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19 E-Commerce Statistics You Can Use to Inform Your Marketing Strategy [2020]

  • Conversion Rate Optimization

Most marketers want to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to knowing what consumers want. And it makes sense. The more you know about your consumers, the better you can market your products and services and boost online revenue.

But to get inside the mind of everyday consumers, you need to understand what they expect and look for when shopping online, and more importantly, adapt your store to not only meet those needs but exceed them indefinitely. 

In this post, 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.

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Table of Contents

Part 1: Demographics

1. There Were 1.8 Billion Global Digital Buyers in 2018 (Statista)

As of writing, there are 7.7 billion people in the World. 

That means 21.55 percent of the World’s population buy online, and in 2021, the number is expected to rise to over 2.14 billion.

That’s 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 are emerging, 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 promote your product rises.

Takeaway

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

2. Men Spend 68 Percent More Online Than Women (KPMG)

I was shocked when I first read that statistic, 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 grooming products and electronics. Women, by contrast, tend to buy lower-priced items such as cosmetics and skincare products. Moreover, when men shop online, they tend to be efficient, meaning they bulk buy to save time.

So, when selling to a male audience, you can boost conversions by offering related products and package deals. 

Here’s an example from Harry’s:

When prospects go through Harry’s checkout, they can add products that compliment their order such as a razor stand or post-shave balm.

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.

3. Generation X Shop More Online Than Baby Boomers and Millennials (KPMG)

People born between 1966-1981, or “Generation Xers,” make 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 a 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

4. In 2019, E-Commerce Sales Accounted for 14.1 Percent 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 percent 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.

5. There Are More Than 286 Million Active PayPal Accounts in The World (Statista)

This is a 17 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, simplifying the checkout process further.

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. According to one report, 42 percent of online shoppers prefer to pay with their credit cards.

Bottom line? 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.

6. As of Q1 2019, 2.72 Percent of E-Commerce Website Visits Converted into Purchases (Statista)

With an average conversion rate of only 2.72 percent, there’s much room for improvement for e-commerce. 

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

Much to the chagrin of many business owners, offering low 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 that haven’t bought from you before. The more personalized your campaigns are, the more likely they’ll become a customer or at least, an email lead.

7. In Q1 2019, Smartphones Accounted for 65 Percent of Retail Site Visits Worldwide (Statista)

Mobile commerce is slowly gaining up on desktop.

It’s now the preferred device for browsing online, with desktop accounting for only 30 percent of online retail visits.

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

Mobile accounts for 46 percent of online orders, compared to 54 percent for desktop.

This creates a challenge for e-commerce:

The purchase path is no longer straightforward. 

Consumers jump 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. 

With that in mind, 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. To learn more about how to convert mobile visitors, read this article.

Part 3: Shopping Habits

8. Sixty-Five Percent of Consumers Look Up Price Comparisons on Mobile While in a Physical Store (KPMG

We’ve all done it, haven’t we?

You want to buy something online, but you want to make sure you don’t overpay. So you go online to see if the product is available elsewhere at a lower price.

To avoid prospects abandoning a store online or off, many 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 off. Have it appear on your front page, or as a sign in your physical store for greater visibility.

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, for many people, 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 opening hours and closing 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.

During opening hours:

Create a similar campaign

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During closing 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).

10. Thirty Percent of Consumers Say The Would Rather Buy from a Website They’ve Bought from Previously (KPMG

We’re creatures of habit. When it comes to buying online, we rely on our own and other’s experiences to influence our purchasing 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 customers to do so is on your thank you page after they’ve bought from you.

Here’s an example of how you can ask new customers to join your loyalty club:

Takeaway 

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.

11. Fifty-Nine Percent 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, then it’s a no-brainer.

So, to accommodate this growing trend, consider selling on Amazon, if your country permits.

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

12. Fifty-Three Percent of Online Shoppers Abandon Their Carts Because of Unexpected Extra Costs (Baymard Institute)

“Unexpected extra costs” include, tax, fees, and of course, shipping.

To avoid shoppers abandoning their carts, then, make visitors aware of any extra costs upfront before they enter the 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 percent 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. Then, if the order value isn’t high enough, offer free shipping.

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

Here’s an example:

Takeaway

Identify the reasons shoppers abandon checkout and address those reasons with an exit-intent campaign or with an abandoned cart email.

13. Abandoned Cart Emails Have an Average Open Rate of 45 Percent (Moosend)

If you’ve ever given up checking out before completing an order you’ve likely received an abandoned cart email. 

And if you have, you know that its goal is to help you overcome objections and buy something. 

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, or reasons, 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.

14. Abandoned Cart Emails Sent within 20 Minutes Have an Average Conversion rate of 5.2 Percent (PrestaShop)

Your abandoned cart emails’ timing has a great effect on conversion rates.

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

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 so important to send 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 write a compelling subject line and include the cart items in the email along with multiple calls-to-action to go back to the cart.

15. Exit-Intent Campaigns Convert Between 2-4 Percent 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 even better, 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 percent 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 percent. 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. 

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

16. Thirty Percent of Online Consumers Have Posted Product Feedback Online (KPMG)

Reviews are highly effective when it comes to nudging prospects to make a purchase, and that’s why 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, any good reviews will seem untrustworthy.

17. Eighty-One Percent 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, and other channels. 

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:

When you click the button, this popup triggers, giving you the option to email a friend to inform them 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.

18. Eighty Percent of Respondents Said They Had Stopped Doing Business with a Company Because of 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 visitors and ask about their experience. The more information you have, the better you can prevent negative experiences.

19. Fifty-One Percent 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.

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Want More Conversion Rate Optimization Strategies?

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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.

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