eCommerce in 2019 pushed through many tremors & survived the onslaught of various changes to come out on top. A lot of innovations happened at the end of the decade. It’s impossible to say how much of it would stay & maintain its momentum in the coming year.
Brands constantly evolved & pushed the envelope to stride into 2020. At the decade end, eCommerce proved to be more mobile-centric than ever before.
With the emergence of smartphones, mobile eCommerce went through the roof, something that was unheard of in early 2010. Thus, this begs the question, if the eCommerce store owners will incorporate such eCommerce developments into their business to choose to persist with their legacy solutions.
In 2019, e-retail sales accounted for 14.1 percent of all retail sales worldwide – Statista (August)
The above stat tells us; that online shopping is becoming more popular than ever. As such, it is paramount that every merchant can create a compelling user experience on their ecommerce store. Simply showing the value proposition is worth nothing if visitors are put-off by the website’s aesthetics.
In Q3 of 2019, adjusted U.S. retail eCommerce sales amounted to over $154.54 billion – Statista
In 2019 WooCommerce released the 3.8 updates, Shopify launched Shopify Chat, Google started using performance badges for loading times on sites & Cyber 5 (explained below) was even more profitable than last year.
With every new eCommerce change comes a new set of buyer expectations — ones that apply to your business. Whether you’re ready or not. Consumers don’t care how much time & money you have to invest to make personalization work. If your competitor is doing it, the assumption is that you can, too.
So, if you are still on the fence, these eCommerce patterns from 2019 will prove to you that eCommerce isn’t slowing down anytime soon, it’s here to stay. So, let's dive in & review the year 2019 for eCommerce.
2019 was a huge year for eCommerce, so we felt; it warranted an assessment. How did it fare & what remarkable insights did we acquire? Let’s breakdown the numbers & review what these metrics are telling us.
Factors - eCommerce Statistics in 2019
Content in 2019, became even more integral to any company’s overall ability to grow & scale their business. Procurement officers don’t settle for a B2B seller’s site that lacks the basic SKU information. Info on SKU’s is a prerequisite for massive investments.
Today 62% of B2B buyers make a business decision based on online content – Blue Corona
In the absence of adequate content, B2B buyers find themselves short on vital info needed to finalize an order. Content could mean, Whitepapers, Case Studies, Brochures, PPT’s, Spec sheets, etc.
Even in B2C, the SKU information must be upfront and clear. Have a content strategy in place. Make it short, crisp, and appealing - Value user-experience at every point on the page. The value of your products should be visible & well explained from the moment a buyer lands on your store.
51% of B2B marketers create visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy - HubSpot
One of the reasons is, B2B buying goes through several reconsiderations in the purchasing department. The Buying process is made up of at least 5-6 people. Instant purchases are not a thing here. Corporate takes its own sweet time to examine every little detail. A sale never happens on the first visit.
Analytical tools (86%) & email software (85%) are the top 2 tools used by B2B brands to assist with their Content Marketing – CMI
An eager visitor who has come this far is ready to place an order. Don’t give them a reason to change their minds. If a company wishes to eliminate abandonment & create more frictionless conversions – they must find a way to improve the Checkout experience.
22% of B2B Buyers Switched Suppliers because of a difficult Checkout Process - Marketing Charts
A right checkout page is something that reduces the time & effort it takes to complete the process. Declutter the Checkout interface. B2B buyers don’t want to go through an efforted Checkout session.
28% of US B2C customers abandoned carts because of a complicated checkout process – Baymard
The seller must create a streamlined experience with the ability of One-Page Checkout, no unexpected rate changes, a sense of trust & security (Trust Seals), a sea of payment options & enable a pain-free mobile experience.
17% of US B2C customers abandoned carts because they didn’t trust the site - Baymard
In B2B, try to include a Bulk-ordering option, fewer form-fields & plenty of customizability options to enhance the likelihood of order placement. Even go on to A/B test different Checkout versions.
Omnichannel growth; has led to brands establishing themselves on every touchpoint. The Millennial demographic isn’t glued to their desktop all the time; they prefer to browse on varied devices. Your audience is now more mobile-friendly than ever.
