Nick Schäferhoff

Editor in Chief

There are over 12 million eCommerce sites in the world and around 576,000 new websites created daily. This number continues to grow in 2021. If you are one of the many that run an online business, you know the landscape is ever changing and 2020 brought on several changes, to say the least.

If you say your business wasn’t affected by the pandemic, we wouldn’t believe you. If anything, the pandemic amplified the eCommerce industry. Consumers have embraced new shopping habits and it forced companies to adapt quickly. 

So, how exactly is the eCommerce industry doing and how can you prepare your business for 2021? In this guide, we dissect the most important eCommerce statistics, facts, figures, and trends to help boost your sales this year.

Important note: Our statistics round-up includes the latest research and industry trends. As we are dealing with unprecedented times, it’s hard to say how things will unroll further. But for 2021, we expect that the outlined trends, behaviors, and shopping patterns will remain strong.

General eCommerce Website Statistics

General eCommerce Website Statistics

One thing is for sure, the growth of eCommerce has accelerated in the past few years and 2020 was no exception. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced many small businesses to close, it didn’t stop people from creating online stores.

With that said, WordPress reigns as the number one CMS powering websites and Shopify saw a huge surge in new shops created at the start of the pandemic. Below are a few additional statistics that sum up the biggest changes in eCommerce in the past year.

U.S. eCommerce sales reached $794.5 billion in 2020 — a growth of 32.4% YoY.

(eMarketer)
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in the eCommerce industry will reach near 450,000 jobs by 2026.

(BLS)
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New stores created on Shopify grew 62% between March 13, 2020 and April 24, 2020.

(Shopify)
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WordPress powers 39.5% of all websites in 2021.

(W3techs) wordpress website
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Around 95% of all purchases are expected to be via eCommerce by 2040.

(Nasdaq) shopping bag
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In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online.

(Statista)
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Shopper priorities changed in 2020 and businesses had to adapt. Whether that was implementing an eCommerce solution for the first time or selling hand sanitizers and face masks online, organizations were forced to pivot their strategy and their products.

The pandemic not only affected consumer behavior but B2B buyer and seller behavior as well. Many B2B buyers and sellers were forced to go digital, and now prefer the new digital reality. Of B2B digital buyers, only 20% say they want traditional in-person sales to return.

The shift to digital interactions has solved some of the previous pain points B2B buyers were experiencing. Remote communications have made it easier for buyers to identify and evaluate new suppliers, place orders, and arrange services. This has also increased the speed and convenience of these services, which has enhanced customer satisfaction. The stats below provide additional context into the B2B eCommerce landscape in 2021.

87% of B2B buyers are making business purchases on online marketplaces.

(Mirakl)
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73% of online business buyers are millennials.

(Amazon Business) millenial
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More than 75% of B2B buyers and sellers say they prefer purchasing online.

(McKinsey)
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U.S. B2B eCommerce is projected to reach $1.8 trillion and account for 17% of all B2B sales in the U.S. by 2023.

(Forrester)
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Together, eCommerce and videoconferencing account for 43% of all B2B revenue —more than any other channel.

(McKinsey) videoconferencing
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70% of B2B decision-makers say they are open to making purchases of over $50,000 online.

(McKinsey)
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Global B2B eCommerce transactions are expected to reach 9 trillion in 2021.

(Forrester) bar chart
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68% of online business buyers prefer to gather information online instead of interacting with a sales associate.

(Amazon Business)
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2020 was not only an unprecedented year economically, but socially as well. More and more consumers are demanding sustainable alternatives to products. They are also reporting convenience as one of their top priorities when making online purchases.

With strict stay-at-home orders in place, many consumers turned to online ordering for food and the essentials they need. Digital restaurant orders skyrocketed and buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) orders grew 59% in August 2020, a 259% increase YoY.

With convenience and delivery impacting brand loyalty, it’s critical eCommerce businesses focus their efforts on fine-tuning their digital customer service in 2021. If your business doesn’t offer delivery, BOPIS, or customer service chatbots, below are a few more reasons to pivot your strategy.

Consumers prioritize convenience over cost —they’re willing to spend more to get what they need.

(Deloitte)
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In 2019, 10.8% of consumers said convenience is the driving factor of the foods that they choose to eat.

(NPD)
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Digital restaurant orders increased by 138% in May 2020 compared to the previous year.

(NPD) digital restaurant
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84% of shoppers reported that they are unlikely to shop with a brand again after a poor delivery experience.

