Following the rise of digitalization, online shopping has reached new, unprecedented heights. The trend of digitally purchasing goods and services came to fruition in 1995 following the launch of both Amazon and eBay. Since then, however, the industry has gone from strength to strength. Throughout the last year, there has been a surge in consumers turning to online retailers, as opposed to going to land-based establishments. So, let’s take a look at the numbers behind the recent rise of online shopping.
According to figures from Statista, an estimated 1.92 billion people digitally bought goods and services. Regarding revenue, the sector recorded sales of $3.5 trillion, and those figures are forecast to grow over the coming years. Globally, this increase has occurred throughout 2020. The BBC states that internet sales as a percentage of total sales in the United Kingdom rose from 18.9 percent in February 2020 to 30 percent in April 2020. Interestingly, the United States of America boasts similar figures of growth. As of May 2019, the country’s non-store retailers accounted for 30.8 percent of total sales.
There can be no doubt that 2020 has been the catalyst in altering long-term consumer shopping habits, and the above stats reflect that. The accessibility and user-friendly nature of the e-commerce market have sparked a widespread surge in prospective customers. As per data from Bazaarvoice, between 2019 and 2020, and as of June 2020, page views had increased by 75 percent, while total orders had risen by 57 percent.
In terms of anticipated growth in the fourth quarter, Amazon may be a microcosm of what’s to come in the latter stages of 2020. Econsultancy states that the e-commerce company is expecting to record sales totals between $112 and $121 billion, which represents at least a 28 percent year-on-year growth.
Aside from social factors impacting the growth of online shopping, the diverse nature of the online world has also been pivotal to the sector’s growth. This year, the advantages of digital shopping have been there for all to see. As a result, increasing numbers of people have adopted a web-based approach. Perhaps the most significant factor behind this concerns convenience. Unlike high-street retailers, online stores are open 24/7, thus allowing consumers to browse goods at their own discretion.
Moreover, the sheer volume of web-based retailers now sees the online world cover an array of markets. Aside from technology, which is touched on above in relation to Amazon, the fashion industry has also grown over the last year. Quartz report that Zalando, one of Europe’s largest online retailers, enjoyed a gross merchandise sales increase of 34 percent, as of July 2020.
The move towards digital platforms has also seen traditional in-store industries move online, such as eye care. Following the emergence of GlassesUSA, prospective customers are now able to get prescription glasses digitally. Not only that, but they can also browse through a whole host of brands, including Gucci glasses. Through the platform, consumers can filter their searches via color, glasses type, shape, size, and much more, in order to find their desired style. For example, the well-known designer’s range features the GG0066O frames, which are brown, round-shaped spectacles.
As evident from the above, there can be no doubt that digital approaches have become central to online shopping trends in 2020. The accessibility, convenience, and safety of web-based purchases have been embraced by consumers, who are now reaping the rewards of e-commerce retailers. Because of that, the market looks set to enjoy sustained growth over the coming years.