93% of Millennials have compared online deals using a mobile device – Statista
Buyers often research on one device & end up completing the order on another. Not being limited to one, allows buyers the opportunity to avail offers exclusively locked to another device. Thus, sellers must sit on every touchpoint & then interconnect these for better order management.
Mobile shoppers spent 46% more on Cyber Monday in 2019 than in 2018 – Get Elastic
Follow a mobile-first approach & then work your way up to larger devices. Gone are the days when physical channels were enough. Nowadays, even an eCommerce website doesn’t cut it; you’d need to make it Responsive or introduce a Native Mobile app to fulfill buyer requirements.
Smartphones accounted for 65% of Retail Site Visits Worldwide – Statista (Quarter 1)
Cyber 5 Period
Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday is a dominant period in eCommerce – more sales happen during this period than at any other time. This phase brings in record shoppers & sales for many retailers. The influx of buyers will wipe through most SKU’s – leaving most retailers seeing OOS.
During the Cyber 5 period, online sales hit $28.49 Billion up from $24.21 Billion last year – Adobe
According to Adobe, by day, the online sales grew 14.5% year over year on Thanksgiving Day, 19.5% on Black Friday, 18% on Saturday, 13% on Sunday & 19.7% on Cyber Monday.
US shoppers spent a record $9.42 billion online on Cyber Monday – DC360
The figure above even beats the sales generated from Amazon Prime Day by over $2 Billion. 39% of US shoppers made most of the purchases for themselves. During this phase, a whopping 49% of the users reported that all their purchases included free shipping.
71% of the online shoppers reported purchasing on Amazon during Cyber 5 - DC360
With Amazon’s dominance & Prime advantage, these results are not surprising. Concerning devices, 73% of the consumers revealed that they shopped on their desktops. Also, as per Adobe, 10% of the mobile traffic came from Social Media Channels on Thanksgiving.
45% of Thanksgivings orders came through mobile – Salesforce
Such was the success that 62% of the top 50 retailers extended their Cyber Monday deals beyond Monday. However, the sales were not consistent across the five days, as Saturday’s traffic was 40% less than Black Friday & Sundays traffic decreased 20% compared with Saturday.
38% of sites loaded more slowly during the 5 days compared to the week before – Blue Triangle
A lot of sites were down & faced technical issues due to the barrage of traffic to their sites; some shoppers even complained of items disappearing from carts. A lot of it comes down to not having adequate internal resources to keep their sites up during peak periods.
According to Catchpoint, the top 3 fastest loading eCommerce sites during the Cyber 5 period were Amazon.com (0.7 sec), Victorias Secret.com (1.5 sec), & Apple.com (1.7 sec)
From influencers to followers, everyone played a vital role in products switching hands. Thus, Social commerce as a shopping channel consolidated itself even more in 2019.
44% of active Instagram users use social media to conduct brand research – GlobalWebIndex
Social media's immense popularity & influence have built a huge audience for shopping through it. Half the world exists on it anyways. Giving the ability to shop through it, means the buyers could buy more effortlessly. Referrals–Recommendations all also made easy via Social media.
30% Female US Adults reportedly took recommendations from influencers – eMarketer (Aug)
Some Brands use social media to handle complaints, use it as customer service - a convenient way to address concerns. Many others use it for PPC gains. Regardless, brands are spending time & money on social platforms. Beyond this, all use it to engage & interact with customers.
A mere 9% of Boomers heed what social media influencers recommend – Thinknow (April)
Start dishing content & improve awareness, then attract, engage, & retain your consumers. The ability to share means, anyone in your follower’s circle may end up viewing the content. As such, you reach a wider audience. Aside from this, rank better (SEO) & build deeper relationships with existing customers.
AI/ML is becoming a prime factor for eCommerce site owners. Many have already incorporated the same to learn more about their buyers & target them better. AI holds power to help eCommerce stores perform better.
2019’s Cyber Monday, AI-driven suggestions lift orders by 9% & items/order by 12% - Get Elastic
Track the trends & customer buying patterns, make predictions, and guide more effective actions. Leaving the same to workers will lead to errors, besides it being a waste of time. AI assistants can handle more tasks, freeing time for other aspects of the business.
Around 3.25 Billion Voice Assistants are in use today – Juniper Research
Chatbots fulfill several customer needs, from answering questions about a product to discussing complaints. AI & chatbots also learn from customer conversations & evolve to assist the user better. AI is also used to personalize user experience (recommendations).
