The way consumers make buying decisions has seen a significant shift in the age of smartphones and social media. The United States saw eCommerce pass $1 trillion in online retail sale for the first time ever in 2022.
While we have many statistics to tell us that the shopping experience has expanded more and more online, the role of the human component has actually become more important.
Emplifi surveyed more than 2,000 modern consumers and nearly 90% said that real-life customer ratings and reviews have the greatest impact on purchasing decisions. Modern consumers seek diverse types of social proof – with a focus on authenticity – along the path to purchase.
That’s important for brands to remember as they adapt and deploy their eCommerce strategies. Let’s evaluate some of the top eCommerce statistics, and what that could mean for your brand.
Top global eCommerce statistics
The global eCommerce market is expected to reach more than $8.1 trillion in transactions by 2026, and those purchases will account for 24% of all retail. That means your brand has to evaluate its customer journey by meeting shoppers where they are, whether that’s across borders or devices.
Here are some other key stats to consider for eCommerce globally:
1. Asia-Pacific is the leader in eCommerce adoption and innovation
Asia-Pacific (APAC) is the leading region for eCommerce, and right now, it’s not even close. China alone is projected to outpace the United States in eCommerce sales by nearly 10 times the U.S. value.
This growth is fueled by rapid urbanization, increased smartphone penetration, and emerging economies like India, which could rank first among all nations in eCommerce annual growth rate (14%) between 2023-2027.
The lesson for brands is that customers within this region could expect a more robust and mature eCommerce experience, featuring things like livestream video shopping and native-language customer care.
2. Latin America could see rapid eCommerce growth in the coming years
While APAC leads in terms of volume, Latin America is experiencing explosive growth rates in eCommerce, with an expected annual growth rate of around 22% (2023-2026). Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico are leading this charge, each exceeding the expected global growth rate (11%).
3. Follow the rise of cross-border shopping
Approximately 57% of online shoppers have made an international purchase, indicating the significance of cross-border eCommerce, meaning if a shopper can’t find what they are looking for domestically, modern consumers will find it regardless of location. These shoppers are savvy and will continue hunting for products that meet their needs from international retailers, even if it requires longer delivery times or considerations for delivery fees.
Top social commerce statistics
Digital commerce is driving the future of retail and business, but it’s the rise of social’s role in eCommerce that has truly fueled a rapid shift in how modern consumers shop. Brands must now deploy user-generated content (UGC), authentic ratings and reviews, and influencers to connect and convert shoppers across the customer journey.
4. Shoppers look to Instagram for their next purchase
Instagram has more than two billion monthly active users, and importantly for eCommerce, 70% of shoppers utilize Instagram for their next purchase, according to the platform. The platform has huge potential as a sales driver for your brand.
5. TikTok is rising in influence as a social commerce platform
TikTok is the channel of choice for younger generations, and it’s starting to flex its muscle as an eCommerce force. Hashtags like #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt have over 72 billion views offering a host of day-to-day products that surge in popularity and sales courtesy of the platform. This means it’s worth watching, listening, and identifying opportunities for your brand to test the waters of TikTok.
6. Customers look to their peers to aid their decision-making
According to an Emplifi survey, online customer ratings and reviews are the #1 factor when consumers research a product online, which outranked price, return policy, and shipping costs.
7. Customers want to see it and hear it when it comes to purchase options
That same survey highlighted the importance of pictures or videos from real people, as 54% said they always or regularly research those before purchasing an item. That means the reviews and interactions from other real-life customers in the form of photos and videos make a significant impact in converting shoppers.
8. UGC supports a cascade of potential purchases
This underscores the role of UGC for social commerce as it can bring your products to life while validating their interest. And once those shoppers have made their purchase, 85% of people are willing to grant permission for brands to utilize their content. Happy customers lead to loyal customers, which informs new customers making UGC an important part of an infinite loop of discovery.
9. Influencers remain influential in spreading marketing investment
Influencers – both large and small – remain useful for connecting with potential audiences, and their reach can help stretch marketing efforts as well. Brands generate $6.50 for every $1 spent in influencer marketing on average.
10. Integration of digital wallets is a must for your eCommerce strategy
Digital wallets are a significant factor for shoppers, accounting for 49% of transactions globally and projected to be 56% by 2026. In today’s market, brands must close the customer experience gap, meaning as modern consumers intertwine more with their mobile device, eCommerce must follow suit.
11. Live video can drive customer service and increase average order value (AOV)
The more that eCommerce evolves to flow with the day-to-day routine of all consumers, the more important it is to replicate the in-store experience with options for human connection. British retail Bensons for Beds deployed live video shopping with Emplifi Live Advisor product to aid in Black Friday sales and saw a 20% increase in their online AOV.
12. Return policies are as important as your plan for purchase
An IMRG report found that more than 60% of customers will review the store’s return policy before making a purchase. Just make sure the support and service around this step in a customer journey is clear and honest.
How should your brand use these eCommerce statistics?
The world of eCommerce continues to evolve, which is why current trends don’t always remain current. It’s best to focus on authenticity and customer experience as the channels and behaviors of your customers continue to change. Here are some other key considerations:
Invest in mobile: The increase in mobile shopping means businesses should optimize their websites for mobile view, invest in mobile ads, and ensure the mobile checkout process is as seamless as it is on desktop.
Simplify the checkout process: Given its importance to consumers, businesses should prioritize streamlining the checkout process. This might mean reducing the number of steps, offering a guest checkout option, or incorporating more payment methods like digital wallets.
Leverage social proof: With the emergence of social shopping, businesses should ensure they have a strong presence on platforms their target audience uses. Integrating shopping features on these platforms can also provide a direct sales channel. This offers a place for UGC, ratings and reviews, and influencers across your customer journey.
Embrace personalization: Using analytics tools and AI marketing, businesses can offer tailor-made experiences to users, increasing the likelihood of sales. This includes personalized email campaigns, product recommendations, and content.
Deploy video to improve experience: Humans love video, and options like one-to-one live video shopping offer a unique touchpoint for customers to both amplify opportunities for conversation and customer care. Add in the power of livestream video shopping – particularly paired with influencers – and your brand can leverage an engaging and authentic way to connect with shoppers.
Clear return policies: Ensure return policies are transparent, fair, and easily accessible. A generous return policy can increase trust and potentially lead to more sales, and many brands are starting to utilize dark stores as a way of serving a variety of customer touchpoints.
Consider a social commerce platform to aid your eCommerce strategy.
You need more than just statistics. Actively adjusting your eCommerce strategy to keep pace with the modern consumer is impossible without an end-to-end platform helping you source new trends, identify authentic content, deploy tools to connect and convert customers, and track performance overall.
If you’re interested in how Emplifi can support your plan across the entire customer journey, let us walk you through a demo of how our Social Commerce solution can help you connect, convert, and care for the modern consumer.