← Back to Blog

19 E-Commerce Statistics You Can Use to Inform Your Marketing Strategy [2019]

  • Conversion Rate Optimization

Every marketer wants to be ahead of the game when it comes to knowing what consumers want.

The more information you have on consumers, the better you can market your product.

Sure, you might have a gut feeling, but nothing beats having concrete evidence that can help you build the best marketing strategy for your e-commerce store.

You need to know what consumers expect and look for when shopping online, and adapt your store to not only meet but exceed those expectations.

In this article, I’ll give you 19 e-commerce statistics to help you better understand today’s consumers and their shopping habits, along with concrete takeaways and examples to help you develop an effective marketing strategy.

Free Downloadable Bonus

Want More Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies?

Get access to our free CRO toolkit and skyrocket your organic traffic, on-page conversion rate and more (includes resources not found in the blog post).

Part 1: Demographics

Statistic #1: There Were 1.66 Billion Global Digital Buyers in 2017 (Statista)

As of writing, there are 7.6 billion people in the World.

That means 21.8% of the World’s population buys online, and in 2021, the number is expected to rise to over 2.14 billion.

That is a huge pool of potential buyers.

So, if you’re not already selling online, these numbers should convince you to do so.

But with more people shopping online, more online businesses emerge, creating a fierce and competitive marketplace.

This makes it harder for online businesses to stand out from competitors, and the need for new creative ways to market your product rises.

Takeaway: You can’t market to everyone, so it’s important to understand your target buyer to know what makes them buy. Personalize your marketing efforts to the individual and you’ll have a much better chance to survive in the face of competition.

Statistic #2: Men Spend 68% More Online Than Women (KPMG)

This came as a bit of a shock when I first read it.

But when you think about it, it makes sense.

On average, men spend $220 per transaction compared to $151 per transaction for women.

So it’s not that men shop more than women, it’s that they spend more per transaction.

Male consumers are more likely to buy higher priced items such as luxury products and electronics. Whereas women tend to buy lower priced items such as cosmetics and food.

Moreover, when men shop online, they tend to be efficient, meaning they buy more in bulk to save time.

When selling to a male audience, you can increase conversions by offering related products and package deals.

Here’s an example from Harry’s:

When prospects go through checkout, they can add products to their order that compliments what they already have in their cart.

Offering related products during checkout makes it easy for customers (both men and women) to quickly add items without having to abandon their cart to search for more products.

Takeaway: Only show items that are relevant to what’s already in the cart. If the related items go well with the item(s) in the cart, prospects are more likely to buy them too.

Statistic #3: Generation X Shop More Online Than Baby Boomers and Millennials (KPMG)

Generation X (people born between 1966-1981) makes more online purchases than any other age group, averaging nearly 19 transactions per year.

This might come as a surprise to many considering Millennials are the digital natives of our society.

However, as Millennials grow older and enter the workforce and start families, their spending increases. It’s expected that Millennials’ online shopping will increase exponentially in the future and far surpass online spending by older generations.

So, if you want to market your products to Millennials, you need to create a value proposition they can identify with. Millennials view the products they buy as an extension of their image and if a product doesn’t have a positive effect on their desired self-image, they won’t buy it.

Takeaway: You need to sell Millennials on the story. Ask yourself, “What is the scenario in which your product will help them overcome a problem or make them feel better?”

Part 2: Payment and Spending

Statistic #4: In 2018, E-Commerce Sales Accounted for 11.9% of All Retail Sales Worldwide (Statista)

Considering that more than a tenth of all retail sales are made online, you can’t underestimate the importance of continuously optimizing your online store.

Online shopping is becoming more popular than ever, and by 2021, e-commerce sales are expected to reach 17.5% of retail sales worldwide.

This means there’s more potential for e-tailers to increase traffic and conversions…

…And a chance to create a better online experience (an area most online stores fall short).

Takeaway: Prioritize user experience above all. A compelling value proposition is worth nothing if visitors have a bad experience on your site. This is especially important when it comes to your checkout flow.

Statistic #5: There Are More Than 254 Million Active PayPal Accounts in The World (Statista)

This is a 15 percent year-on-year growth compared to 220 million in 2017.