Current AI technology can boost business productivity by up to 40% - Accenture
Several applications in industries use ML to enhance, scale, or automate business processes. Many believe that through AI, they can bring about transformational changes. AI wasn’t necessarily meant to substitute humans; it is deployed to co-exist with workers to improve the internal processes.
Worldwide spending on AI systems reached $35.8 billion in 2019 – IDC (March)
Different generations behave differently - each comes with unique perspectives on purchasing preferences. While Gen Z & Millennials spend more online, Gen X & Baby Boomers are less active in eCommerce outlets. Gen X also responds better to emails than flashy marketing tactics
56% of Gen Z buyers made a purchase in a physical store in 2019 – BigCommerce
84% of Baby Boomers are likely to visit a Brick & Mortar outlet. For them, the value of a product is better understood via closer inspection. However, when browsing online, ADA compliance is a concern area for these people – due to diminishing senses.
Gen Z return more than 75% of the goods they buy online - BigCommerce
They may be returning the goods, but according to Spivey, 40% of them are more likely to give reviews for the products they buy online. When in-store, Gen-Z & Millennials crave a more tech-savvy experience. Beyond this, Millennials respond extremely well to word-of-mouth.
eCommerce Statistics in 2019 - Various Industries
Food & Beverage
In-Store shopping still dominates grocery needs, but online grocery continued to grow in 2019. Walmart triumphed as the leading online grocery seller in the US, with Amazon trailing close behind.
Online grocery sales accounted for 6.3% of the grocery spending by households in the US – DC360
Walmart currently placed at no. 1 in the US, for brands offering online grocery, grew by leaps & bounds in 2019. It took its total tally of pickup points for online orders to 3100 – a boost of 47.6% from 2018. In October 2019, Walmart launched the Delivery Unlimited Program for $98/year.
Walmart, like a grocery store or service, was the most used. In the second place was Amazon, at 29%, down from 31% last year. As per a Retail Feedback Group survey of 1,000 users who shopped online for groceries.Although, in customer satisfaction, Amazon scores higher than any other online grocery option. Amazon secured a 4.60, while Walmart scored a mere 4.45 on a 5-point scale.
In October, Amazon put grocery delivery from its Amazon Fresh & Whole Foods Market as an added advantage of its Amazon Prime loyalty program, saving users $14.99/month as extra fees. Besides stretching it’s food delivery to more than 2,000 U.S. cities & towns.
US B2C F&B eCommerce revenue grew from $16.05 Billion in 2018 to $18.34 Billion in 2019 – Statista
Overall, the US F&B eCommerce revenue witnessed a growth of 14.3% from 2018. As more brands continue to gain ground, more consumers are starting to rely on eCommerce for their F&B needs.
Fashion & Apparel
The Apparel industry had another winning year in 2019, with many brands & digital-first retailers like Asos, Boohoo, Revolve & Missguided changing the fashion market in the last decade
According to SEM Rush, in terms of Avg. Monthly traffic; Wildberries, which is Russia’s largest online retailer, took the top spot in the fashion apparel eCommerce space. In the 2nd spot was H&M & trailing right behind is Macy’s.
Also, the term “oversize sweaters” experienced the most growth (+400%) in 2019 compared to last year, with “leather trench coats” (+236.3%) running close. The ecological trend got another boost this year, with around 53% of millennials suggesting that they prefer purchasing eco-friendly products.
Merchants using Klarna (payment tool) in the US reported a 68% increase in Average Order Value, a 44% increase in conversion compared to credit cards & 21% higher purchase frequency.
88% of B2C consumers are willing to pay for same-day or faster delivery - PwC
Many B2C brands stressed on the importance of a wider supply network to acquire products quickly from their manufacturing plants in far off areas. Besides this, many fashion companies rely on data to spot & forecast trends before filling up inventory.
Wasted inventory negatively affects the brand’s bottom line. Data helps to inform the brands about the buying process; so that they buy into only what will sell.
US B2C Apparel eCommerce revenue grew from $63.9 Billion in y18 to $69.6 Billion in y19 – Statista
Overall the Fashion eCommerce revenue witnessed a growth of 8.9% from 2018. As fashion started gaining a foothold in eCommerce, more & more brands started turning to it for selling their goods.
