Retail Statistics 2021: the 100 Most Insightful Stats You Shouldn’t Ignore

retail-statistics

Without a doubt, the global pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on our lives and this new reality could not leave the retail industry unaffected. Essential goods sales rose immensely, thousands of businesses closed, and an increasing number of individuals began shopping online rather than in person, shifting the consumer spending habits as we knew them.  Due to this overall turmoil, the latest retail business statistics for 2021, could prove to be a great source of advice for any retail and eCommerce executive, since they reflect radical and volatile changes in customer behavior. Thus, they could be vital for a brand’s post-pandemic decision-making process.

We may still not be quite certain how consumers will react once the dust settles, and there is no telling exactly to what extent these retail apocalypse statistics will hold up once the pandemic subsides. Although, despite this general unpredictability, retail statistics are always a valuable piece of information. Marketers and retailers can make data-driven choices on how to grow their businesses in the coming year and move forward having a better grasp of the situation. By properly analyzing retail shopping and retail shrinkage statistics, our readers can better decide where to invest and how to make the best out of these extreme circumstances.

Covid-19 Retail Statistics

Understanding how Covid-19 impacted businesses and shoppers can help you plan for future global emergencies. It can also help you put 2021’s retail statistics into perspective. 

  • Around 85% of Americans have said that Covid-19 impacted their shopping habits in some way, including reduced overall spending. increased online shopping, and increased use of delivery services (Statista). 
  • In the U.S. alone, 100,000 small businesses had to close because of Covid-19 (InventioIT).
  • Roughly 84.5% of shoppers have said that they’re at least somewhat concerned about contracting Covid-19 at the grocery store (Digital Commerce 360).
  • The clothing and fuel industries saw the greatest declines in sales as a result of Covid-19 (Office for National Statistics). 
  • In Canada and France, around 5% of customers made online purchases for the first time as a result of Covid-19 (Statista).
  • In Europe, across all retail categories, average items per order grew 60% from the pre-closure period (ContactPigeon).
  • In Europe again, the average order value (AoV) has gone up by 30% during 2020 (ContactPigeon).
  • By the end of 2020, global retail sales experienced a 3% overall decline across all industries (eMarketer Inside Intelligence).

Important Retail Statistics by Country

Every country has a different culture, and consequently, customers have different shopping expectations. Knowing some statistics for the countries you serve can help you identify the needs and expectations of your unique customers. This insight can also help you update your business practices in the years ahead.

Retail Statistics: United States

  • A third of U.S. shoppers hope to continue ordering online and collecting items in-store after pandemic restrictions lift (MoodMedia).
  • American adults are growing increasingly comfortable shopping in stores again, with roughly 81% now willing to go back to in-person shopping (eMarketer).
  • The National Retail Federation revised its initial forecast and now expects retail sales to exceed $4.44 trillion by the end of 2021 (National Retail Federation).
  • More than half of U.S. shoppers admit to engaging in retail therapy (DailyCollegian).
  • More than 98% of retailers in the U.S. are small businesses with fewer than 50 employees (SmallBizTrends). 

Retail Statistics: Canada

  • Although the Canadian retail industry consistently grew from 2012 to 2019, it saw a 1.5% decrease in 2020 (Statista). 
  • Canadian retail theft statistics show that roughly 87.5% of small, independent retail stores are victims of organized retail crime. This costs Canadian retailers $4.6 billion each year (Federated Insurance). 
  • In April 2021, retail sales decreased around 5.7% month over month as a result of stay-at-home orders and closing non-essential stores (Economics TD). 
  • Digital advertising in Canada is taking off and is expected to surpass $12 billion by 2024 (Statista). 
  • Canada’s food and drug sector saw record-high sales increases in 2020 as a result of Covid-19, but food and drug sales are returning to a normal level in 2021 (Ed Strapagiel).

Retail Statistics: United Kingdom

  • The retail industry makes up 5% of the UK economy (British Retail Consortium).
  • Remote job vacancies are on the rise in the UK, with remote IT and remote education jobs taking the highest percentages of remote job availability at 23.1% and 16.1% respectively (eConsultancy).
  • Ecommerce in the UK brings in more money than in any other European country, with UK consumers spending twice as much in 2019 as France, the second-highest-grossing country (Statista).
  • Retail sales in Ireland have increased by 90% during the past year (BreakingNews).
  • Retail statistics 2020 show that more online retailers in the UK are offering free returns than ever before (Statista).

Retail Statistics: Europe

  • Ecommerce growth rates in France and Germany, which skyrocketed during the pandemic, are expected to return to single digits during 2021 as some consumers return to shopping in stores (eMarketer).
  • In Russia, the online DIY market saw most of its sales in the areas of construction goods and furniture (Statista).
  • Spain saw a 20% drop in its retail industry as a result of Covid-19 (Statista).
  • Fewer than 20% of online sales in Germany this year are expected to originate from social media sites (eMarketer).