With PayPal, prospects can buy products online without having to pull out their credit card which simplifies the checkout process.

The quicker and easier a prospect can go through your checkout, the more likely they are to complete their purchase.

But this doesn’t mean credit card payments are dead.

In fact, 42% of online shoppers prefer to pay with their credit card.

Giving visitors multiple payment options will increase conversion rates, and reduce cart abandonment.

Takeaway: Survey your customers and find out what their preferred payment options are. The more relevant options you offer, the more money you stand to make.

Statistic #6: As of Q2 2018, 2.86 Percent of E-Commerce Website Visits Converted into Purchases (Statista)

With an average conversion rate of only 2.86 percent, there’s much room for improvement for e-commerce.

Converting visitors into customers is getting harder because of the fierce competition online.

Online shopping gives consumers the option to research a variety of businesses before deciding where to buy.

Offering the lowest prices or the best products is no longer enough. You need to offer a personal shopping experience for the individual visitor.

Here’s an example from ASOS, who recognizes returning visitors:

I’ve shopped with ASOS many times, and because of the cookies ASOS use, I don’t have to log in every time I visit their site.

Takeaway: Use your cookie settings to recognize returning customers and make it easy for them to buy again. You should also create campaigns that target specific visitor segments who haven’t bought from you before. The more personal your campaigns are, the more likely they’ll become a customer or an email lead.

Statistic #7: In Q3 2018, Smartphones Accounted for 61 Percent of Retail Site Visits Worldwide (Statista)

Mobile commerce is slowly gaining up on desktop.

It’s now the preferred device for browsing online. Desktop only accounts for 30% of online retail visits.

But desktop is still the go-to device when it comes to completing orders.

Mobile accounts for 45% of online orders, compared to 61% for desktop.

This creates a challenge for e-commerce:

The purchase path is no longer straightforward.

Consumers hop between channels and devices and their purchase habits are sporadic.

Potential customers will leave items in their cart on mobile and when they return to their cart on desktop—the items are gone.

So, you need to consider the user journey across devices if you want to optimize conversions.

Takeaway: Integrate an omnichannel marketing strategy with real-time information across all channels and devices. This means updating information in real-time, so users can access their cart on any device and immediately check out and continue shopping.

Part 3: Shopping Habits

Statistic #8: 65% of Consumers Look Up Price Comparisons on Mobile While in a Physical Store (KPMG)

I think most of us have done this.

You want to buy a product, but you want to make sure you don’t overpay for it.

So, you go online and see if the product is available elsewhere at a lower price.

To avoid prospects abandoning a store (online or offline), a lot of businesses use price matching.

Here’s an example from eBay:

With price matching, you can prevent prospects from buying the product from a competitor because of pricing.

If a consumer is in your physical store, the chances of them going elsewhere to buy a product if you offer price matching are slim.

Takeaway: If you offer to match competitor prices, you need to make this visible in your store, both online and offline. Have it appear on your front page, or as a sign in your physical store for greater visibility.

Statistic #9: The Number One Reason People Shop Online is Because They Can Shop 24/7 (KPMG)

Fifty-eight percent of consumers shop online due to online opening hours (or lack thereof).

The Internet never closes, making it easy for consumers to buy any product at any time.

Shopping has never been more convenient.

But even though your online store doesn’t close, your customer service department does.

To get ahead of potential issues with prospects who can’t get in touch with you during out of office hours, create separate contact campaigns for office hours and out of office hours.

That way, you can tell visitors when to expect a reply if your staff are offline.

Here’s what those two campaigns could look like.

Out of office hours:

Office hours:

Takeaway: Schedule campaigns in advance to activate and deactivate on schedule. When you let prospects know when they can expect an answer they’ll be more patient with you (and more likely to buy).

Statistic #10: 30% of Consumers Say The Would Rather Buy from a Website They’ve Bought from Previously (KPMG)

We’re all creatures of habit.

We rely on our own and other’s experiences to make purchase decisions.

Once consumers have had a good experience with a brand, they’re more likely to return to that brand and even recommend it to others.

That’s why you should try to get new customers to sign up for your loyalty program or your newsletter.

Then you can reach out to them via email marketing and turn them into repeat buyers.

The best time to ask customer to do so, is on your thank you page after they’ve bought from you.

