Online Shopping Statistics


Shopping online has been around for quite a while now — over a quarter of a century, in fact. It, however, received a significant boost during the pandemic and related lockdowns which forced people in front of computer screens. 

That’s why we prepared these essential online shopping statistics to keep you in the loop of what has turned from a novel concept into a massive global industry.

Online Shopping Statistics (Editor’s Choice) 

  • Online sales grew by 39% in the first quarter of 2021.
  • Ecommerce produced $4.28 trillion in global sales in 2020.
  • Retail online sales grew by 100% in Argentina in 2020.
  • Out of all small businesses, 29% also make sales online. 
  • Just in Q3 2020, 89.3% of internet users from the Philippines searched for a product or service online. 

General Online Shopping Statistics

1. 2020 saw a 53% growth in grocery sales in the US.

The total amount of sales of this respect in the country stood at $89.22 billion. The growth is staggering when we consider that in nominal terms it amounted to $30.86 billion. It’s estimated that by 2023 online grocery sales will reach $129.72 billion and will represent 10% of total grocery sales.


2. In Q1 2021, online retail sales expanded by 39%, marking a steady y-o-y growth.

In all of 2020, sales grew by 32.4%, mainly due to the impact of the ongoing pandemic on how we conduct our economic activity. In fact, online shopping statistics during Covid show that online sales reached $791.70 in 2020.

(Digital Commerce 360)

3. Impulse online shopping declined during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Impulse shopping generally drives 25% of overall holiday spending. However, during the pandemic, this type of purchasing cooled down a little, amidst global uncertainty and economic turmoil. It was expected to drive only about 18% to 20% of all holiday shopping sales in 2020.


4. More than 54% of online purchases are made by millennials. 

In fact, out of the total retails sales, millennials also make a considerable chunk consisting of 30%. From all of the members of this generation, 67% prefer to shop online rather than in-store. Millennials online shopping statistics show that 81.3% of them shop online at least once a month.


5. Worldwide, ecommerce generated sales of over $4.2 trillion in 2020.

In most industries, online shopping has become an indispensable part of the retail framework. Online shopping data predicts that by 2024 ecommerce will account for 21.8% of all sales. The country with the highest retail online shopping GAGR was Turkey.


6. Smartphones accounted for close to 70% of retail visits.

Online shopping facts show that ecommerce has gone mobile, with smartphones used for the bulk of retail visits globally. Statistics on online shopping, however, show that desktop devices and tablets have higher conversion rates, meaning that people prefer to shop at home. Digital coupons are on the rise as well, which is no wonder, given that coupon statistics show how 90% of US consumers look for a deal before shopping.


7. PayPal expects to add 50 million active users in 2021.

Online payment providers are also seeing growth year by year. PayPal statistics reveal that the service had its strongest ever annual performance in 2020 as the pandemic hit, having processed a record $936 billion in payments.


8. More than two million US merchants accept Venmo. 

Venmo statistics further underscore consumers’ shift to online purchases, with the app accounting for about 16% of PayPal’s total revenue. Internet shopping statistics meanwhile show that consumers use Venmo for five transactions per month on average.

(Business of Apps)

9. Californians shop the most online.

While ecommerce has boomed everywhere, some US states have seen truly remarkable growth. California is leading the pack with 56.5% of the population shopping online. Next come Washington (55.3%), Massachusetts (54.7%),and District of Columbia (53.4%). Online shopping statistics by state also show that Louisiana (39.8%), Mississippi (39.1%), and Wyoming (38.0%) are the states with the smallest number of online shoppers.


10. Retail ecommerce sales in Argentina doubled in 2020. 

Outside the US, the adoption of online shopping proceeds at a different pace in different countries. Canada saw a 75% surge in 2020, followed by Singapore with 73.6%. At the other end of the spectrum stand Spain (39.3%), Thailand (40%), and the UK (46.5%). The worldwide average meanwhile hovers around 25.7%.


