How Big is the e-Commerce Industry Really?

The birth of the World Wide Web just over 20 years ago has given rise to endless opportunities to improve the way we communicate, do business, socialize and even shop. The world as we know it is changing at such an incredibly fast pace, that it’s sometimes hard to comprehend the sheer magnitude of this thing we call the internet and the impact it has on our everyday lives.

Online Shopping

Perhaps one of the most significant developments in this “age of the internet” is our ability to buy virtually anything online, from flowers to gifts, to clothing, accessories, software and even our groceries. Yes, there is no doubt that online shopping, otherwise known as e-Commerce has become an integral part of our lives.

But Just How Big is e-Commerce Really?

The e-commerce sector continues with a double-digit growth year over year. Since many of you have online florists or you have your own flower or gifting website to support your bricks and mortar florist business, and if you don’t, you should seriously be thinking about getting one… we thought we would share some interesting statistics with you about online shopping and the e-Commerce industry. Conversion rate optimization specialist Invesp has created this great infographic that highlights some interesting facts about the E-commerce industry, its growth and the latest trends, and gives us a good idea of how big e-Commerce really is…

The e-Commerce Infographic

How Big the E-commerce Industry is

Infographic by Invesp

If you are viewing this article in an email, click here to see the infographic.

History of the Internet

In 1979 – Michael Aldrich invented Online Shopping

In 1990 – Tim Berners-Lee created the first World Wide Web server and browser

In 1994 – Pizza Hut Offers online ordering on their Web Page

Netscape launches the first commercial Browser called Navigator

In 1995 – Amazon starts selling Books Online

E-bay is founded by Pierre Omidyar as AuctionWeb.

Interesting Facts

  • More than 85% of online population has used the internet to purchase something.
  • More than 50% of the online population has shopped online more than once.
  • 73% of Consumers prefer Online Shopping because it saves time
  • Global e-Commerce sales are growing by more than 19% a year and will be at almost $1.4 trillion by 2015
  • e-Commerce Sales in US are growing at 10% a year and will grow to $279 billion by 2015
  • There are more than 178.5 million consumers in the USA and will grow to 201.1 million by 2015
  • 54% of online shoppers are of the age group 18-30 years
  • 75% of online shoppers use credit/debit cards for online shopping
  • India is the highest growing and Portugal the least growing e-Commerce country right now
  • Residents of North Dakota spend the highest percentage (16.9%) of their income on online shopping whereas residents of Maine spend the least percentage (1.83%) of their income on online shopping
  • Illinois has the lowest average shipping time of 2.55 days, whereas Hawaii has the highest average shipping time – 4.10 days for online orders
  • 40% of the items that are sold online are Books
  • The Mobile e-Commerce market is growing year over year and will be more than 23.8 Billion by 2015

It has always been vital for businesses to be present wherever their customers are, and clearly more and more customers are turning to online shopping.

So how about you? Have you already got a strong online presence? Are you investing in e-Commerce for your bricks and mortar business? Tell us about your own online strategy in the comments below, and if you have any questions regarding e-Commerce or an online strategy for your business, ask away…


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10 Comments to “How Big is the e-Commerce Industry Really?”

  • Thanks for this very interesting article! I never realised how many consumers are relying on e-commerce. Your article certainly has been an eye opener and a revenue stream well worth investigating. Thanks! ;)

    • You are absolutely right Michelle. Most businesses, whether they are small, medium or large cannot afford not to have an internet presence of some sort these days. While not all businesses need e-Commerce platforms, they should at least invest in a website, even if it is just so that people can find their contact details.

  • Snazzy infographics Brendon, i like it
    Agreed on e-commerce platforms as a MUSt for any sized organisations but the cost can seem prohibitive for local businesses (like the local fish and chips place).
    Especially when compared to the current zero cost to social media platoforms such as FaceBook and the development of the F-Commerce.

    • Thanks Christophe, glad you like it.
      I had a look at your infographic on F-Commerce. Wow, the numbers blow me away! I wasn’t aware that F-Commerce converts so well.

      I have actually been thinking about building Facebook commerce into my flowers and gifting business’ facebook page –, but wasn’t sure the investment would be viable at this stage… maybe I need to look again… ;-)

  • Awesome to have this information listed in such an easy format to follow. Yes, numbers are astounding, and many florists still don’t realize the online potentional. But without this presence, mom and pop shops won’t survive, unless they just plain don’t need to make money. Fact of life, and here to stay. But it’s also so much fun! I can upload images to many sites and share so much info with incredible venues. The opportunities are endless and very easy tools to use. Thanks for information!

    • Hey Joe, you are most welcome and glad you liked the format. It is nice to see someone else as excited about the potential of the web, be it a website, social media, e-commerce, internet marketing or all of the above… you are right, it is here to stay, whether we like it or not…

      My advice to any florists that don’t yet have an internet presence, take baby steps, but get started today… Get a website, but don’t just leave there and hope for the best… create a facebook page and twitter account so that you can interact with your customers and drive more traffic to your website. If you can’t afford a website right now, then start with the facebook page first – it’s free!

      I will be posting articles in the future showing florists how to do all these things in detail, so watch this space…

  • Web and eCommerce offerings truly are an imperative in this era. I talk to brides on a weekly basis that tell me they are highly unlikely to schedule an appointment to check out a vendor if they cannot research them online first! If your business does not have a fully functional web presence in multiple arenas, you are missing out.

    • Thank you for your input Sally. You have hit it on the head! There is actually a study that was conducted a while ago about this. I can’t remember the numbers and can’t find the report now, but it definitely supports your argument and demonstrates the need for a web presence to give potential clients peace of mind when looking for a new vendor.

  • Online shopping in my opinion hasn’t even started…

    Bring the people into the process and the sales of product will merge into a users everyday online process this app in Facebook has got it right it is truly way ahead of its time when it comes to social shopping

    If I was Facebook I would buy it now before it expoldes

    • What does the app do exactly?

      Social Shopping certainly is going to be a big part of our future…

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