95 Ecommerce Statistics to Know in 2017

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Ecommerce is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today. Fed by the consumer demand for convenience, selection, low prices and fast shipping, it’s only going to keep expanding. What follows are 95 of the most important ecommerce statistics you need to know in 2017.

While it still may be early in 2017, a lot has transpired in the ecommerce industry over the past few years. So much so, in fact, that it can be hard to keep up with it all at times. In a recent eMarketer report, they predicted that this industry will exceed $2 trillion in sales this year, with Economic Times reporting that the worldwide market worth is $22 trillion. As you can see from the chart of ecommerce statistics below, retail ecommerce sales are predicted to increase by 14.6% over the next three years, with estimated growth of 18.7% by 2020.


B2C Posts Record Numbers

Globally, ecommerce sales soared in 2013, benchmarking $839.8 billion. By 2018, Statista is predicting that B2C ecommerce will balloon to a staggering $1.5 trillion in annual sales. However, as the market catches up to demand, growth will level out, ultimately hovering in the $2.5 trillion marker. For 2017, B2C is projected to rake in about $1.92 trillion worldwide. Think tanks estimate that around 42% of consumers worldwide make online purchases, a number that will progressively climb to 50% by 2020. Take a look at the chart and B2C ecommerce statistics below to get a better idea.


  • B2C ecommerce sales grew to $313.9 million in 2016 (Statista).
  • B2C worldwide sales will surpass $1.5 trillion in 2017 (Research and Markets).
  • B2C ecommerce sales are expected to increase by more than 50% over next five years (Research Gate).
  • B2C ecommerce sales grew by 19.9% in 2016 (Ecommerce Europe).
  • The Asia-Pacific region grew the most in 2016, surpassing $1 trillion (Ecommerce Europe).
  • China is the largest B2C ecommerce market, with $766.5 billion in sales for 2016 (Ecommerce Europe).

B2B is a Major Player

With B2C numbers looking this healthy, what is the outlook as far as B2B ecommerce statistics are concerned? According to recent predictions, B2B will be worth $6.7 trillion by 2020. Forrester Research has released its newest predictions, putting the U.S. haul of B2B ecommerce at $1.132 trillion by 2020. For 2017, year-on-year growth is capped at 9.2%, totaling $928 billion. The five-year CAGR from 2015 to 2020 is set at a healthy 7.7%, as is reflected in the chart below.


An Internet Retailer report gives even more depth, projecting that B2B ecommerce will grow to $12 trillion in global sales by 2020. But how do the numbers break down as far as B2B ecommerce statistics are concerned?

  • B2B researchers conduct an average of 12 searches before engaging a particular brand (Google).
  • 89% of B2B searchers use the internet to compile their information (Google).
  • 73% of all B2B ecommerce traffic comes from google, with 97% of those searching not clicking past page one of the search results (Marketing Charts).
  • B2B buyers have already made 57% of buying decisions before contacting an entity (Google).
  • 70% of B2B decisions rely on two or more purchasers, with 30% relying on five purchasers making cooperative decisions (Oracle).
  • B2B buyers are global, with decision makers using an average of seven different languages (Oracle).
  • 76% of B2B buyers want an easy to navigate website (Hubspot).
  • 60% of B2B buyers want an enhanced search feature (Accenture).
  • Social media influences 75% of decision makers in B2B ecommerce (Callidus Cloud).
  • The conversion rate for B2B ecommerce is 10% (Internet Retailer).
  • B2B ecommerce factors just 10% of the industry overall (Marketing Charts).

Mobile Shopping Statistics

Mobile shopping is the fastest growing segment in ecommerce, worth an estimated $3.2 trillion in 2017, an increase of more than $1.5 trillion since 2013, according to FounderU. Globally, mobile commerce sales will grow to a healthy $638 billion annually this year, explains Digiday, with sources like Custora predicting that Apple will continue its dominance of the market at 50.6% to Samsung’s 30.5%. But how much of a player is mobile commerce in the big scheme of things? According to Internet Retailer, it accounts for 30% of all ecommerce sales, an uptick of 15% from 2013.


A recent report that was published in HuffPo predicts that mobile shopping transactions will surpass 2 billion for this year, so it’s worth taking a look at what’s making shoppers tick, and why so many rely on their smartphones or tablets to make that online purchase. Here are some of the most current ecommerce trendsetters for handset and tablet devices, sourced from our guide: Mobile Shopping Statistic Define Booming Trend.