(Retail TouchPoints)
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98.1% of shoppers say delivery impacts their brand loyalty.

(Retail TouchPoints) dolly
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30% of online consumers prefer BOPIS or curbside delivery.

(Adobe)
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In 2020, U.S. consumers spent over 14 billion hours online shopping.

(Adobe)
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68% of consumers say they trust a retailer more if associates are available via messaging chatbots to answer questions.

(LivePerson)
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77% of consumers say they would shop more from a website where they are allowed to chat with an associate.

(LivePerson)
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Smart home devices will grow 630% by 2025 —carrying out more than $164 billion in revenue.

(Juniper) smart home devices
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Older shoppers —55 and older—have shifted their shopping to online, even long after social distancing restrictions were put in place.

(NPD)
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Ecommerce Market Share Statistics

Ecommerce Market Share Statistics

Where do the top eCommerce players stand going into 2021? Well, we know Jeff Bezos isn’t complaining.

As unstable as the year 2020 was, it’s no surprise that online shoppers opted for dependable big brands for their shopping. Several big companies had to adapt to shoppers that opt for contactless delivery methods and develop curbside pickup. The brands that did this seamlessly were found to be the most successful. Below we cover additional insight on the top eCommerce players moving into 2021.

The top 10 eCommerce players in the U.S. grew their share to 60.1% in 2020.

(eMarketer)
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Amazon’s share grew to 39% in 2020.

(eMarketer) pie chart amazon
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Walmart beat eBay as the second biggest eCommerce player in 2020, with a share that reached 5.8%.

(eMarketer)
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Best Buy more than doubled its sales in 2020 (up 105.5%) with a market share of 2%.

(eMarketer)
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Target more than doubled its sales in 2020 (up 103%) with a market share of 1.7%.

(eMarketer)
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The cross-border B2C eCommerce market is projected to generate $4.8 billion in revenue in 2026.

(Facts & Factors)
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WordPress has a market share of 64.1% and Shopify has a 3.2% market share, coming in a distant second.

(W3techs) wordpress logo
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Globally, online shopping has become one of the most popular online activities. Year over year eCommerce continues to grow at a substantial rate. As of 2020, the Asia-Pacific region leads the world in eCommerce growth, followed by the U.S.

With the pandemic sweeping the world, search trends changed as businesses shut down and stay at home orders were enforced. Consumers looked online to buy essentials and products that improved their life indoors.

With record-breaking numbers of new online shoppers across the globe, it’s essential that businesses level-up their digital presence and keep online retail strategy top of mind in 2021. As you plan for 2021 and beyond, below are a few statistics and search trends around the global eCommerce market to keep in mind.

In 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022.

(Statista)
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During Singapore’s Circuit Breaker period, 24% of all online buyers were new buyers and 74% of these buyers reported that they would continue to shop online post-lockdown.

(Think with Google)
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Global search interest for kitchen appliances grew; “Air fryer” rose 190% in Singapore, “blender” rose 68% in Vietnam, and “coffee maker” grew by 33% in the Philippines.

(Think with Google) air fryer
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In 2019, an estimated 1.92 billion people purchased goods and services online.

(Statista)
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The fastest growing online retail market is India, followed by Spain and China.

(Statista)
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In Thailand, search interest for “home automation” rose 95% during the lockdown and “smart TV” searches grew 39% in Malaysia.

(Think with Google)
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40% of Singaporeans said they are looking to trade down purchases for a cheaper alternative.

(Think with Google)
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Globally, search interest for “vitamin” grew by 40% in 2020.

(Think with Google) vitamin
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Turkey is the country with the highest retail eCommerce CAGR.

(Statista)
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China is number one in eCommerce sales and will stay number one through 2025.

(Statista)
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Retail eCommerce Statistics

Retail eCommerce Statistics

You should look at your online store as your new storefront. With people making fewer trips to brick-and-mortar stores, consumers have turned online to fulfill their retail needs. This presents a great opportunity for eCommerce sites to capture new customers. However, they must go about it strategically. While there may be a surge of new shoppers online, there is also an uptick in the number of new shops being created.

The lockdown in March 2020 created a surge in retail sectors related to home improvement, DIY, gardening, and electronics as consumers looked to upgrade their indoor living spaces and keep busy with more time spent at home. In contrast, sectors such as ticketing, travel, and online dating saw a decline as people attempted to keep their distance and limit non-essential travel. With all that said, overall retail eCommerce sales remain strong, with U.S. retail sales projected to reach over $407 billion in 2021. The statistics below provide additional insight into the retail eCommerce landscape.

