Because of the pandemic, more people are shopping online than ever before. In fact, our research shows that 79% of consumers made more online purchases specifically due to the pandemic (Source: CouponFollow).
And because so many people are now shopping online, businesses have been focusing their efforts on providing consumers with the perfect online experience.
So what’s in store for ecommerce in 2022?
It’s hard to say for sure. The industry is constantly changing, and consumer needs fluctuate. But we can review some of the key figures from the past year to inform our decisions as we head into 2022.
So stick around to familiarize yourself with the latest ecommerce trends and statistics.
Top ecommerce growth statistics for 2022
Take a look at some of our top ecommerce statistics from the last year:
- By 2024, ecommerce sales will account for 21.8% of total retail sales (Source: Statista).
- Ecommerce revenue will grow to 5.4 trillion in 2022 (Source: Statista).
- 25% of Americans shop online at least once a month (Source: NPR/Marist).
- 90% of shoppers won’t wait for a slow web page to load (Source: Yottaa).
- Global cart abandonment averages out at 78% (Source: Barilliance).
- 57% of customers will abandon your website (Source: New Media and Marketing).
- 98% of consumers say that reviews are essential when making online purchase decisions (Source: Power Reviews).
- 95% of purchases will be online by 2040 (Source: Nasdaq).
“The COVID-19 outbreak has rendered a precise online shopping experience something to be more than a nice-to-have; it is now an imperative. [...] Retailers that cannot rely on their online offerings’ ability to serve as their primary face to the consumers now face the very serious chance of extinction.” - Retailer Website Performance Report, Yottaa
Ecommerce by country
Ecommerce sales have grown around the world over the last couple of years. Before the pandemic, 8 out of 32 countries recorded ecommerce penetration in the double digits. By 2025, that list will include 22 countries (Source: eMarketer).
And globally, digital commerce sales will increase from $1,336 billion in 2014 to $6,388 billion in 2024 (Source: Statista).
As it stands, China is currently the largest ecommerce market in the world. It accounts for 52.1% of all ecommerce sales in 2021, and its market share grew 20% from 2020 (Source: eMarketer). The U.S. followed in second at 19%.
China will continue to dominate the market in 2022. It’s likely that growth won’t be as high as it has been in the past, but it’ll certainly be a big hitter in the ecommerce field for the foreseeable future.
Regarding growth for other countries, India has been the fastest-growing market in 2021. Its digital sales are expected to increase 27%, followed closely by Brazil with 26.8% (Source: eMarketer).
Despite India being the top performer for growth, Brazil is the country to watch. In 2020, online shopping revenue amounted to more than twice as much as two years earlier, showing incredible growth because of the pandemic (Source: Statista).
Online shopping trends
Online shopping saw unprecedented growth in 2020. With so many people unable to shop in person, many buyers went online.
Today, online shopping is one of the most popular online activities worldwide (Source: Statista).
- Over 2.14 billion people worldwide will shop online in 2021, up from 1.66 billion in 2016 (Source: Statista).
- From April to June 2021, we saw the highest quarterly revenue in history for online sales, surpassing $222 billion (Source: Statista).
- 59% of consumers shop online weekly or more (Source: Jungle Scout).
What do we know about online shoppers in 2022?
Online shoppers have high expectations, especially regarding the buying process and payment options.
Studies show that 48% of U.S. consumers prefer retailers that offer flexible payment options like “buy now, pay later” (Source: JungleScout). Not to mention, 52% of online purchases will be made with a digital wallet in 2021 (Source: Worldpay).
We know that online shopping is most common among millennials, with a penetration rate of 86.2% (Source: Statista). And we also know that 47% of online consumers were employed in the third quarter of 2021 (Source: JungleScout). Of those, 20% had a higher income than the previous quarter.
In terms of the customer journey and how consumers behave when they’re purchasing online, it varies depending on the type of product and the demographic of the buyer.
Subscription ecommerce sales spiked because of the pandemic in 2020, with 41% growth (Source: eMarketer).
Forecasts suggest that 3% of global ecommerce sales will come from subscriptions in 2021, totaling $27.67 billion (Source: eMarketer). This is an increase of $10 billion from 2019.