Statistics on Online Shopping vs In-store Shopping

11. Shoppers prefer to purchase financial services online.

We knew all along that going to the bank isn’t anyone’s favorite Monday morning activity, and official numbers tell us that 47% of buyers access financial services using the internet, while just 20% do so by visiting a physical location. This product type is at the top of the list when it comes to what consumers like to purchase online, followed by TV and video devices with 46%.


12. Total online sales of apparel are on track to hit $145.8 billion in the US by 2023.

Online shopping vs brick and mortar statistics confirm that physical stores have been steadily losing ground to their digital counterparts. As the most popular ecommerce categories, apparel, accessories, and footwear are leading the growth.


13. Women prefer to shop online more than men.

72% of women like shopping online, compared to 68% of men. Women spend the most money online on groceries, books, clothes, and medicine, while men purchase computers, accommodation, furniture, tickets to events, or music. About 30% of both sexes like to visit brick-and-mortar venues.


14. 29% of small businesses make sales online.

While it can be hard or even sometimes impossible to compete with well-established retail giants in the physical space, small businesses often find an avenue online. Online shopping vs in-store shopping statistics tell us that 43% of small businesses experienced a considerable boost in sales by adopting ecommerce.


15. Ecommerce grows three times faster than traditional retail. 

Digital sales are expanding at a rate of 15% each year, dwarfing brick and mortar stores that only benefit from 5% more purchases yearly. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering how many ecommerce sites are there, satisfying the needs of a growing number of consumers each quarter.


16. Online shopping vs traditional shopping statistics show that digital sales have nearly tripled over the course of a decade.

In 2009, online shopping accounted for just 5.1% of total retail. In the coming decade, this number skyrocketed to 16% in 2019 and accelerated further to stand at 21% in 2021. At such rates, it won’t be long until ecommerce overtakes brick and mortar.

(Digital Commerce 360)

Online Shopping Statistics by Year

17. In 2014, the global ecommerce sales worldwide were valued at $1,33 trillion.

Since then, this market has seen tremendous growth, year on year, reaching $1,54 trillion in 2015. In 2016, the number reached $1,84 trillion, as more and more started adopting digital shopping, thanks to the expanding reach of the internet.


18. Online shopping trends statistics show that in 2019, total sales reached $3.35 trillion. 

In 2020, there was an explosion in digital commerce, the global market boasting a whopping increase of up to $4,28 trillion. Online shopping trends point that in 2021 the total global online sales will be valued at $4,89 trillion. Although, not all is well since consumer debt statistics are also growing in recent years.


19. During the holiday season, ecommerce experienced a 162% year-over-year increase in order volumes.

Other whopping holiday spending statistics point that 55% to 60% of the orders made in November came in the first two weeks of the month. Then, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the value of the average order tripled. The growth of online shopping is also evidenced by the 70% yearly growth in digital ads spending. 

(Future of Commerce)

Global Online Shopping Statistics

20. In Germany, 29% of shoppers make purchases online at least once a week.

Also, 28% of Germans shop online at least every two weeks and just 3% once every six months. The total B2C ecommerce revenue in Germany stands at €59.2 billion ($70 billion). The top 10 online shops in Germany alone make up €20.8 billion ($24.68 billion) in revenue. It’s forecast that by 2023, there will be 71.4 million ecommerce users in Germany.


21. Online shopping statistics by country show that over half of French residents use ecommerce.

52% of French consumers purchase goods via the internet, however, slightly below the European average of 55%. Cash vs credit card spending statistics reveal that the latter is more popular, used by 80% of French online consumers. In 2020, the total ecommerce turnover in France was €115.2 billion ($136.7).

(Statista, Ecommerce News)

22. The UK has the most advanced ecommerce market in Europe.

Online shopping statistics for the UK show that while in 2018 ecommerce sales were valued at just £677.8 billion, the number jumped to £693 billion in 2019. In 2020, a staggering 87% of UK consumers made a purchase through the internet, marking the highest online shopping penetration rate in the nation in over a decade.