Here’s an example of a loyalty club campaign:

Takeaway: Always consider where your customers are in the buyer’s journey. If they just bought something, they might not respond well to a sales email the next day. But if you target them over time with relevant offers based on their purchase history, they’ll most likely return to your store again.

Statistic #11: 59% of 16-36 year-olds Head to Amazon Before Any Other E-Commerce Website (Inviqa)

I think we can all agree that Amazon is a top contender in the e-commerce market.

Again, it comes down to convenience. If a prospect can buy all the different items they need in the same place, they’ll do so.

To accommodate this trend, consider selling your products on Amazon.

You can even add a call-to-action button on your site that links to the item on Amazon.

Here’s an example from Breakthrough Clothing:

Takeaway: To sell your products on Amazon, make the journey from your product page to the corresponding product page on Amazon as seamless as possible.

Part 4: Cart Abandonment

Statistic #12: 60% of Online Shoppers Abandon Their Carts Because of Unexpected Extra Costs (Baymard Institute)

These extra costs include shipping, tax, and other fees.

To avoid shoppers abandoning their carts, make visitors aware of any extra costs up front before they enter checkout.

You can also offer free shipping on orders above a specific value to reduce cart abandonment and increase average order value.

According to HubSpot, 24% of shoppers are ready to spend more to qualify for free shipping, so this is a great way to increase the average order value.

Whenever a visitor adds an item to their cart, track the basket value and trigger a campaign in the first step of your cart if the order value isn’t high enough to prompt free shipping.

Then, to encourage visitors to buy more, add product recommendations in your campaign with an “add to cart” call-to-action.

Here’s an example:

Takeaway: Identify the reasons people abandon your checkout and address those reasons in an exit-intent campaign, or in an abandoned cart email (see next statistic about this).

Statistic #13: Abandoned Cart Emails Have an Average Open Rate of 45% (Moosend)

If you’ve ever left a checkout before completing an order it’s likely you received an abandoned cart email.

If you did, you know its goal is to help you overcome objections and become a customer.

In fact, the average revenue per abandoned cart email is $5.64, compared to only $0.02 for promotional emails, and $0.18 per welcome email you send.

So, there’s a lot of money to be made here.

Here’s a good example from Man Crates:

Takeaway: There’s a reason we add items to our cart—and a reason why we chose not to buy. If you can identify these two reasons with your prospects, you’re already well on your way to writing the perfect recovery email.

Statistic #14: Abandoned Cart Emails Sent within 20 Minutes Have an Average Conversion rate of 5.2% (SaleCycle).

The timing of your abandoned cart email has a great effect on conversion rates.

Emails sent within an hour have an average conversion rate of 4.5%, while emails sent more than 24 hours after cart abandonment only converts at an average of 2.6%.

Consumers are constantly bombarded with promotional material, and that makes it harder for marketers to stay top of mind with prospects.

That’s why it’s important to send your abandoned cart emails directly after a prospect abandons their cart, to ensure your brand is still top of mind when they receive the email.

Here’s an example from Bean Box:

This email arrived only ten minutes after I abandoned my cart and while I was still thinking about coffee.

Takeaway: Automate your abandoned cart emails and trigger them to go out within 20 minutes after a prospect abandons their cart. Make sure to include the cart items in the email and include multiple calls-to-action to go back to the cart.

Statistic #15: Exit-Intent Campaigns Convert Between 2-4% of Abandoning Visitors (Sleeknote)

I know what you’re thinking.

Yes, exit-intent campaigns are annoying…

But only if you misuse them.

One good practice is adding exit-intent campaigns to your checkout to reduce cart abandonment.

With exit-intent campaigns, you can turn abandoning visitors into email leads or get them to complete their purchase.

Here’s an example from minimum that focuses on getting leads:

This specific campaign had a conversion rate of 37.4% when it was live.

Another option is to give the discount code directly in the campaign like Nicehair:

Nicehair tested this campaign on their different sites (International site, Danish site, Swedish site, and Norwegian site) for a limited time to see if they could reduce cart abandonment.

They made clear that the discount code needed to be used immediately, encouraging abandoning shoppers to follow through with their purchase.

