Online Shopping & eCommerce Statistics, Trends & Data in 2018
Online shopping is a thriving industry. In recent years, the emergence of eCommerce has led to greater convenience and a wider choice of products for consumers, who are now able to make purchases from the comfort of their living room on a laptop, tablet or mobile device.
At CardConnect, we like to keep abreast of the latest online shopping statistics and trends. Which factors are driving the eCommerce industry - and what does the future hold?
General eCommerce Statistics
What is the size of the eCommerce industry, and who are the largest retailers operating in online shopping?
- eCommerce sales have grown from $1.34 trillion in 2014 to $1.86 trillion in 2018, and are projected to rise further to $4.87 trillion by 2021. (eMarketer)
- The most popular online marketplace in the world (based on eCommerce sales) is Amazon, with just over $77 billion in sales in 2018. JD.com places second with $61 billion and Apple is third with $26 billion. (Statista)
- The top 20 eCommerce companies account for almost 70 percent of online global transaction volume. (Activate)
- According to data from Salesforce, in Q4 2018, 71 percent of items were shipped at no cost to the consumer - a record high. (Salesforce Shopping Index)
- More than half of the top 100 global online marketplaces were launched in the last seven years. (Digital Commerce 360)
eCommerce Consumer Habits
How often do consumers shop on the Internet, and what are the most popular product types?
- A survey found that a fifth of online shoppers make a purchase of physical goods on a weekly basis. 24 percent said they made a purchase every two weeks, while 31 percent indicated they bought once a month. (International Post Corporation)
- Clothing was the most popular online shopping category as of 2018, with 57 percent of survey respondents indicating they had purchased an item of clothing in the last twelve months. Shoes were also popular, with 47 percent of those surveyed confirming they had made a footwear purchase in the last twelve months. (Statista)
- 68 percent of survey respondents said they had the majority of their online purchases delivered to their home, while 15 percent said they had the deliveries made to their office or workplace. (International Post Corporation)
- In Q3 2018, 2.42 percent of eCommerce website visits were converted into purchases. (Statista)
- In Salesforce’s Q4 2018 Shopping Index survey, mobile overtook desktop computers as the device with the largest order share. 46 percent of orders were placed on mobiles, compared with 45 percent on desktop and 8 percent on tablets. (Salesforce Shopping Index)
- In the United Kingdom, 52 percent of respondents stated that using a debit or credit card was their preferred method of payment. (PostNord)
- By 2021, almost 2.14 billion people around the world are expected to make purchases from an online marketplace. Based on projected population growth data from the United Nations, this means over a quarter of the world’s population will be making an online purchase in just a couple of years. (Statista & United Nations)
United States eCommerce Statistics
How much money is being spent in the United States in eCommerce stores, and what are the most popular payment methods?
- With data based on the US online marketplaces ranking in the top 100 globally, $525 billion was spent on 59 marketplaces. (Digital Commerce 360)
- In North America, 34 percent of eCommerce transactions were made using a credit card. 20 percent were made with an eWallet and 19 percent were made using a debit card. (Worldpay)
- 2018 saw gross merchandise volume (GMV) growth of 16.1 percent across the biggest U.S. online marketplaces. (Digital Commerce 360)
- The 2018 holiday season was expected to see eCommerce total 12.3 percent of the total retail sales in the United States. This figure has increased annually since 2014, as shown below:
- 2014 - 8.3 percent
- 2015 - 9.3 percent
- 2016 - 10.1 percent
- 2017 - 11.2 percent
- 2018 - 12.3 percent
Worldwide eCommerce Statistics
Which are the biggest eCommerce markets in the world, and how quickly are eCommerce sales growing globally?
- The top five biggest eCommerce markets in the world are:
- China ($740 billion)
- United States ($561 billion)
- United Kingdom ($93 billion)
- Japan ($87 billion)
- Germany ($77 billion)
- Global ecommerce sales grew by 18% in 2018. (Digital Commerce 360)
- Of the top 100 global online marketplaces, 61 are located in North America. 17 are based in Asia, 14 are in Europe, five are in Latin America and three are in the Middle East or Africa. (Digital Commerce 360)
- China’s relentless ecommerce growth means it is expected to top $1 trillion in revenue by 2023. (Shopify)
- Globally, credit cards were the most popular method of payment for online shoppers, with 42 percent stating this was their preferred method. (Statista)
- As a percentage of total retail sales, ecommerce is most popular in China, where 23.1 percent of purchases were made online. This contrasts with the United Kingdom’s share at 19.1 percent and the United States at 9 percent. (eMarketer)
- One in every ten dollars spent globally is now spent on the Internet, with forecasts indicating that this will increase by 2022, when 17% of purchases are likely to occur online. (Forbes)
Online Shopping vs. In-Store Shopping Statistics
How popular is online shopping compared to the in-store experience, and how are consumer preferences changing?
- The percentage of purchases made via ecommerce is increasing year-on-year. Global figures from 2015 onwards, with projections to 2021, are as follows:
- 2015 - 7.4 percent
- 2016 - 8.6 percent
- 2017 - 10.2 percent
- 2018 - 11.9 percent
- 2019 - 13.7 percent
- 2020 - 15.5 percent
- 2021 - 17.5 percent
- A 2018 study found that over half of UK consumers (51 percent) admitted they preferred to shop online rather than in a physical store. (Empathy Broker)
- In the United States, in-store Christmas sales for the 2018 holiday season were anticipated to rise by 4.4 percent year-on-year. Ecommerce sales for the same period were predicted to grow by 16.6 percent. (CNBC)
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eMarketer, “Amazon-Only Shoppers on the Rise”, March 15, 2018.
Statista, “Most popular online stores worldwide in 2018, by e-commerce net sales”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
Activate, “Tech & Media Outlook 2019”, November 12, 2018.
Salesforce, “Q4 2018 Shopping Index”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
Digital Commerce 360, “Infographic: What are the top online marketplaces?”, February 8, 2019.
International Post Corporation, “Cross-Border E-Commerce Shopper Survey 2018”, January 2019.
Statista, “Share of internet users who have purchased selected products online in the past 12 months as of 2018”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
Statista, “Conversion rate of online shoppers worldwide as of 3rd quarter 2018”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
PostNord, “E-commerce in Europe 2018”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
Statista, “Number of digital buyers worldwide from 2014 to 2021 (in billions)”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
United Nations, “Population projections for 2021”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
WorldPay, “Global Payments Report 2018”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
Statista, “Holiday season sales as percentage of total holiday retail sales in the United States from 2014 to 2018”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
Shopify, “Global Ecommerce Statistics and Trends to Launch Your Business Beyond Borders”, February 14, 2019.
Digital Commerce 360, “Global e-commerce sales grow by 18% in 2018”, January 21, 2019.
Statista, “Preferred payment methods of online shoppers worldwide as of March 2017”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
eMarketer, “Emarketer Statpack: US Ecommerce Performance”, retrieved March 31, 2019.
Forbes, “Global Digital Commerce Sales To Near $6 Trillion By 2022”, September 11, 2018.
DTC Daily, “Retail E-Commerce Sales Rising; Evergage Expands Into Europe”, February 15, 2018.
Empathy Broker, “New Research Reveals UK Consumers Now Prefer To Shop Online Rather Than In-Store”, July 26, 2018.
CNBC, “US Christmas sales predicted to surpass $1 trillion for the first time this year”, November 6, 2018.