Online retail sales of physical goods in the U.S are projected to reach $476 billion in revenue in 2024.

(Statista)
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Apparel and related accessories in the U.S. are projected to reach $153.6 billion in revenue in 2024.

(Statista)
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In 2020, eCommerce sales reached 14.4% of all U.S. retail spending and will reach 19.2% by 2024.

(eMarketer)
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In 2020, apparel eCommerce sales increased by 30% YoY.

(NPD)
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45% of Millennial apparel consumers have purchased used clothing from an online consignment retailer like Poshmark.

(NPD) clothing rack
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Computers and consumer electronics were expected to account for 22% ($156 billion) of retail eCommerce sales in 2020.

(eMarketer) computer and speaker
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In March 2020, the online retail sectors with the highest rising transaction volumes were: Home Products and Furnishings (+97%), DIY Products (+136%), Garden Essentials (+163%), and Electronics (+26.6%).

(AP News)
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The online retail sectors with declining transaction volumes in March 2020 were: Ticketing (-60%), Travel (-44%), and Online Dating (-8.9%).

(AP News)
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In 2019, e-retail sales accounted for over 14% of all retail sales worldwide.

(Statista)
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The eCommerce share of total global retail sales is projected to reach 22% in 2023.

(Statista)
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Mobile eCommerce Statistics

Mobile eCommerce Statistics

Whether you’re a student in the U.S. or a successful business owner in South Korea, odds are you’ve used your phone to shop online at some point. Shopping online via mobile devices allows consumers to buy from their favorite brands —anywhere at any time. In 2021, the importance of optimizing your site on mobile is crucial.

It’s estimated that 72.9% of all retail eCommerce will be generated via mobile commerce. With mobile commerce dominating the global eCommerce market share, it’s critical for eCommerce store owners to put their focus towards mobile this year. Below are additional mobile eCommerce statistics to keep in mind as you launch your mobile strategy.

Smartphones are expected to contribute to over 50% of online spend by September 2022.

(Adobe)
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In 2019, 57% of South Korean online shoppers purchased something via a mobile device.

(Statista) south korea map
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Over $190 billion was spent through smartphone devices in 2020.

(Adobe)
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61% of online business buyers use mobile devices to research the products and services they buy for work.

(Amazon Business)
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Amazon is the most popular shopping app in the U.S. with 150 million users in September 2019.

(Statista) amazon phone screen
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Walmart has the second most popular mobile shopping app with an audience of over 86 million users.

(Statista) walmart store
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In 2020, U.S. mobile retail revenues are expected to reach 339 billion, up from 207 billion in 2018.

(Statista)
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In 2019, 51% of mobile device owners said they had used a mobile retail app to buy something in the past month.

(Statista)
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Towards the end of 2019, online orders placed via smartphone had an average value of $79.43.

(Statista)
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It’s never too early to start planning for the holiday shopping season — especially if you want to drive eCommerce website traffic and sales.

To ensure your site is ready for the 2021 holiday season, it’s a good idea to look back at the holiday eCommerce and marketing statistics of 2019–2020. Not only will you find steady increases in eCommerce activity, but you’ll also notice telling trends.

Despite some families spending less due to job loss and an unstable economy, the season of gift-giving remains strong. Families in the U.S. continue to spend on gifts for family and friends. In fact, Statista projected that online shopping growth during the holiday season has no signs of stopping — it’s growing at a higher rate compared to total retail sales. Below we cover a roundup of important holiday eCommerce statistics and expert predictions to help boost your holiday sales this year.

eCommerce holidays season sales were projected to reach 190.47 billion in 2020.

(Statista)
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In 2020, holiday shopping eCommerce was projected to increase by 35.8% YoY.

(Statista)
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During the 2020 holiday season, 73% of shoppers planned to have items delivered, vs. 62% in 2019.

(Deloitte)
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Non-gift items —such as home furnishings and seasonal decor — are up 12% YoY.

(Deloitte) seasonal decor
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Adobe now considers Cyber Monday 2020 the largest online shopping day in U.S. history — consumers spent $10.8 billion in just one day.

(Adobe)
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At 62%, online retailers are the top holiday destination for shoppers.

(Deloitte)
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Online shoppers spent $34.4 billion during 2020’s Cyber Week — a 20.7% increase YoY.