Retail Statistics: Asia

  • Roughly 34% of consumers in China like having QR codes on all products so they can look at them in stores and then purchase them online (MoodMedia).
  • Unmanned stores and investments in unmanned store technology are big across Asia right now (Forbes).
  • An increasing number of retailers are looking for places to rent, but outside of China, rental space is limited in Asia Pacific (CBRE).
  • Immersive online consultancy programs and virtual shopping experiences are being used in Asia to improve customer service during lock-downs (Forbes).
  • Ecommerce sales in the Pacific are expected to almost double by 2025 (BusinessWire).

Retail Statistics: Africa

  • Retail statistics show that South Africa saw a rise in gross domestic production (GDP) at the end of 2020, which led to roughly 1.1% growth in the South African economy in the first quarter of 2021 (Stats SA).
  • Statisticians predict that there will be about 478 million online shoppers in Africa by 2024 — double the number of online shoppers compared to 2019 (Statista).
  • Retail investor statistics suggest that now is the best time to invest in Africa, as it’s one of the fastest-growing countries in the world in terms of retail (Forbes).
  • The population of Africa is expected to exceed that of China and India by 2030, and consumer spending continues to rise as the population increases (Brookings).
  • The upper and middle classes in Africa are growing, and within a few years, more than half of all families in Africa are expected to have some level of discretionary income (Brookings).

Retail Statistics: Australia

  • Australia’s livestock exports are expected to decrease by 5.3 billion Australian dollars by the end of 2021 (Statista).
  • There are more than 140,000 retail businesses in operation in Australia, accounting for more than 10% of the country’s employment (Australia Government Productivity Commission).
  • When asked why they use online grocery shopping, more than 20% of Australian respondents said it was convenient (Statista).
  • Online retailing only accounts for about 6% of Australia’s retail sales — lower than many other countries (Australia Government Productivity Commission). 
  • Although the Australian retail industry grew year over year from 2014 to 2019, it fell during two different quarters in 2020 as a result of Covid-19 (Mordor Intelligence).

Important Retail Statistics by Operation

Whether you’re interested in learning more about eCommerce retail statistics, retail employment statistics, or how to keep customers engaged, we have the information you need to analyze businesses like yours. Our retail statistics will give you the insight you need to learn from the experiences of these businesses, so you can make the best decisions for improving your own.

Ecommerce Retail Statistics

  • Ecommerce sales were up 39% in the first quarter of 2021 (Digital Commerce 360).
  • Statistics show that nearly a fourth of all retail returns occur online, especially in the clothing industry, while a third of online retailers don’t consider managing returns to be a top priority (McKinsey).
  • Around 70% of online clothing returns were caused by poor fit or style (McKinsey).
  • Roughly 90% of customers expect brands to have some sort of online presence (GurusCoach).
  • It’s estimated that 69% of online shopping carts wind up being abandoned (GurusCoach).

Retail Customer Engagement Statistics

  • Three-fourths of all customers say they want consistency across all channels when dealing with a brand, while only 29% of customers believe they get that consistency (GurusCoach).
  • Roughly 86% of customers say they’re willing to pay more money for a better customer experience (SuperOffice). 
  • Around 89% of customers report feeling frustrated if they have to repeat their complaint to multiple customer service representatives (GurusCoach).
  • Roughly 64% of customers expect companies to send targeted advertisements and engagement options based on prior shopping behavior (SalesForce). 
  • Statisticians predict that around 40% of interactions with customers will be automated or done through AI by 2023 (Outgrow).

Tip: You can further deepen your insights in customer engagement statistics of the retail industry here.

Retail Social Media Statistics

  • Roughly 98% of marketers say that Instagram is the best social media platform for influencer marketing (SpoutSocial).
  • Around 60% of B2B marketers in the U.S. now advertise on Instagram — up from just 30% in 2020 (eConsultancy).
  • More than half of browses on social media are used to research different products (GWI). 
  • Roughly 60% of marketers say that video advertisements drive more Facebook engagement than any other type of advertisement (DataBox). 
  • On Twitter, using hashtags garners nearly 100% more engagement than not using hashtags (Twitter). 

Retail Statistics for Mobile

  • More than 67% of people in the world own some sort of mobile device (TechJury). 
  • Customers who have a bad mobile experience with a brand are 62% less likely to purchase from that brand in the future (GurusCoach). 
  • Around 34% of mobile customers who have lapsed in using a mobile app say they’d start using it again if they were offered a discount code (AirShip).
  • More than 67% of all eCommerce sales occur through mobile devices (TechJury). 
  • The mobile coupon industry is expected to grow by more than 50% worldwide by 2025 (TechJury).

Omnichannel Retail Statistics

  • Roughly 78% of customers agree that they prefer omnichannel engagement (SalesForce). 
  • Omnichannel customer engagement is important, with companies that prioritize it seeing an average of 9.5% year-over-year growth compared to the 3.4% average growth for companies that don’t prioritize it (GurusCoach).
  • On average, companies that support omnichannel customer engagement retain around 89% of their customers. Companies that don’t only retain around 39% of their customers (GurusCoach).
  • Roughly 93% of retailers say that enabling “ship-from-store” on their online portal has positively impacted their online sales (GuruCoach).
  • Omnichannel buyers have a 30% higher lifetime value than shoppers using only one channel. (Wizgo)

Retail Supply Chain Statistics

  • Roughly 87% of customers say that they’re willing to wait two days or longer for a product to arrive if they receive free shipping (G2). 
  • Investing in a transportation management system might improve freight savings by as much as 8% (Forbes). 
  • Roughly 48% of retailers say they have to think about new warehouse locations because changes in the U.S. economy have impacted trade patterns (G2).
  • Around 63% of companies don’t use any technology to monitor the performance of their supply chain (Zurich). 
  • Because so few companies use supply chain management tools, inventory is only right about 63% of the time (Explore WMS). 