The average conversion rate of this campaign across all four sites? An amazing 44.76%. That’s right: almost half the visitors who were about to abandon their cart returned to it after seeing this campaign.

But even though these two campaigns performed so well, Nicehair and minimum know the importance of using discounts sparingly.

Offer them too often and your visitors will expect them and stop paying full price. Also, when you don’t use discounts often, you can get away with offering smaller discounts and still have great success with your campaign.

Takeaway: Identify why visitors abandon their cart and try to eliminate that concern in your exit-intent campaigns. Use discounts sparingly and think about what other value you can give to abandoning shoppers. ( For instance, offer to save cart, notify when items go on sale, invite them to get in touch with potential questions, and so on).

Part 5: Reviews and Customer Service

Statistic #16: 30 Percent of Online Consumers Have Posted Product Feedback Online (KPMG)

Reviews are highly effective when it comes to nudging prospects to make a purchase.

You should always encourage your visitors to review their shopping experience.

The best time to ask for a review, is right after a purchase on your thank you page.

Here’s an example from Livingshop:

If customers don’t respond to the above, you should follow up with an email, like Billigvoks:

If your customers have reviewed your business on review sites such as Trustpilot, you need to include some of these reviews on your website.

It’s not just enough to have them on third party sites if you want them to be effective—they have to be where the action happens, which is on your website.

Takeaway: Encourage customers to leave reviews and showcase them on your website. If you have a review section on your product pages, you need to include your bad reviews too. Otherwise, your good reviews won’t seem trustworthy.

Statistic #17: 81% of Consumers Trust the Advice of Family and Friends Over Businesses (HubSpot)

Online shopping has made it easy for consumers to show a specific product to their friends or family to get a second opinion before making a purchase.

This can be shared through a link on SMS, email, social media, etc.

If friends and family recommend one product over the other, we are more likely to choose the recommended one, regardless of price and quality.

To help encourage visitors to buy, include different sharing options that will help potential customers get a thumbs up from their friends.

You can also do as Mulberry and include a “Hint hint” option on product pages:

Click the button and this popup shows:

This gives you the option to email a friend and let them know you like this product.

Here’s what the email looks like:

Takeaway: Make it easy for consumers to share products from your site with friends and family through different channels. Make sure to include a direct link to the product along with an image of the product.

Statistic #18: 80% of Respondents Said They Had Stopped Doing Business with a Company Because of a Poor Customer Experience (HubSpot)

Someone once said never underestimate the power of a smile. (Or maybe it was me, I can’t remember.)

While we might not be able to smile to our online customers, we can make them feel appreciated by being positive and giving them a unique experience when they get in touch with us.

A negative experience will stay with prospects longer than a positive experience.

That’s why you need to ensure that every person who interacts with your brand has a good experience.

A good idea is to survey your site visitors to get insights on how to improve the customer experience on your site—even if you think it’s good already.

One way to do that is to use a multistep campaign on your site to politely ask for visitor feedback.

Here’s an example of what that could look like:

Takeaway: Survey your visitors and ask about their experience. The more information you have, the better you can prevent negative experiences.

Statistic #19: 51% of Consumers Trust Companies Who Make It Easy for Visitors to Contact the People behind the Company (KPMG)

How many times have you wanted to get in touch with a business and not been able to find any contact information?

More than once, right?

It’s not a good user experience.

You need to make it easy for people to get in touch with you. Imagine if a potential customer can’t get in touch with you and they then decide to shop elsewhere.

To prevent this, you can add a contact campaign to your site inviting visitors to get in touch with you.

Here’s what that could look like:

Takeaway: Invite visitors to get in touch so you can answer any questions or concerns they might have. Make your contact forms personal by adding photos of your staff, and customize campaigns to different pages on your site.

Free Downloadable Bonus

Want More Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies?

Get access to our free CRO toolkit and skyrocket your organic traffic, on-page conversion rate and more (includes resources not found in the blog post).

Conclusion

Developing an efficient marketing strategy for your online store requires knowledge about e-commerce statistics, trends, and consumer habits.

I hope this article gave you the insight to help you get started on that strategy, and that you found some of the answers you were looking for.

Have you stumbled upon any surprising e-commerce statistics lately? Leave a comment below.

Like what you read? Leave a comment