10 E-Commerce Statistics Retailers Need to Know in 2021


The PayBright Team

March 03, 2021

Keeping up to date on e-commerce statistics relevant to your industry will only serve to help you scale in the long run amid growing challenges, including COVID-19, Brexit, and/or changing cross-border policies worldwide.

If you’ve opened your business recently, you already know intimately that entrepreneurs must continuously adapt to shifting circumstances, enhance what’s working, and tweak what isn’t. Data helps us do this right.

Here we walk you through 10 e-commerce statistics that online retailers need to know to help them remain agile and adaptable heading into 2021.

COVID-19 by the (Retail) Numbers

Brick-and-mortar store closures have forced many companies to sell online, leaving their consumers no other choice but to turn to virtual retail platforms (such as Amazon) to buy their goods. And it’s not just millennials and Gen-Z that are flocking to e-commerce stores: older shoppers have also moved with them. This trend is likely to continue in 2021 according to A study from McKinsey also shows that approximately 10 years’ worth of growth occurred in the first quarter of 2020 alone. If that’s any indication that e-commerce sales are booming, a study from Globe Newswire showed that four in 10 consumers have shopped a new website during the pandemic, with nearly 45% of consumers saying that they would continue to shop that site following a positive experience.

E-Commerce Advertising

According to a study from PFSweb, 39% of consumers would rather shop directly on a brand’s website rather than on a marketplace website. So why not drive them to your store? Understanding how to run an effective marketing and/or social media campaign can take a while to hammer down but now is the time to widen your audience and reach as many people as possible — especially while they’re at home. If you don’t, your competitors will.

Marketing Dollars

According to stats from, marketers spent approximately $17.37 billion advertising on e-commerce sites and apps in 2020, up 38% from 2019. This may encourage you to consider campaigning on social media sites and develop a content strategy that will help your business gain more visibility as users spend increased time online (and in-app).

The Growing (Online) Buyer Base

According to a study quoted in, 43% of consumers 65+ years of age have shopped more online since the start of the crisis, compared to 42% amongst all adults. In comparison, back in May 2019, just 16% of those aged 65+ shopped online at least once a week. If this is true for people 65 and up, imagine how much and how often shoppers in younger age brackets are engaging in online sales. Expanding your buyer base and content strategy to include marketing campaigns or promotional content will pay huge dividends in the short- to medium-term.

Timing is Everything

COVID-19 has forced a lot of people to transition into work-from-home roles, which has freed up time for many to shop online. According to, sales that dipped overnight before the pandemic have been growing around 6 a.m. and gradually increasing throughout the rest of the day. Monthly sales patterns are heavily influenced by pay dates, with the peak days for sales coming at the beginning and end of each month, when people are more likely to have money to spend.

Converting Through Shipping

Having control of, or being transparent about, your shipping costs will go a long way in getting your customers to convert at checkout. High shopping costs are one of the biggest reasons for cart abandonment. According to, 88.05% of online shopping orders were abandoned and not converted into a purchase. How do you combat this? Always be transparent with your pricing. If shipping isn’t included, or if there are other additional costs, do your best to be transparent upfront: let your customers know what they’re walking into, price-wise. Buying something for $60 that turns into $98 doesn’t make a great case for justifying their spend.

Social Networks

Developing a consistent presence on your social networks will not only increase your following, it could also convert into more sales. According to a study from, more than 43% of global shoppers researched products online using social media networks.

Lightning Round: Other Key E-Commerce Stats

  • According to a report from, in 2019, e-retail sales accounted for 14.1% of all retail sales worldwide. This figure is expected to reach 22% in 2023.
  • Now is the best time to start investing in your mobile shopping experience. According to, 50% of global e-commerce sales are happening on mobile devices. What’s more, Salesforce predicts that mobile commerce accounted for 92% of ecommerce growth, even before the pandemic.
  • Making your site a responsive one will also lead to long-term sales. Research from Google found that 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. The average load time for sites is 19 seconds on a 3G connection and 14 seconds on a 4G connection. Factor this in when you’re building or optimizing your own platform.

Continuing to adapt while studying the numbers will take your business, hopefully, to the next level. Whil you can’t control the global pandemic, you can control how people deal engage with you, and how you can best meet their needs, as it unfolds.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not an exhaustive review of this topic. The content is not financial or investment advice. No professional relationship of any kind is formed between you and PayBright. While we have obtained or compiled this information from sources we believe to be reliable, we cannot and do not guarantee its accuracy. We recommend that you consult your personal finance professional before taking any action related to this information. PayBright is a provider of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) solutions. BNPL providers offer plans with a variety of terms and conditions, including interest rates, fees, and penalties, and have different standards for qualifying for loans. Laws and regulations governing BNPL providers vary by jurisdiction. We recommend that you compare and contrast plans, read the fine print, and conduct detailed research into any BNPL provider before using their services.

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