Although these figures are likely to slow down over the next few years, we still expect online subscriptions to be popular with online consumers. At the very least, the figures will remain steady while consumers continue to use their subscription services.
Omnichannel targeting involves aligning your digital marketing efforts to target customers across different platforms.
Throughout 2020 and 2021, marketers using three or more channels in a campaign earned a 287% higher purchase rate than those using a single channel (Source: Omnisend).
Short message service (SMS) also became especially popular in 2020, with double the conversion rates and 378% more SMS sent than in 2019 (Source: Omnisend).
It continues to be popular in 2021, although conversion rates are a little lower, which is to be expected now the dust is starting to settle from the pandemic.
Key takeaway: Consumers will continue buying online in 2022, and their expectations are high.
How can you prepare? Focus on the UX of your online store to make the experience as seamless as possible for your buyers. Think about who your audience is, and identify the best ways to target them.
Top 3 ecommerce companies
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular ecommerce websites from Q3 of 2021.
1. Amazon: 65% (Source: Jungle Scout)
Amazon is expected to account for 50% of all retail ecommerce sales by the end of 2021 (Source: Statista).
51% of consumers purchase from Amazon weekly or more (Source: Jungle Scout).
Having a Prime account is cited as the top reason for buying from Amazon, most likely because they get free same-day and next-day delivery on certain products with a Prime account (Source: Jungle Scout). So it’s no surprise that Prime memberships have increased year-on-year worldwide:
The U.S. accounts for 74% of these memberships, and studies suggest this percentage will keep growing in 2022 and beyond (Source: Backlinko).
2. Walmart: 37% (Source: Jungle Scout)
Unlike Amazon, Walmart operates a chain of supermarkets. They also have an online presence where consumers can purchase goods.
44% of consumers shop from Walmart weekly or more, with 41% saying that their product prices are the top reason they made a purchase (Source: Jungle Scout).
Walmart also has a membership for buyers, which gives them free shipping, discounts, and other benefits.
In 2021, only 36% of their consumers will have a Walmart membership (Source: Jungle Scout).
(Source: Jungle Scout)
Most of their consumers have no interest in signing up for their membership.
3. eBay: 17% (Source: Jungle Scout)
eBay is an online retailer that facilitates consumer-to-consumer purchasing through its website.
There are currently 187 million eBay users worldwide (Source: eBay). Most eBay sellers live in the U.K. (31%) and the U.S. (29%) (Source: Statista).
eBay has quite a high proportion of mobile users. In fact, 33% of mobile users in the U.S. have accessed the eBay app (Source: Statista).
During the first quarter of 2021, over half of digital consumers bought from eBay using mobile (Source: Similarweb)
Shipping and delivery
96% of consumers state that free shipping is important (Source: Power Reviews). Over half say that free shipping would increase their likelihood of buying (Source: Global Web Index).
So there’s no denying it. People want free delivery, and they’re willing to cancel a purchase without it. 40% will happily not purchase if they get to the checkout and realize they have to pay for the postage (Source: Statista).
Do people want same-day delivery?
When the pandemic hit, ecommerce businesses had to think outside the box to keep consumers buying. One of the ways they approached this was to offer same-day delivery.
38% of retailers currently offer same-day delivery, 27% of which began doing so after COVID-19 (Source: Bringg).
By the end of 2021, 2/3 of retailers plan to offer same-day delivery (Source: Bringg).
But do consumers want same-day delivery?
In short, yes.
41% of consumers cited fast and reliable delivery (including same-day delivery) as one of the most important attributes when shopping online (Source: PWC).
Key takeaway: People want free and fast delivery. If they don’t get it, they could take their business elsewhere.
Actionable advice: If you want to keep consumers interested in buying from you, you need to consider offering free shipping and same-day delivery. Figure out financially what you can offer and start there.
79% of online consumers say that free returns are important (Source: Power Reviews). 33% of buyers say an easy return policy makes them more inclined to buy (Source: Global Web Index).
So, when it comes to online returns, consumers want a smooth process that’s free to use. If you don’t offer this, consumers will be less likely to purchase from you.
What are people returning?
In 2021, the most popular item returned online in the U.S. was clothing, followed by shoes and electronics (Source: Statista).