(Adobe)
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Online Labor Day sales reach $2.6 billion, a 12% increase YoY.

(Adobe) labor day sale calendar
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42% of lower-income families and 36% of middle-income families planned to spend less on holiday shopping in 2020 compared to the previous year.

(Deloitte)
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During the 2020 holiday season, shoppers were expected to spend $1,387 per household — down 7% YoY.

(Deloitte)
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In 2020, travel spending was down 34% YoY.

(Deloitte) airplane
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44% of shoppers planned to support small and local businesses during the 2020 holiday season.

(Adobe)
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Social Media eCommerce Statistics and Trends

Social Media eCommerce Statistics and Trends

Social media is taking the internet by storm with new platforms popping every year. The newest social media platform on the scene is TikTok. While the U.S. version of TikTok hasn’t fully integrated eCommerce features yet, the Chinese version (called Douyin) has seen great success. In Q1 of 2019, in-app spending surged 222% worldwide.

Another social media platform that integrated new eCommerce features is Facebook. In 2020, Facebook launched Facebook Shops — an in-app service that allows businesses to create an online store for customers to access via Facebook and Instagram. With a good portion of GenZ and millennial social media users buying from influencer and celebrity recommendations, this integration is powerful, to say the least.

Social commerce presents a world of opportunity for businesses to scale. Social platforms are some of the most visited places on the web and it gives businesses a unique opportunity to communicate and sell to their customers seamlessly. If your online store doesn’t have a social media presence, you could be missing out on a great deal of revenue. Below are a few reasons why.

76.5 million U.S. social media users ages 14 and older were expected to make at least one purchase via a social channel in 2020, up 17.3% YoY.

(eMarketer)
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Douyin — the Chinese version of TikTok — generates a majority of its revenue from eCommerce listings.

(Marketing to China)
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In-app spending via Douyin (TikTok) grew 222% in Q1 of 2019.

(Marketing to China) tiktok in app spending
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A 2019 survey found that 20% of millennials and 22% of GenZ social media users in the U.S. and U.K. have been inspired to make a purchase based on an influencer or celebrity recommendation.

(GlobalWebIndex)
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In Q1 2019, over 80% of social referrals to eCommerce sites came through Facebook.

(eMarketer)
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Online stores that have a social media presence generate 32% more sales on average than those that don’t.

(BigCommerce) phone social media icons
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The Impact of COVID-19 on eCommerce

The Impact of COVID-19 on eCommerce

It’s safe to say that companies around the world —big and small — were not prepared for the havoc and uncertainty the COVID-19 pandemic created. It affected all industries from restaurants to education, and everything in between. But, what exactly was the impact on the eCommerce industry?

While the pandemic has driven some businesses into the ground, it has fast-tracked the booming eCommerce industry. Consumers are now prioritizing convenience and safety over price — resulting in a dramatic increase in online shopping and the diversity of shoppers. Below are a few other statistics and trends to keep in mind this year.

Over 90% of shoppers reported that their online shopping frequency increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

(DealAid)
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Due to the pandemic, 13% of consumers said they were increasing their use of in-store pickup and drive-up options.

(NPD) pickup point
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At the beginning of the pandemic, 30% of footwear sales were online, but the shutdown of physical stores increased online sales to almost two-thirds of footwear sales generated online in April.

(NPD) box of shoes
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In April 2020, online grocery shopping was around 77% higher than before the pandemic.

(NPD)
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When stores closed in April 2020, consumers made smaller purchases and prioritized buying essentials online.

(Adobe)
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Looking Ahead: The Future of eCommerce

Looking Ahead: The Future of eCommerce

The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of eCommerce. Purchases that were traditionally made in person have shifted online. Even after lockdown orders were lifted, consumers continued to shop digitally and from their mobile devices.

The question now becomes not if the pandemic will affect the eCommerce landscape, but how eCommerce businesses will evolve. With websites now serving as the primary customer touchpoint, it’s critical for brands to reimagine the online shopping experience they are creating for customers. Look at your online store from your customer’s eyes. Is it clear what you sell? Is customer service available to chat? Is your conversion funnel working properly?

One thing is for sure: if your business doesn’t have an online presence, you need to start creating one. Building an eCommerce site is now attainable for anyone, all you need is the right tools to start. Plan out your vision, stay on top of trends, and take advantage of modern tools.

Below are a few resources to help you get started: