8 Stats Predicting the Future of Ecommerce

Written by
Isabel Edwards

No one can predict the future, but research and studies give us a good idea of consumer behaviour. In this article we dive into the statistics that could shape the future of ecommerce and how your business can prepare for it.

Worldwide eCommerce sales are expected to reach £3.6 trillion by 2021

Ecommerce offers variety, a wider range of products, convenience and comparison, so no wonder the industry has got such higher projections for the future.

Although more and more entrepreneurs are launching their own ecommerce stores and it may seem like competition is rapidly growing, so is demand from consumers. 

This stat shows ecommerce isn’t going anywhere and in fact, it’s here to take over.

The global retail market will remain stagnant from 2021 - 2023

Since 2017, growth of global retail sales has dropped significantly. From 6.2% in 2017, down to 4.1% in 2020. Although it’s no surprise that there’s been such little growth in global retail sales this year due to COVID 19 and lockdown restrictions, has this marked a major turning point in retail history?

Now more consumers than ever have experienced (some through necessity) the ease and convenience of online shopping, due to the closure of many retail stores. 50% of consumers do more than 75% of all their shopping online and plan on continuing to do so even after lockdown.

Worldwide ecommerce sales are expected to grow by 18.1% in 2021

They’re also predicted to grow by 22% in 2023 to more than $6.5 billion. The stunted growth of retail sales vs the persistent growth of ecommerce sales shows where we are heading when it comes to the buying and selling of goods. The shift to online has already begun and this research clearly shows that it’s here to stay.

In the US alone, B2B eCommerce sales will hit $1.184 trillion by 2021

With more and more ecommerce businesses being created, the demand for B2B sales has also risen and will continue to rapidly increase. The usage of models such as dropshipping and selling products from third-party vendors has driven this demand, but businesses are also looking for quality services when ordering from suppliers just as a customer would expect from an online retailer. Many retailers are investing in B2B marketplaces to create a seamless omnichannel experience throughout their procurement processes.

70% of people expect that digital payments will overtake cash and cards by 2030

With each new generation less likely to carry physical cash around in their wallets, the dependence on digital payments is becoming greater and greater. With this follows a greater demand for choice of digital payment providers, with many consumers having their favourite way of paying online. Digital wallets such as Google Pay, Apple Pay or Samsung Pay have been widely implemented by many ecommerce businesses to accommodate for their customers’ needs. As we go into the future, any online retailer that wants to keep up with their competitors will likely follow suit. 

35% of people say they would shop online more if they could virtually try on a product

Although shopping online offers many benefits to consumers such as variety of choice, comparison and the convenience of browsing in your own home, the biggest downfall is not being able to try the product on before purchasing it. Market leaders in the industry have made return policies much more simplified to combat this hesitation for shoppers when buying online, but it doesn’t quite combat the issue entirely as returning a product is an inconvenience. Certain retailers such as IKEA and Wayfair are already using AI to show customers what the product would look like in their own homes. With more and more companies looking into this service, perhaps artificial intelligence will shape the future of shopping online.

75% of U.S. households will own a smart speaker by 2025

With voice search making a big impact on how people are finding information online, it is slowly making its way into the world of ecommerce. Purchasing through voice search removes the friction of clicking through a checkout process, which is often where the biggest drop off takes place for users.

More expensive, elaborate purchases will most likely still be made manually by the consumer with greater care and attention. But, the everyday products and repeat purchases could see a huge shift in the next coming years with voice search becoming a quicker and easier option for consumers.

73% of ecommerce sales will take place on a mobile device by 2021

As we’ve seen with the rise of ecommerce features on our favourite social media platforms, online shopping is a pass-time for many people as they browse on their favourite online stores like they would on Instagram. If your ecommerce experience on mobile isn’t as seamless and frictionless as it is on desktop, this needs to be your top priority when competing with other similar businesses. A poor experience on mobile will be massively detrimental to your conversions, even more so as it begins to take over desktop browsing. If you’re unsure as to whether you’re offering a positive mobile shopping experience, use Google’s Page Speed Insights or follow the user journey yourself right through to checkout to see where you can make improvements.

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