(Source: Power Reviews)
The top three reasons for returns are that:
- It didn’t fit (70%)
- The item was damaged or defective (65%)
- The item didn’t match the description (49%)
Studies also show that higher-income households are more likely to be interested in returns than lower-income households (Source: Power Reviews).
The pandemic hasn’t affected online returns
Despite the increase in online shopping, 72% of shoppers said they returned online products at the same rate as they did before the pandemic (Source: Power Reviews). So even though the pandemic increased online spending, it hasn’t increased the number of returns.
Surprisingly, studies also show that only 20% of consumers return online items more than in-store purchases, with 47% stating it’s about the same for both (Source: Power Reviews).
Key takeaway: People want free and easy returns for online orders.
Actionable advice: Make sure your online return process is as streamlined and efficient as possible. Ideally, it should also be free for the consumer.
Take a look at your current processes and see if there’s anywhere that can be more efficient. You can always ask consumers directly for their feedback to give you more insight and direction.
Shopping cart abandonment
Shopping cart abandonment is when a consumer adds an item to their online cart and leaves before buying it.
The latest research shows that the cart abandonment rate for U.S. shoppers is 75.5% (Source: Kibo). This percentage is slowly decreasing, which is likely due to fewer consumers shopping online this year than in 2020.
Reasons for cart abandonment
In 2021, the most popular cause of cart abandonment (49%) was additional costs, such as shipping and taxes (Source: Baymard). We already know that consumers value free shipping, so this isn’t all that surprising.
Here’s the full list of reasons:
Mobile users and cart abandonment
In the second quarter of 2021, 87% of mobile users abandoned their shopping carts. This figure is less for desktop users at 78% (Source: Salesforce).
With more mobile users than desktop users, it makes sense that the percentage of cart abandonment is higher. However, something could be said about the quality of mobile purchasing in comparison to desktop.
Research has shown that the quality of mobile apps has an indirect influence on purchase intention (Source: Science Direct). So if the quality of mobile ecommerce sites and apps isn’t good, this can have an impact on the buyer’s decision to make a purchase.
We’re not saying there’s a direct correlation between cart abandonment rates and mobile usability, but it’s something that could be explored.
Key takeaway: Cart abandonment is dropping, but that’s likely a result of less online shopping. It’s still an issue that needs to be addressed, particularly for mobile users.
Actionable advice: Figure out why consumers are abandoning their cart on your site. Follow their journey, use a heatmap system to see where they go, and create a series of automated abandonment cart emails. Focus on your mobile site, too.
Mobile shopping, also known as m-commerce, is getting more and more popular.
67% of global online retail traffic was generated via mobile in 2020 (Source: Statista). Nearly 1 out of 3 shoppers completed entire transactions via mobile (Source: Yottaa).
As we see an increase in the use of mobile commerce sales, desktop shopping is taking a back seat.
Globally, more people make online purchases using mobile devices in comparison to desktops (Source: Global Web Index). Only 22% of shoppers say they prefer to conduct the entire experience on a desktop (Source: Yottaa).
The future of mobile shopping
As we head into 2022, we expect mobile shopping to continue to be the preferred method for online shopping. Based on the figures we’ve just mentioned, it’s hard to argue otherwise.
Future predictions also indicate that mobile shopping will remain popular.
By 2024, 187.5 million U.S. users will have made at least one purchase via their mobile device, up from 167.8 million in 2020 (Source: Statista). And by 2025, more than 10% of all retail sales in the U.S. are expected to be generated via mobile commerce (Source: Statista).
Mobile shopping apps
A lot of mobile shoppers use apps to make purchases. In the first quarter of 2021, 170.2 million mobile shopping apps were downloaded in the U.S. (Source: Statista). The most popular download was Amazon, with 1.6 million downloads(Source: Statista).
The most-downloaded shopping app worldwide was Taobao Lite, with over 5.93 million downloads from iPhone users (Source: Statista).
If you don’t already have a mobile shopping app, you might want to think about creating one. Users are clearly on board with shopping via apps, and not having one could put you at a disadvantage.
Key takeaway: Mobile commerce is here to stay.
