No matter how proficient or experienced you are in e-commerce, you can’t come up with a blueprint that guarantees success. It may be wise to have a set of specific goals you can affix to, but you need to have an adaptive approach that reacts quickly and effectively to change.
That’s what e-commerce research is for — finding facts, testing new methods, and letting data show your next move.
It goes without saying that extensive research can be time-consuming and costly. When done inefficiently, it can also detract the attention of retailers from other meaningful endeavors.
The good news is, we’ve done a bit of digging for you to make the entry of 2018 more productive. Here is a list of the most important statistics in the e-commerce industry and what they could mean to you:
1. Retail E-Commerce Sales will Grow to $4.5 Trillion by 2021
According to data from Statista, global retail e-commerce sales will hit $4.5 trillion by year 2021. This indicates a 246.15% growth from $1.3 trillion in 2014.
Sure, some experts may insist that traditional stores are still the future of retail, especially when looking at the top retail brands in the US. But as a retailer or entrepreneur, missing out on $4.5 trillion in sales is undeniably a huge loss — not to mention that e-commerce is also winning the innovation race and seeing faster growth.
2. 80% of Internet Users Shopped Online
To give you a clearer picture on the looming significance of e-commerce, around 80% of the online population has purchased something from the internet. 50%, on the other hand, have done so more than once.
This should come as no surprise to online retailers. After all, the internet has opened up a slew of customer touchpoints, such as social media shop sections, display advertisements, and online search.
3. 71% of Shoppers Prefer Online Stores
Out of all shoppers, 71% believe that they’ll get better deals from online stores than physical establishments. This is likely due to the accessibility of reviews and other resources that can validate their purchase decisions, including recommendations from their social media connections.
As a retail brand, you can take advantage of their affinity towards user-generated content by building a social presence as well as launching influencer marketing campaigns.
4. Shopify Still Rules the Roost
The proliferation of small e-commerce businesses is spearheaded by only a few platforms. According to the latest statistics, Shopify is still the biggest e-commerce platform being used today with over 500,000 active stores and a sales volume of $46 billion.
Every retailer may have different needs, but when it comes to e-commerce platforms, it all boils down to ease-of-use, cost, flexibility, and compatibility with other integrations. These are the features that major e-commerce platforms today tend to have.
For your reference, here is an infographic that compares the top five e-commerce platforms side-by-side:
5. 35% of Online Shoppers Start with Big E-Commerce Marketplaces
When it comes to initiating their online shopping experiences, about 35% of consumers begin with marketplaces like Amazon and eBay. On the other hand, only 31% head straight to an individual retailer’s website, while 15% start by using search engines to look for products.
Of course, you need to spread your eggs in multiple baskets and utilize all three product discovery channels. But for new brands, piggybacking existing marketplaces is a great way to gain instant exposure and generate sales as soon as possible.
6. Extra Costs is the Number One Cause of Abandonment
It doesn’t matter if you have a stellar product presentation or provide a smooth shopping experience — it’s inevitable that a large number of potential customers will abandon their carts during the checkout process.
A survey by the Baymard Institute reveals that 61% of cart abandoners are put off by high extra costs. This is immediately followed by mandatory account creations (35%), complicated checkouts (27%), and the lack of transparency (24%).
Make no mistake: nothing about running an online business is meant to be easy. You need to be in-tune with your target market, keep up with the rest of your competition, and be up-to-date with the latest trends in your niche and the e-commerce industry as a whole.
Hopefully, the statistics above were enough to help fine-tune your direction. If you’re just starting out, why not take a look at our hosting reviews to get the ball rolling?
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