Going ahead to win fashion commerce, brands must master inventory, logistics, supply chain management & introduce smart eCommerce capabilities. Influencer Apparel marketing, which flourished in 2019, will remain a key strategy for many brands in 2020 as well.
Furniture & Homeware
Furniture was another segment of eCommerce that climbed another level. As per Mastercard, the home furniture category grew by 1.3% in 2019.
In October of 2019, the sales across Furniture & Home in the US was around 9.92 Billion – US Census
Mega-brands like Target, Lowes, & Amazon launched AR functionalities that allow shoppers to picture the furniture items in their homes. 360o images also help online home furniture businesses compensate for the lack of a tangible experience.
US Furniture eCommerce revenue grew from $41.3 Billion in y18 to $44.4 Billion in y19 - Statista
Overall the Furniture eCommerce revenue witnessed a growth of +7.50% from 2018. Businesses have started to give customers better service than usual. Brands are now granting access to invoices, standing orders, real-time pricing, & stock availability.
In the Furniture & Homeware segment, the number of users in 2019 was 61.44 million - Statista
The number of users in the B2C Furniture & Homeware segment grew by a whopping 11.4% in 2019 from 2018. Such high numbers can be attributed to the fact that every generation is now sitting on the eCommerce fence for a cracking new Furniture deal.The traditional furniture brands that were only Brick & Mortar oriented are now adding a web store & going omnichannel.
This expansion gave them the ability to explore new sales channels like dropshipping, give buyers 24/7 self-service, & radically improve the IT ecosystem & business processes
The global athletic footwear market saw another spectacular year in 2019. Sneakers were the top-selling item in 2019, with it dominating the greatest number of wish lists in the recently concluded holiday season.
US B2C Footwear eCommerce revenue grew from $24.9 Billion in y18 to $26.5 Billion in y19 - Statista
According to Love the Sales, Nike’s Air VaporMax was the most hunted shoe in 2019. Searches for the shoe were 25% higher than queries for any other Nike product, with the Air Max 90 taking second place
Nike logged profits that surged 32% to $1.1 billion. Its Revenue advanced 10% year over year to $10.3 billion, & the footwear segment saw a drastic improvement in revenue by 12% to $6.2 Billion. Nike’s biggest reward in Q2 was the performance of Greater China, which saw quarterly sales jump to 23%.
The three most popular footwear retailers in the US were DSW, Urban Outfitters & Ulta, respectively, while the top three brands to buy were Colorpop, Nike & Levi’s. When it comes to other brands, UnderArmour’s international sales grew by 5% at the end of Q3 in 2019 to $368 million.
US B2C Footwear eCommerce revenue grew from $24.9 Billion in y18 to $26.5 Billion in y19 - Statista
Overall the US B2C Footwear eCommerce revenue witnessed a growth of 6.4% from 2018. A glaring number that indicates that almost all footwear brands are well poised for further innovation & growth with merchandise, marketing & digital capacities with consumers throughout the globe.
2019 was another pivotal year for eCommerce. Evolving technology, globalization, AI, & Amazonization are just a few factors that paved the way for significant changes. As per Statista, the number of Amazon Prime members in June 2019 reached 105 million.
To stay ahead of the game, brands had to integrate Machine Learning/Analytics to derive data. Following which they used the data to study their industry & their target audience - only to stay up to date on the current trends & disrupt the industry sooner than their rivals.
65% of 25-49-year old’s speak to their voice-enabled devices at least once a day - HubSpot
Developing an efficient marketing strategy for their webstore was another agenda on their minds & that too was now spread out across many devices & touchpoints – becoming more Omnichannel & non-linear.
At the close of 2019, brands hope that the new decade - beginning 2020 will propel them to even greater heights. And if you are an eCommerce store owner who wants to provide a unique value proposition & compelling user experience– then get in touch with the certified eCommerce experts Virtina.
Virtina, with its vast experience in B2B/B2C, in almost all industries, uses the best most effective eCommerce practices to attract, engage & convert your target audience. As a result, you see an increase in sales, revenue & profits.
Virtina can help you to increase your revenue, improve profit and enhance customer experience.