It’s a really big industry. Huge.
In 2015 ecommerce sales in the US were $341.7 billion dollars. This was a staggering increase of 14.6 % over 2014’s massive $298.3 year. The growth only continues forward as 2016 is expected to yield nearly 17% increase over 2015’s impressive numbers. Since 2010 internet sales haven’t dipped below an average increase of 14.7 percent. What does that tell us? Selling online isn’t a wave or a fad – it’s truly the most popular and efficient way to purchase.
So that’s just US stats, right? That’s correct. If you add in global ecommerce sales the number jumps to $1.2 trillion dollars. It’s important to remember that the internet doesn’t just improve upon traditional brick and mortar selling, it gives you access to the entire world. You can now literally sell to anyone, anywhere at any time, provided you follow the law’s and taxes codes.
It’s been around for over twenty years
Some of our readers were likely still in diapers when selling first took to the internet. In 1994 one of the first online “retailers” was Pizza Hut. That’s right. They were one of the first to experiment with online commerce. There's no word on exactly how many internet sales were made for a slice of pie back in that day, but it was one of the major catalysts that started moving the pendulum.
Amazon started just a year later in 1995, although it wasn’t until 2003 that Amazon turned their first profit. eBay was another company to get their start way back in 1995. It was just a matter of time before other companies and industries picked up on the concept of internet selling.
It has a large audience
Over 80% of Americans have purchased something on the internet. If that population, 50% have ordered more than once. That’s 254.5 million online customers. Not too shabby considering just 10 years ago, online selling was something very few admitted to trying. Now almost 2 out of 10 purchases are done online.
Clothing tops the list
Of all things purchased on the interwebs, apparel is the leading category. Clothing brought in over $56.8 billion in sales last year and it is predicted that by 2019 that number will jump to $83 billion. That’s not just online clothing stores like JC Penny, but also includes your smaller outfits like teesprint.com or buestedtees.com. Heck, that might even be you if you’re dangling apparel on your website.
Mobile is moving
The author had to double and triple check this fact, however it’s true. 67 percent of internet buying now takes place on either a tablet or phone vs a desktop or laptop computer. There are more and more users turning to the convenient little devices in their pockets to purchase everything from pizza to gifts for the family. This trend reminds us all that you should ensure your website is mobile responsive. A user will likely ditch if they visit your website and hit a brick wall.
PayPal is the number one online processor
In 2015 close to $5,000 per second flowed through PayPal. There currently isn’t even a close second. ApplePay is gaining ground and may someday come close, but for now, PayPal is enjoying a nice martini while others scramble to the top.
Amazon is king of the ecommerce jungle
Speaking of not having a close second. Amazon brought in $79.2 billion in sales in 2015. The next closest online retailer is wal-mart.com which brought in $13.4 billion. Following suit are Apple with $12 billion and staples.com with $10 billion. It doesn’t seem like a fair contest, does it?
Asia is the largest online purchasing group
As large and staggering as US online sales are, Asia claims close to 37% of online sales volume. To be clear, this includes China, South Korea and Japan. On a related note, the UK can claim close to 27% of web based revenue.
Free shipping dominates online discounting
47 percent of online purchases include either free shipping or some shipping related discounting. Amazon, again leading the pack with services such as “Amazon Prime” where users get 2-day free shipping on select items has become one of the most popular and subscribed to discount programs on the internet.
The young crowd is the best buying demographic
For our last point, we found it important to note that the age group responsible for the bulk of online sales are between 18 and 35 years of age. As the youth of the world are introduced to electronic devices at increasingly earlier ages, the more likely they will be to make purchases online as they enter adulthood. Many predictive models tell us that the internet sales boom hasn’t even remotely begun.
We hope you have found these facts interesting and educational. If they tell us anything, they serve as a reminder that ecommerce is an absolutely solid avenue for revenue and sales growth. While not everyone on the internet will succeed, the tools available, like https://liftoff.shop (Liftoff Ecommerce) will make it increasingly easier to start and manage online stores.