  • Over 59% of smartphone users research products from their handset before making an online purchase.
  • 76% of smartphone users rely on their handset to find a store to make a local purchase at.
  • 30% of global e-commerce sales will come from smartphone users by the year 2018.
  • Mobile devices drive over half a billion in sales during Cyber Monday, a number that will continue to climb.
  • The preferred shopping method for smartphone users is via a shopping app.
  • Mobile commerce will rake in over $90 billion in sales in the U.S. by the year 2018.
  • Over 50% of smartphone shoppers say they will rely on a digital wallet to make purchases this year.
  • 75% of mobile shoppers redeemed coupons when shopping over the past three years.
  • 84% of mobile shoppers rely on smartphones to help them when making a purchase at a brick and mortar store

Social Commerce is Burgeoning

Social commerce is no longer a sleeping giant. It’s now turned into a booming part of the ecommerce industry, and will continue growing as the popularity of these channels increases. A B2C report finds that the vast majority of social referrals come from Facebook, where nearly 88% of all social ecommerce referrals originate.

We’ve previously reported that 60% of consumers research a product before making an online purchase. About 25% of them will also turn to social media to conduct or complete that research cycle. These social commerce statistics correlate with an Invesp report finding that 40% of social media users have completed a purchase after researching an item on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

While social media still only represents 5% of all ecommerce transactions, one cannot ignore the revenue that it generates. For 2015, worldwide social commerce revenue eclipsed $30 billion, according to Statista. About $14 billion of that haul (about 44%) was derived in the U.S.

eightTo give you an even clearer picture, here’s our complete breakdown of social commerce statistics, as first reported in our in-depth guides: Social Commerce Statistics You Shouldn’t Ignore and Powerful Social Media Ecommerce Statistics That Will Make You Rethink E-Retailing Altogether.

  • Facebook generates 65% of all UK buy button sales that are referred from social media.
  • Facebook also accounts for 64% of all US social media buy button referrals.
  • 54% of consumers rely on Facebook to find out about new brands or learn about buying opportunities.
  • 74% of US personal care brands maintain a strong presence on Facebook.
  • 95% of US department store brands maintain a Facebook page.

YouTube is King of Video

YouTube is still the reigning king of video, and probably always will be. Here are some facts sourced from the most recent YouTube Press Statistics that were issued by parent company Alphabet (formerly Google).

  • YouTube retains over 1 billion users. That’s one-third of all people who use the internet.
  • YouTube has more domestic reach than any US television network.
  • Views are up worldwide by 60% over the past two years.
  • Users are flocking to YouTube three times faster than they ever have before.
  • 80% of all views are generated outside of the US.
  • Over 50% of views come from a mobile device.
  • Partner revenue has increased by 50%.
  • Over $1 billion has been tendered to outside rights holders from YouTube views.

The Twitterverse is Growing

Twitter continues to improve revenue forecasts as one of the top five referring social commerce engines. Here’s how the numbers breakdown.

  • Since it was launched back in 2006, Twitter has facilitated 300 billion tweets.
  • At the same time, there’s an estimated 20 million fake twitter users.
  • This is circumvented, however, by the estimated 241 million active twitter users, of which 184 million are mobile users.
  • Still, the platform has managed to generated nearly half a billion in revenue year-over-year since 2013, as the below chart reflects.

Tumblr is a Contendor

We gleaned some stats from Search Engine People to find out how well Tumblr’s doing (even if Yahoo has messed some things up post acquisition).

  • Tumblr visitors stay 14 minutes longer than on any other social site.
  • Average users visits over 60 pages per month.
  • 35% of audience makes $50,000 or more per year.
  • 65% of audience is college educated.
  • Growth rate has exceeded 74% since 2013.
  • Tumblr is rated number five for most visited sites in the US.

Shipping Prices & Speed Matter

When examining online shopping statistics, shipping cost is always going to be a factor. Certainly, in a perfect world, shipping would always be complimentary. But it remains as one of the biggest price points – alongside of the cost of returns and restocking – for online retailers. But just how much of a factor is this? Here’s a quick breakdown of ecommerce shipping statistics.

  • According to Monetate, 61% of shoppers are “somewhat likely” to cancel an order if free shipping is not offered at the time of checkout.
  • Nearly half (47%), of all e-retailers currently offer free shipping or a free shipping threshold to improve conversions.
  • When factoring in cart abandonment rates, studies have found that 65% of abandoners left the cart without making a purchase due to added shipping and handling costs.
  • The results of an eConsultancy survey revealed that one-fifth of consumers say free shipping is an “important part” of them making a purchase; 58% will increase the order value to qualify for a free shipping threshold.
  • Most customers are content to wait up to eight business days for economy shipping, according to UPS.
  • Customers are likely to spend up to 30% more on their purchase when free shipping is offered, explains a Wharton study, with 60% of retailers saying that offering complimentary shipping is one of their effective marketing methods.


