-tailers: Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are examples of virtual goods e-tailers. They sell intangible products on their own websites or through links from partner sites. There are an estimated 290,000 of these worldwide.
How Many E-commerce Sites Are Successful?
The mere fact that there are millions of e-commerce sites makes it clear that competition is cutthroat. So the question of how many e-commerce sites are successful is inevitable.
Smallbiztrends.com reports that 90% of all established e-commerce sites will fail in the first 90 days. This is the same rate of failure among startups in general.
The same site attempts to explain why the failure rate among e-commerce businesses is so high. It attributes the failure to “Poor online marketing performance coupled with an overall lack of search engine visibility.”
Here are the leading reasons e-commerce startups fail, as presented by Smallbiztrends.com:
- Poor online marketing – 37%
- Lack of online search visibility – 35%
- Little to no market for their products or services – 35%
- Cashflow problems – 32%
- Issues around pricing and costing – 29%
- Tough competition – 23%
- The market is dominated by retail giants – 19%
- Lack of customer service – 16%
- Poor team around the founders – 14%
- Choosing a wrong time to launch a product – 11%
Top Online Shopping Countries
When it comes to retail e-commerce sales, China is the undisputed champion, as annual online sales in this country are estimated at 2.8 trillion.
This is a fact acknowledged by Max Freedman, who writes for Business.com. He reports, “China is the world’s biggest e-commerce market, led by e-commerce subsidiaries of the Alibaba group – Taobao, Alibaba.com and Tmall.”
Freedman continues, “With an annual growth rate of 21%, China is also one of the fastest-growing e-commerce markets.”
If you go deeper into the numbers, you’ll see why it’s not surprising that China is the highest on the leaderboard. For instance, 81.6% of Chinese residents with access to the internet shopped online in 2021. China alone is responsible for almost 10% of global online shopping.
Other countries making the top five in online shopping include the US ($843 billion), the United Kingdom ($169 billion), Japan ($144 billion), and South Korea ($120 billion).
In terms of region, Asia-Pacific has nearly 63% of worldwide e-commerce sales.
What Percentage of Shopping is Done Online?
It’s hard to dispute that online shopping is growing around the world. This is a reality acknowledged by Statista.com, which suggests, “As internet access and adoption are rapidly increasing worldwide, the number of digital buyers keeps climbing every year.”
Oberlo, a supplier of dropshipping software, reports that “the number of digital buyers [worldwide] is at 2.14 billion.” The site adds, “That makes 27.6% of the 7.74 billion people in the world.” To make this number easier to understand, Oberlo puts things in perspective by saying, “more than one out of every four people you see around you is an online shopper.”
More than 263 million people shop online in the US, representing around 79% of the country’s population. By the end of 2022, e-commerce sales are expected to have passed the $1 trillion mark.
In the UK, the Office for National Statistics reports that by January 2022, the percentage of total retail sales done online was a little over 27%. Ten years ago, it was slightly below 11%. When the sales figures were first recorded in 2006, the figure was as low as 2.8%.
What Percentage of E-commerce is Mobile?
If you consider that there are more than six billion smartphone subscriptions across the world today, you will understand why mobile is progressively attracting the interest of e-tailers.
Even though six billion is an impressive number, Statista.com reports, “The smartphone market still has high growth potential as the smartphone penetration rate is still lower than 70% in many highly populated countries, in particular China and India.”
Today, more than 50% of shipping conducted on the internet is done using a mobile device. Therefore, any e-tailer hoping to be successful will need to ensure a smooth customer experience when viewing products on a mobile phone.
Demographics of Online Shoppers
It would be a considerable challenge to sell to someone you don’t know. Thus, e-tailers need to gather as much information as possible about people buying online.
As you would expect, online shopping is trendy among young internet users. For example, Millennials (individuals born between 1980 and 1994) constitute the largest group of online shoppers in the US.
The statistical office of the European Union, Ec.europa.eu reports, “E-shopping is growing steadily, with the biggest increase among young internet users.”
Ec.europa.eu also reports that, in the 12 months before its 2021 survey, “For men, the share of online shoppers among internet users is slightly higher than for women (74% and 73% respectively), while people aged 25-34 are more active e-shoppers (85% of internet users) than other age groups.”
Impact of Covid-19 on E-tailers
Covid may have thrown the world into a crisis that it was never prepared for. However, e-tailers found themselves smiling all the way to the bank as governments slammed their borders shut and imposed strict lockdowns that forced even the most reluctant to try their hand at online shopping.
Statista reports, “In the year of the pandemic, global retail e-commerce sales grew with more than 25%”.
In 2019, the subscription-based market research company providing insights related to digital marketing, media, and commerce, eMarketer, predicted that US consumers would spend $674.88 billion on e-commerce in 2020. However, at the end of 2020, the numbers were much higher, at $799.18 billion.
At the height of the pandemic, the UK saw 37.8% of all retail sales happening online. However, the growth soon slowed down, and by January 2022, the numbers were 10% lower.
The Future of E-commerce
The speed with which e-commerce is growing may have lost steam in the months after the peak of the pandemic. Still, research companies foresee a promising future for the sector.
For instance, Juniper Research predicts that, by 2026, e-commerce payment transactions will exceed $7.5 trillion globally.
The research company suggests, “This growth rate of 55% over the next five years [2021 to 2026] will be driven by retailers offering compelling omnichannel retail experiences that increase user e-commerce spend.”
The same source defines the idea of omnichannel: “A model that provides end-users with the ability to access retail services, including sales and customer support, via multiple channels.”
The Canadian multinational e-commerce platform, Shopify.com, has some advice for e-tailers that want to take advantage of the anticipated growth in e-commerce.
Shopify highlights the importance of being “transparent, authentic, and readily available to … customers, especially where online consumers spend most of their time: on social media.”
Win Them Over For Good
With many shoppers having been forced to use online shopping by the restrictions triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, e-tailers have an opportunity to win these consumers over for good. If the e-tailers don’t have their house in order, many shoppers will simply return to the brick and mortar stores they are used to.