Actionable advice: Focus on making your site mobile-friendly. Make the mobile payment option easy to use, and give consumers options in terms of how they can pay. If you have a mobile app, review its usability to make the buying process as seamless as possible for every smartphone user.
With less online shopping, conversion rates have slowed down in 2021.
The average conversion rate of ecommerce websites in 2020 was 2.86% (Source: Invesp). As of October 2021, the average ecommerce conversion rate was 1.76% (Source: IRP).
We expect this trend to continue into 2022. Not because we predict businesses will underperform, but because there simply won’t be as many people shopping and spending online.
Good reviews can have a direct impact on conversions.
32% of consumers say that high reviews play an important role in their purchasing decisions (Source: Bizarre Insights). 94% say a bad review has convinced them to avoid a business (Source: Reviewtrackers).
Not to mention, review interaction is up by 50% from pre-pandemic levels (Source: Power Reviews).
So, why are so many people searching for online reviews before buying?
Ultimately, it builds trust. Consumers feel like your brand is credible and the product they’re buying is good quality if they can see feedback from other customers.
When it comes to online reviews, Google is the top review site (Source: Reviewtrackers).
(Source: Review Trackers)
Key takeaway: Consumers want to trust the brands they’re buying from. If they don’t trust you, your conversion rate could take a hit.
Actionable advice: To encourage users to post reviews, consider offering them an incentive to do so (like a discount code). Make sure you respond to reviews as quickly as possible and address negative feedback openly.
Today’s digital consumer has high expectations when it comes to customer service. They want streamlined, round-the-clock support through channels that they prefer to use.
But the most important thing for consumers is that their issues are resolved quickly (Source: Zendesk).
So how exactly do consumers want to communicate with businesses?
Half of online customers say they like contacting support over the channels they use with family and friends (Source: Zendesk). But ultimately, it varies based on age group. The most popular methods are via phone and email:
Depending on the communication method used, consumers have different expectations about response times. For example, 28% of people expect a reply on chat in under five minutes (Source: Zendesk).
Increase customer loyalty with good customer service
57% of customers say good customer service makes them feel more loyal to a brand (Source: Zendesk). And the better customer service you offer, the more likely customers are to buy from you again.
(Source: Success Qualtrics)
To see an ecommerce store providing good customer service, take a look at Firmoo.
Firmoo is an online glasses provider. Their website has the most popular methods of customer communication, including 24/7 communication via online chat.
They also have a variety of online resources to answer questions and help consumers find the right products, which consumers can access at any time.
Key takeaway: Customers want fast resolutions to their problems.
Actionable advice: Think about how you can provide consumers with 24/7 access to support across various channels. It’s no easy feat, but it can be done.
You could use an automated chatbot to respond to consumer queries when customer service reps aren’t working or create an online knowledge base that’s easily accessible at all times.
The use of social media has increased over the last few years, and this goes for social commerce, too.
Purchases through social media increased from 24% in December 2019 to 36% in August 2020 (Source: eMarketer).
And with so many people using social platforms, more and more users are searching on them for products to purchase. In fact, 40% of consumers search for products to buy while on social media (Source: Jungle Scout).
The most influential social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok (Source: Jungle Scout). Here’s a breakdown of their key stats:
As a side note, just because these are the most popular platforms doesn’t mean they’re the right ecommerce tools for your business.
To make sure you’re using the right platforms to sell your products, you need to know who your target audience is and what platforms they’re already using. It’s no use targeting a 65+ audience on TikTok if they never use it.
Social media ads are a great way for ecommerce brands to reach their audience, raise brand awareness, and promote their products. Social media ad spending is predicted to reach $154 billion by the end of 2021 (Source: Statista). Chances are, it’s going to be higher in 2022.
And with 51% of digital buyers saying social media ads influence their purchasing decisions, it’s clear that paid ads have a role to play in generating sales (Source: Statista).
Mobile will also become popular for ecommerce stores, as $193 billion of total ad spend will be generated through mobile in 2025 (Source: Statista).
Key takeaway: Social commerce is getting more popular, and paid ads play a vital role.
Actionable advice: Figure out which platforms you can use to reach your target audience, and create a strategy to use social media as part of your sales process. It could be creating an ecommerce store on the platform itself or using paid ads to direct people to your website.