Retailers Need Friendlier Returns

With ecommerce purchases does also come the reverse logistics, or the returns cycle. While a majority of consumers are satisfied with the purchases they’ve made online, about one-third of all products ultimately are returned by consumers, with the apparel industry having a slightly higher rate. According to a HuffPo report, 65% of returns are actually not by fault of the consumer. A study by Forrester, on behalf of UPS, concurs, and delivers the three most common reasons why ecommerce goods are returned, found in the chart below.


  • New studies are finding that by offering hassle-free returns e-tailers can actually improve their reconversion model as well as strengthen long term retention and customer loyalty.
  • Over 63% of consumers read the online product returns policy before making a purchase (comScore).
  • 81% of consumers want a convenient returns policy that is hassle-free with no return shipping cost (UPS).
  • About one-third of all products ordered online are returned by consumers (WSJ).
  • Ecommerce apparel has the highest return rate at 40% (Entrepreneur Magazine).
  • When free returns are offered, sales can increase by as much as 357% (CNBC).
  • When return shipping fees are charged, 81% of consumers are less likely to make a future purchase (Upstream Commerce).
  • 55% of consumers want a low-cost return shipping option (Accenture).
  • Zappos gets 75% improved customer loyalty and repeat buyers from free returns, even though they charge more for their products (eCommerce Digest).
  • Zappos best customers make the most returns (Fast Company).
  • Offering free return shipping can improve sales by at least 25% in six months (Science Daily).
  • 65% of returns are the retailer’s fault (Forrester).
  • A returns policy influences as much as 80% of the sale (HuffPo).
  • 88% of shoppers want free return shipping (Multichannel Merchant).
  • 82% of shoppers will convert on the sale if free return shipping is offered (Marketing Profs).
  • Online-only brands have the lowest aggregate rate of returns (Internet Retailer).
  • 60% of shoppers return at least one purchase annually (Practical Commerce).


Millennials Rule the Roost

Nobody is getting any younger. But the younger generation is better connected, even if their pockets are not necessarily deeper. If you are wondering how the millennials play into the ecommerce industry, these facts shed some more light, and were first reported in our complete guide: Turn Down The ‘Suck Dial’ To Lure Millennials.

  • 70% of millennials use Facebook (Statistica)
  • 63% of millennials use YouTube (Statistica)
  • 51% say online reviews are more important than in-person referrals (Bazaarvoice)
  • 37% do not trust large businesses and brands (Forbes)
  • Millennials spend over $170 billion annual on purchases (ComScore)
  • 52% are likely to make impulse purchases (TIME)
  • 69% prefer to research products from a smartphone or tablet (Barkley)
  • 70% of females and 50% of males consider shopping entertainment (Urban Land Institute)
  • 45% spend 60 minutes or more daily researching retail products online (Urban Land Institute)
  • 63% follow brands they like on Facebook (Ipsos)
  • 41% are already using their smartphone to make online purchases (Edelman Digital)

Gender Bending Spending

As far as gender spending is concerned, it’s nearly evenly split. But there are some variances that should be noted. Much like in brick and mortar retail, women are still outspending men in ecommerce, but by thinner margins than you might suspect in some areas. All told, women still account for 80% of ecommerce spending in the U.S., according WSJ, but these following statistics provide more clarity and depth, and were first reported in our guide: Mobile vs. Desktop: These Facts About Online Shopping Will Surprise You.


  • 57% of women made online purchases in 2013, as compared to 52% of men, nearly split right down the middle, according to a report by SeeWhy.
  • 22% of men made purchases from their smartphone versus just 18% of women.
  • Millennials – persons between the ages of 18-34 – are the biggest spenders online, spending about $2,000 per year on ecommerce, even though they are in lower income brackets.
  • Baby boomers and older Americans are coming around to the idea of mobile commerce. About one out of every four mobile shoppers in the U.S. is over the age of 55.
  • Those who shop online tend to have healthier incomes than the average American. According to an Experian survey, 55% of online shoppers have household incomes that exceed $75,000; 40% have household incomes that exceed $100,000. But the median U.S. household income is just $50,000 per year.

Need Even More Info?

With the year already well underway, what can we expect coming out of 2017? Where will ecommerce take us, and what are the most pertinent trends to follow? If you want complete answers, take a look at two related guides we’ve published: A Look Ahead: 2017 Ecommerce Technology Trends and Ecommerce Trends to Follow in 2017.

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