2019 US E-Commerce Sales Trends and Statistics Retailers Need to Know

According to eMarketer, online shopping now accounts for almost 10% of total retail sales, making e-commerce a significant factor in traditional retail and this trend is likely to continue in the years ahead.

The US Census Bureau figures show that over the last two decades, online retail sales in the US have grown rapidly, rising from 5 million in 1998 to 389 million in 2016. Additionally, in Europe, Enterprises Total Turnover from E-commerce represented 15% in 2014 and grew to 19% in 2017 (Source: Eurostat).

Growth per category

As one would expect, electronics dominate e-commerce sales, followed by miscellaneous products such as office supplies, gifts, novelty, and clothing, based on the US Census Bureau figures. On the flip slide, ranking very low, are categories such as food and beverages, that have a very small share of online sales. This will surely evolve in the coming years, as it already did in 2016 when shares of online sales nearly doubled in that year alone for consumable products.

Amazon e-commerce statistics

  • Amazon is the leading online retailer with net revenue of $232.88 billion in 2018. (Statista)
  • Amazon has over 100 million Amazon Prime members. (Jeff Bezos in a letter to shareholders)
  • Other sources estimate that there are over 95 million Amazon Prime members in the United States. (Statista)
  • On average, two in five US consumers (41%) receive one to two packages from Amazon per week. That number jumps to half (50%) for consumers ages 18-25, and 57% for consumers ages 26-35. (Walker Sands)
  • In the last six months, 83% of US consumers have made a purchase on Amazon. (BigCommerce)

Recent Trends

More recently, the retail industry is undergoing two significant shifts. The first is technological, and the other a result of changes in consumer behavior. It’s the stores that understand and overcome both of these major shifts that will thrive. Alternatively, retailers that don’t will go the way of Circuit City, Borders, and Blockbusters.

Online retail has grown 300% between 2000 and 2018, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. During the same time period, however, department store sales have dropped almost 50%. In 2018, JCPenney, Gap, and Victoria’s Secret announced the closures of 300 stores.

Although shoppers will probably never wholly abandon brick-and-mortar stores, they expect retailers to offer a convenient online alternative. Most brand names are responding while still trying to get shoppers into their stores for pick-up of large items. In order to keep customers coming back to physical store locations, retailers must use a combination of branding, service, and pricing to convince shoppers to get dressed, get in their cars and drive to pick up merchandise.

E-commerce cart abandonment statistics

  • The average global cart abandonment rate in Q3 of 2018 was 76.9%. (SaleCycle)
  • 58.6% of US online shoppers have abandoned a cart within the last 3 months because “I was just browsing/not ready to buy.” (Baymard Institute)
  • The top three reasons US online shoppers give for abandoning a cart during checkout are high extra costs, the need to create an account, and a complicated checkout process (these are the survey results after removing the “I was just browsing/not ready to buy” segment). (Baymard Institute)
  • The average open rate for an abandoned cart email is 15.21%, and the average click-through rate is 21.12% for SmartrMail users. (SmartrMail)
  • The average revenue per email for an abandoned cart email is $27.12 (for SmartrMail users). (SmartrMail)

US vs. The Rest of the World

Despite the assumption, the US is one of the largest consumers of the online marketplace, alas, it is not. In the end, China ranks first place for the largest online marketplace followed by the United States respectively.

According to Nielsen’s Global Connected Commerce, The foothold the US has in the global economy is slowly declining with global shares expected to decline by 16.9% by 2020. In terms of industry, South Korea leads the way in fashion and beauty products while Japan remains ahead of the curve for music and stationery purchases.

Sales forecasting accuracy is crucial across the retail chain and Curve’s powerful Sale’s Prediction engine often exceeds traditional forecasting methods by determining the impact of sales history, consumer trends, holidays and more…

“Retail demand forecasting is one of the hardest analyses to get right: Forecast too little and you have empty shelves, and forecast too much and you may be stuck with excess inventory. Did you know that Amazon earns more than one-fifth of its North America retail revenue because local stores can’t forecast accurately? Customers try to purchase the product at a store in these scenarios, but the stores are out-of-stock and so shoppers look to Amazon.

Curve’s Sales Forecasting Solution Results

As made clear in the points above, In the retail industry, time is money. For enterprise retail business owners of rapidly changing consumer goods, speed and accuracy of decision making are critically dependent upon accessing relevant and accurate sales forecasts. Data compiled through machine learning based sales forecasts can translate into the significant and valuable edge needed to win in your marketplace. Curve helps enterprise retail businesses minimize the manual guesswork while gaining a better understanding of future sales patterns and anomalies at a more detailed level.

Curve has helped retail businesses:

– Decrease overstocking by 14%
– Improve understocking by 16%
– Increase sales by 10%
– Grow profitability by 11%

In Conclusion

Developing an effective sales strategy for your online store requires knowledge about e-commerce statistics, trends, and consumer habits. I hope this article gave you the insight to help you get started on that strategy, and that you found some of the answers you were looking for. Have you stumbled upon any surprising e-commerce statistics lately? Reach out to us and let us know!

Curve's machine learning technology can help you forecast sales and optimize profitability by up to 10%.
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