Shopping with voice
Shopping with voice involves using a voice-assisted device to search and buy products. The most popular smart speakers are the Amazon Echo, Google Nest, and HomePod (Source: Statista).
In 2020, 23 million consumers used voice assistants to buy online (Source: Pymnts). And studies suggest that ecommerce transactions will increase to $4.6 billion this year as voice assistant devices improve the efficiency of the checkout process (Source: Juniper Research).
(Source: Juniper Research)
But despite the clear increase in voice shopping, there’s still room for growth.
The most common task with a smart speaker is checking the weather (65%). The least common is ordering or reordering products (5%) (Source: Forrester).
Not to mention 59% of people agree or strongly agree that it’s frustrating when their speaker doesn’t understand them (Source: Perficient).
So yes, there is an increase in shopping with voice, and this trend will continue throughout 2022. But there’s still room for the industry to grow and improve as users start turning to voice more often.
Key takeaway: Voice shopping will get more popular over the next few years, but there’s still room for the industry to improve.
Actionable advice: To get ahead of the curve, optimize your ecommerce store for voice search. This involves understanding the phrases that people are searching with voice (chances are they’ll be slightly different to the searches people type). Once you know the phrases you want to target, you can optimize your site accordingly.
The last couple of years have shown us that consumers want a personalized experience when shopping online. In fact, more than 3 in 4 consumers have said they want this (Source: Net Core Cloud)
Despite this, nearly all (96%) of online retailers have encountered trouble with personalization (Source: Net Core Cloud).
Whether that’s through lack of appropriate tools, not having adequate IT bandwidth, or struggling to align internal communications, challenges continue to arise.
(Source: Net Core Cloud)
On average, personalization helps retailers increase conversions by 45%. And 60% of retailers also see their average order value increase by 10% (Source: Net Core Cloud).
With online consumers becoming more selective and thoughtful with their purchases, retailers need to crack personalization in 2022 to keep their audience engaged and experience sales growth.
Key takeaway: Consumers want a personalized experience.
Actionable advice: Understand what your customers want and create a customer journey that’s tailored to their needs. This could involve using targeted ads, emails, or personalizing your landing pages.
New ecommerce trends for 2022
Let’s outline some of the key ecommerce trends we can expect to see in 2022, looking especially closely at what consumers want from online brands.
Greater accountability and transparency from brands
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers' attitudes have changed toward brands they’re buying from.
They now have a desire to buy from brands that show they care about local, environmental, and social issues.
In fact, 58% of consumers say a brand’s social activism impacts their impression of a brand — including whether they choose to buy from that brand (Source: Jungle Scout). And 80% of people prefer buying from brands whose actions align with their beliefs and values (Source: KPMG).
Throughout 2022, ecommerce brands will need to incorporate this into their marketing and sales strategies, especially if they want to stand out in an already saturated market. Customers want relationships with brands that have solid values, so don’t be afraid to speak up and be clear about what your company stands for.
Consumers want personalization
We’ve already touched on this, but it’s important to make sure this hits home.
Today’s consumer is much more digitally aware than pre-pandemic. They have high expectations, and a personalized experience is a great way to nurture your prospects through the sales funnel.
In 2022, digital commerce businesses need to perfect the art of personalization. This means reviewing every stage of the customer journey, understanding customer behavior, and making sure that you customize the buying experience as much as you possibly can.
A convenient and seamless buying experience
Convenience is one of the top reasons people choose to shop online (Source: Jungle Scout). They want the experience to be easy, straightforward, and efficient.
Ecommerce stores that don’t create a smooth buying process are likely to lose out on sales. Even something as simple as page-load time can impact conversions (online conversion rates drop by 4.42% with each additional second of load time) (Source: Portent).
By 2022, ecommerce businesses will need to up their game. Internet users have a lot of choices when it comes to online shopping, and if your store isn’t up to scratch, they won’t hang around.
Grow and develop your ecommerce business in 2022
By now, you should have a solid insight into what you can expect from ecommerce in 2022. Of course, things might change. But you’ve got an understanding of what happened throughout 2020-2021, which gives you a solid foundation to make informed decisions.
For more insight into how you can grow and develop an ecommerce business, take a look at our consumer sustainability report.