Stats to know about eCommerce and Retail trends In 2021

Retail and eCommerce faced significant shifts in the past year, driven by store closures, no-contact shopping and myriad other challenges. As we move through 2021, the consumer landscape will continue to change as in-person events return.

Take a close look at these statistics to get a better idea of what’s happening in eCommerce and retail in 2021 and how it might affect your business in the near future.

eCommerce isn’t stopping

Last year rapidly accelerated the need for online shopping, and this growth is expected to continue to skyrocket. Sales in 2021 are expected to be nearly 27% higher than in 2020 - to rack up an astonishing $4.891 trillion worldwide.

If your business has not yet breached the eCommerce marketplace yet, it’s time. Waiting any longer could lead you to miss out on serious chances for growth. Even if your target audience is focused on local sales, people use eCommerce sites as a resource to research where they are going to shop, and 74% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions. — not being present online causes you to lose meaningful connections.

Experts expect eCommerce penetration rates to reach 25% by 2025. Currently, rates are around 15%, so this shows that the growth will continue to be remarkable. Don’t miss out on this opportunity for brand growth!

Shoppers go online

Studies show that young consumers are shopping online more than ever before. Sixty-seven percent of these consumers spend more money online than before the pandemic, and this change is likely to continue. This change isn’t restricted to just young consumers

  • Consumers between 35 and 54 years old increased online shopping amounts by 57% during the pandemic.

  • Consumers over 55 increased online shopping by more than 40%.

Though the numbers are more muted in older generations, it’s clear that people adapted to online shopping during the pandemic. This is likely to continue, as individuals have found ecommerce strategies that work for them.

Shopping on mobile devices

Total sales in 2020 on mobile devices reached $2.66 trillion; that number is expected to grow by more than 18% to $3.16 trillion this year. From there, the year-over-year growth of sales on mobile devices will keep going up at remarkable rates.

What does this mean for businesses? These numbers show that more and more consumers are comfortable shopping on mobile devices. It’s become very safe and convenient to make purchases from mobile devices, and more people have these devices than ever before.

To keep up with this growth, it is imperative that your business has a mobile-friendly site and/or mobile app where shopping at your storefront can be done safely and securely. Without this, you are missing out on significant sales numbers. Pixlee’s mobile commerce solution allows you to design an app-based shopping solution for your brand complete with user-generated content to provide social proof to your customers.‍

Green sales are growing

Another essential consideration to take into effect as you plan your future marketing is the growth of green consumerism. Studies done by GlobalWebIndex show that nearly 40% of consumers consider environmental factors when deciding whether or not to make a purchase. This means that consumers are looking at recycling and other environmental decisions made by companies to decide whether or not they want to support it.

Doing what you can to be environmentally friendly will help you keep and win over this type of consumer. Plus, it can be beneficial for the long-term growth of your company. Consumers are increasingly expecting companies to do their part in taking care of the environment. Show that you’re doing your best by engaging eco-friendly customers and sharing your contributions.

Delta shared an Instagram post this year about its switch to more fuel-efficient planes, one of the ways the airline aims to reduce its carbon footprint. The caption states that “you shouldn’t have to choose between seeing the world and saving the world.”

delta instagram post

Perspective: Reopening looks different everywhere

One thing to remember as you consider the various trends hitting both eCommerce and other types of retail sales is that the effects of reopening are different everywhere. This is because reopening regulations vary, and there are some areas of the world where reopening is not yet a possibility.

When considering your marketing strategy and how your customer base is currently behaving in the retail market, keep in mind how COVID-19 continues to have different effects in different parts of the world.

By retaining that perspective, you’ll be able to ensure that your strategy fits with the real-world experiences happening in your target markets. This is another reason why eCommerce is so valuable, as there is no one-size-fits-all for in-person shopping practices.

3 easy ways to keep boosting your business

In need of some marketing ideas to keep things thriving as we continue past the one-year mark of a hard-hitting pandemic? Here are three simple ways to boost sales in the coming months.

Offer more coupons

Offering coupons through your email outreach and when new customers visit your site is a great way to convert more sales than you are currently making. Digital coupons, in particular, continue to be of interest to customers shopping online. Make these easy to find online so that all potential customers are convinced by great discounts!

Share user-generated content

Show your dedication to your customers beyond sales by adding user-generated content (UGC) to your social, marketing, and eCommerce strategies. More than 80% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising, so proudly showcasing real people using your product is a surefire way to generate more brand awareness and loyalty from your community.


Old Navy’s website showcases a shoppable social gallery of UGC from real customers; shoppers can filter by clothing type and are encouraged to add their own photos from the gallery (via social media or direct upload).

Host social media contests

While social media contests generate conversation within your online community, they are also useful ways to attract new potential customers. Nearly 75% of consumers rely on social media to inform their purchasing decisions, so when they see their connections sharing content related to your brand, this might lead to conversions down the road. Start by encouraging your fans to share photos engaging with your product or service, and offer a small reward like a free sample, discount, or feature on your brand’s social media profile in return.

As the world continues to change drastically from 2020 to 2021, brands should remain nimble and continue to meet consumers where they are: online, offline, and authentically. Through effective influencer marketing and UGC, brands will continue to create valuable content and relatable experiences for customers, regardless of where they choose to shop.

‍Denise Langenegger is part of the team at Instasize – a content-creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

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