It’s not surprising that ecommerce skyrocketed in 2020 as consumers turned to their devices for their grocery, apparel, and home furnishing purchases. The convenience of ecommerce, combined with this change in consumer behavior, reflects a  stronger demand for online shopping post-pandemic. 

Below, we dive into ecommerce industry statistics, detailing how they’ve changed as a result of ecommerce trends that grew during the pandemic.

US retail ecommerce sales will grow 13.7%, reaching $908.73 billion in 2021.

Insider Intelligence forecast

Ecommerce Sales Statistics

Tech-savvy consumers looking for quick, seamless purchasing options will continue to lean on ecommerce throughout the next few years—and more consumers will jump on the bandwagon. We forecast US retail ecommerce sales will grow 13.7%, reaching $908.73 billion in 2021. Prior to the pandemic, we expected sales would grow just 12.8%. 

Business-to-business (B2B) ecommerce statistics also show continued growth in 2021. Seemingly every aspect of business was moved or accelerated towards a digital structure amid the pandemic, including B2B communications. New B2B ecommerce trends are allowing companies to lower marketing expenses, better manage suppliers and customers, and boost sales engagement.

As online business trends continue to play a role in everyday B2B operations, we forecast B2B ecommerce site sales will reach nearly $1.5 billion in 2021, a 12.2% increase from a year prior.

B2B ecommerce site sales will reach over $1.4 billion in 2021. - Insider Intelligence
B2B ecommerce site sales will reach over $1.4 billion in 2021. Insider Intelligence

Amazon Ecommerce Statistics

Amazon’s influence in the ecommerce space is unmatched. The etailer boasts nearly 40% of all US ecommerce sales. Its US ecommerce sales will grow by 15.3% this year, reaching more than $3.6 billion. 

We expect Amazon’s fastest-growing category this year will be food and beverage, with a nearly 25% increase in ecommerce sales year-over-year (YoY). With Amazon dominating the online grocery space, its digital grocery footprint will continue to propel the company forward in the ecommerce industry.

Amazon is dominating the books, music, and video ecommerce category. - Insider Intelligence
Amazon is dominating the books, music, and video ecommerce category. Insider Intelligence

Another key category the e-tailer is dominating is books, music, and video, where Amazon is predicted to make up 83.2% of all US ecommerce sales in that category in 2021. Amazon is also expected to make up more than half of all US ecommerce sales in the computer and consumer electronics category this year.

Ecommerce Category Statistics

As restaurants, stadiums, and theaters open up to full capacity, there will likely be a corresponding surge in consumers searching for new clothing. We forecast apparel and accessories will be the fastest-growing category in ecommerce sales among retailers this year, increasing by 18.9%.

While apparel will be the fastest-growing category, consumers will still continue to purchase items for entertainment.Two majority categories that will continue to see demand include books, music, and video (where ecommerce sales will amount to 69.1% of total retail sales) and computer and consumer electronics (53.2% of total retail sales).

Ecommerce Forecast 2021

Despite continued enthusiasm for ecommerce services, worldwide ecommerce growth will see a significant deceleration this year. We forecast that worldwide ecommerce growth will downshift to 14.3% in 2021. This slowdown is partially due to the rebound of brick-and-mortar stores and partially because so much growth was pulled forward to 2020.

Recent global ecommerce statistics also show that mobile commerce (mcommerce) will see a similar decreasing pattern. In 2021, we are forecasting a worldwide mcommerce growth rate of 18.3%, which is down from 32.0% in 2020.

Finally, we anticipate that China will retain its position as the world’s top ecommerce player in 2021. The country boasts 792.5 million digital buyers (33.3% of the global total), it will produce $2.779 trillion in ecommerce sales (56.8% of the global total), and it will become the first country in history to transact more than half of its retail sales digitally.