7 Astounding Ecommerce Stats Heading into 2021

Jack Maden
Written by Jack Maden
November 25, 2020

For years, the retail industry has been undergoing a major shift. Brick-and-mortar stores are giving way to the world of ecommerce, where people can shop from the comfort of their homes. Last year, an estimated 12,000 retail stores were expected to shut down. Meanwhile, online purchases accounted for 10% of retail sales. By next year, ecommerce should bring in $4.5 trillion in sales.

2020 has accelerated these trends at an unprecedented rate, as the world faced up to a global pandemic. With shutdowns, furloughs, and economic uncertainty, many retail stores have been unable to recover. As many as 25,000 stores have had to close their doors this year alone. As a result, much demand has shifted online, and ecommerce is thriving.

Indeed, Covid-19 has perpetuated a trend that society was already noticing: online shopping is becoming more commonplace than brick-and-mortar shopping. As we head into the new year, this trend will assuredly continue.

Whether you’re an established business navigating the transition to ecommerce, or you’re a new business starting in the world of online sales, these are the industry trends you need to know for 2021.

1. 70% of ecommerce customers leave websites prematurely due to bad UX

As more people are turning to the internet for their shopping needs, there’s heightened importance on the necessity for ecommerce. Because of this, online stores must set themselves apart from the competition, and the best way to do that is by creating a positive UX. 70% of customers prematurely leave a website because of a bad UX. These negative experiences could be slow load times, poor item descriptions – anything that brings frustration to the buyer.

Work to create a path free of obstacles that gets a shopper efficiently from point A to point B. The shopping process should be seamless, simple, and stress-free. Embed images for a faster load time. Don’t keep customers waiting, as that gives them time to change their minds or become distracted by another website.

2. Brands that deploy engagement strategies keep 89% of their customers

To create a positive UX, it’s important to understand audience behavior. Are they shopping from their phones or a desktop? Do they like to read content or scroll through images? Do they tend to stay on one page for a long time or skip around for short bursts of information? The key is to find out what keeps a customer engaged.

The more engaged a viewer is with your website, the more likely they are to make a purchase. After all, if they’re willing to click through your site and explore your features, they must be interested in your offerings and intend to spend some money with you. Companies that employ engagement strategies for their customers keep 89% of their customers.

Decibel’s behavior heatmaps reveal where users are frustrated or engaged across every page layout and template.

Apply what you know about user behavior to create meaningful content, visually appealing landing pages, and clear call-to-action buttons. All of these can help yield positive results and turn a prospective shopper into a valued customer.

3. 80% of brands now recognize the user journey impacts customer lifetime value

While customer experience (CX) and user behaviors are important elements of the ecommerce process, understanding your user’s journey can help you create a successful online store. Recognizing the steps a person took to navigate your site can help you understand customer expectations, retain shoppers, and gain new interest.

About 80% of companies feel the user journey impacts customer satisfaction and customer lifetime value (CLV). Therefore, they believe the user journey directly affects the company’s overall success. To help create a smooth journey, take a close look at your website navigation trends. Assess page refresh rates and frequency of repeat page views per visit. These metrics can tell you how quickly and easily prospects are finding the information they seek.

Decibel’s Journey Analysis crunches every single user journey that takes place on a website or app, and automatically reveals where bottlenecks in the experience are.

By studying user journey information, you can be sure you’re providing a smooth, frictionless shopping experience. Providing useful information that’s easy to find helps you heighten customer satisfaction, solidify customer loyalty, and secure sales.

4. 74% of shopper purchasing decisions are influenced by social media

Ecommerce isn’t limited to retail websites. Social media plays a large role in online shopping. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have allowed brands to sell on their platforms, and research from HubSpot shows that the purchasing decisions of 74% of shoppers are influenced by social media today.

Social media is an effective sales tool for several reasons. You can target a very specific audience and reach a large number of people. Your information is easily sharable. With the click of a button, your audience can help you expand your reach exponentially.

There’s a sense of community in social shopping. Networks of people are sharing recommendations and discussing products with like-minded people. They’re leaving reviews trusted by other members of their online social communities, which influences the purchasing decisions of others.

Social networks are embracing this trend in retail shopping. They’ve exchanged “Like” buttons for “Buy” buttons to make it easier for people to shop on their platforms. For these reasons, you should strongly consider marketing to the 3.81 billion people in the world using social media.

5. Of all shoppers that place items in their online carts, around 70% abandon

Of all the online shoppers who place items in their shopping carts, nearly 70% leave before finalizing their purchase. Shopping cart abandonment is a common problem, and it typically happens because of high or unexpected shipping costs. Cart abandonment could be avoided by managing shoppers’ expectations upfront. Post clear information about anticipated costs, so users aren’t surprised or frustrated at the end of their shopping journey.

Decibel’s Digital Experience Score (DXS) reveals how to optimize checkouts for better conversion.

Another way to combat shopping cart abandonment is by sending follow-up emails to those shoppers. Sometimes, seeing the product again will remind people why they were interested in the first place. After some time, they may be willing to overlook the shipping costs and purchase the item after all. Studies show that abandoned cart emails yield 28.3% of ecommerce sales.

6. 22% of voice search users buy items through their smart speakers

Technology is impacting our society in many ways. While it often makes life easier, it also sets a level of expectation for quick responses and streamlined interactions. Voice search is a fast-growing feature preferred by online shoppers. Of the Google searches performed on mobile devices, 20% are voice searches. Smart speakers found on many devices enable people to say their request out loud, and their device purchase for them. Today, 13% of American homes have a smart speaker, and 22% of voice search users have bought an item with this feature.

Offering voice search helps you reach a specific demographic, as people with smart speakers are typically Millennials with families. They embrace technology, choose convenience over cost, and are multi-taskers who rely on voice search for shopping assistance. Voice search is a hands-free service that makes an easy, positive experience for the shopper. By designing your ecommerce store to support this feature, you could increase revenue by 30%.

7. 40% of stores now sell directly on social media

A major goal of any online brand is to make a connection with your audience and build relationships. This is what helps to build customer loyalty and what will ultimately drive sales. Building relationships online is tricky since the shopping experience removes the human element from the shopping experience. That’s why it’s important to market your business across multiple channels. Through multichannel marketing, you’re able to make a stronger connection with your visitors.

Most retail stores aren’t limited to website sales. They’re expanding to several platforms to reach more people and make more connections. While 34% of stores sell on their website, 40% are selling on social media, and 26% are taking their brand to pop-up events and markets.

Take your brand beyond your website in creative ways and encourage your audience to interact with each other and with your team. You can build a community or create a social media network. Attend a local pop-up market. Zoom happy hour to show off products virtually face-to-face.

For ultimate success, your company should market to shoppers who buy across multiple channels. They spend three times more than shoppers focused on one single channel.

Discover More Key Trends from Decibel’s 2021 Digital Experience Benchmark Report

Digital experience is key to ecommerce success. Between retail shopping trends shifting toward ecommerce and a global pandemic that has increased demand for online shopping, the UX on digital outlets sets your business apart from the competition.

Our latest study crunched 4.1 billion user sessions to uncover trends in digital experiences and offers insight into what frustrates, engages, and converts customers in today’s online marketplace.

See how the digital experience on your site compares to others in your industry. Access Digital Experience & Conversion: Industry Benchmarks for 2021 now.

Topics: Ecommerce
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