23. Online spending amounts to A$52.1 billion ($38.3 billion) in Australia, or 16% of the total country-wide retail spending.

Online shopping statistics for Australia show that July was the hottest month of 2021 for ecommerce since 5.6 million households bought something online. The year-on-year growth of online shopping in the Land Down Under is 26.9%. One in four online buyers opted for a brand that practices ethics and sustainability. The people in this country have some of the highest buying power in the world and lowest prices, taking into account income. The average food cost per month here is A$153 ($112) per week.

(Australia Post, Canstar Blue)

24. Canada’s ecommerce market in this country will surpass $33 billion by 2024.

Online shopping statistics for Canada point to a vibrant ecommerce market there too. Online retail sales amounted to C$1.85 billion ($1.47 billion) in 2019. It’s estimated that 28.1 million Canadians shopped online that year. Predictions meanwhile suggest that the nation’s ecommerce market will surpass $33 billion by 2024, up from $25.4 billion in 2019. The most popular online store in the Great White North is


25. 89.3% of internet users from the Philippines searched for a product or service online in Q3 2020.

Online shopping statistics for the Philippines reveal that most Filipino ecommerce users are part of the Gen Z and millennial age groups. 80.2% of Philippines residents with access to the internet purchased a product or service online on any device and 69.6% did so through a mobile phone. The total e-commerce revenue in the country stands at $3.55 billion.


26. In Malaysia, ecommerce revenue is expected to reach $6.29 million in 2021. 

The projected annual growth rate stands at 14.84%, resulting in a forecast of $10,95 for 2025. The largest segment on the market is, unsurprisingly, fashion which amounts to $1,92 million in 2021. Online shopping statistics for Malaysia indicate that the majority of sales from the country are actually generated in China. The number of users is expected to reach 18.3 million by 2025, and the average revenue per user is projected to reach $436.28.


27. In Sri Lanka, the annual total domestic sales value of ecommerce is approximately $40 million.

At the moment, just 0.4% of the country’s total annual retail sales come from ecommerce. Predictions show that Lanka’s digital commerce sector will hit $400 million by 2022. Online shopping statistics for Sri Lanka indicate that the country’s increased cooperation with the EU will give trade a significant boost.


28. In 2020, Singaporeans spent a total of $6 billion on digital purchases.

These stats reflect a year in which leading industries such as travel and mobility saw a 47% decrease in growth. Grocery shopping statistics signal that the money deflected from these industries was spent on food and other goods such as personal care items. The most popular ecommerce platform is Shopee with 10.88 million monthly visits, followed by Lazada (8.5 million) and Qoo10 (7.5 million). Online shopping statistics for Singapore reveal that residents spend, on average, S$440 ($327.62) on internet purchases.


Online Shopping FAQ

What are people buying online?

The most popular products people shop online for are clothing, shoes, consumer electronics, books, movies, music, and games, cosmetics, and body care, plus bags and accessories.

How many people shop online?

It’s estimated that in 2021 alone more than 2.14 billion people worldwide bought something online. This number shows tremendous growth from 1.66 billion in 2016.

How much shopping is done online?

In 2020, retail sales surpassed $4.2 trillion worldwide. Online shopping statistics show that ecommerce represents 9.9% of the total retail sales volume in the US, which is the biggest market in the world.

What sells most online in the USA?

In 2021, the top ecommerce categories in the United States are fashion, electronics and media, toys, hobby and DIY, furniture and appliances, and food.

References: eMarketer, Digital Commerce 360, CNBC, Invesp, Statista, Reuters, Business of Apps, PCMag, eMarketer, Statista, BelVG, Insureon, FreightPros, Digital Commerce 360, Statista, Future of Commerce, Statista, Statista, Statista, Ecommerce News, Statista, Australia Post, Canstar Blue, Statista, Statista, Statista, Statista, DailyNews, BestInSingapore, Statista, Statista, Statista, Oberlo

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