In-Store Shopping Statistics

  • Roughly 87% of shoppers in the U.S. prefer to shop at stores that have self-checkout or touchless checkout options (BusinessWire). 
  • Around 38% of shoppers would like stores to still offer hand sanitizer at their entrances even after the pandemic ends (MoodMedia).
  • More than a third of customers report doing online price comparisons on their phones before making an in-store purchase (GurusCoach).
  • Roughly 80% of shoppers say they “feel good” about shopping in stores again (MoodMedia) so in-store shopping is not at all “dead”. If you need to increase your in-store traffic you should start checking some brick-and-mortar marketing strategies.
  • Around 27% of customers say they would leave the store and shop at another retail store if a product is out of stock. Roughly 21% say they would buy online from a different retailer, while the remaining 21% would wait to purchase that product in the store on a different day (GurusCoach).

Retail Customer Service Statistics

  • More than half of shoppers say they receive better customer service now than they did a year ago (Nextiva). 
  • Globally, roughly 52% of people think it’s important for companies to take action based on customer feedback (Microsoft). 
  • Around 48% of customers believe that they should be rewarded for their loyalty (Accenture). 
  • Attracting a new customer costs six to seven times more money than maintaining a current customer (Huffpost). 
  • When making an online purchase, more than 90% of customers are influenced by positive online reviews (Dimensional Research). 

Business Continuity and IT Statistics

  • Roughly 96% of companies with backup files and a disaster recovery plan were able to recover after ransomware attacks (SysGroup). 
  • A break in continuity can cost businesses as much as $10,000 per hour (InvenioIT). 
  • Roughly 75% of small businesses have no disaster recovery plan in place (SysGroup). 
  • Around 90% of small businesses close within a year if they experience a continuity break lasting longer than five days (InventioIT).
  • Roughly 15.4% of businesses don’t believe they need a written continuity plan (StorageCraft). 

Corporate Culture Statistics

  • Roughly 40% of employees are considering leaving their current employer by the end of 2021 (McKinsey), with employees 26% more likely to leave if they don’t feel like there’s respect among their colleagues (Tiny Pulse). 
  • Roughly 88% of job seekers consider corporate culture when choosing where to work, with around 46% of them considering corporate culture very important when deciding on their future job (Built In). 
  • Around 15% of job seekers will turn down a job if they don’t think it has a good company culture (JobVite). 
  • Roughly 42% of employees around the world have reported declining mental health as a result of Covid-19 (McKinsey).
  • More than half of millennials think it’s important for an employee to stay at the same job for more than 20 years (Built In). 

Statistics of 10 Global Leaders in Retail

One of the best ways to improve your retail business is to learn from the biggest names in the industry. Here are some important statistics from 10 of retail’s global leaders. 

  • Amazon’s profits rose 220% as a result of the pandemic (The New York Times). 
  • Online sales at Walmart rose 37% in the first quarter of this year. The company changed its annual earnings forecast as a result of higher-than-expected sales this year (AP). 
  • Due to increased demands during the pandemic, Target plans to put $4 billion into its business each year for the next several years so it can upgrade existing stores, open new ones, and improve delivery speeds (ABC News). 
  • Costco has achieved a year-over-year increase in sales since 2014 (Statista). 
  • Home Depot’s sales rose 25% as a result of people taking on more home improvement projects during the pandemic (CNBC). 
  • UK-based retailer John Lewis experienced store closures that resulted in a £517 million (or $709.8 million) loss in 2020 due to the pandemic (Sky News). 
  • Sephora has been combating the pandemic by putting more money into social commerce, an industry that exceeds $300 billion in China but is only estimated to reach about $36 billion in the U.S. this year (QZ). 
  • ASDA’s like-for-like sales rose 7.3% in the first quarter of 2021 (Corporate ASDA). 
  • In the UK, Tesco’s online orders doubled as a result of the pandemic (BBC). 
  • UK-based Lidl saw a 17.6% growth in sales as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak (Statista).

Analyzing Retail Statistics to Recognize Emerging Trends

All in all, in order to stay competitive in the retail industry, brands need to understand the needs of their customers and the key trends that emerge. It’s clear from looking at 2021’s retail statistics that retailers need to keep working on perfecting their online presence. Those that succeeded most in 2021, had a strong omnichannel customer engagement strategy, bold business agility, and adaptability skills. Therefore, they succeeded in delivering a high-quality customer experience in and out-of-store, digitally and physically.

A consistent strategy across all channels is critical for brands looking to personalize the shopping experience and improve customer loyalty. Brand executives looking to increase organic traffic on their websites and improve conversions need to analyze global retail statistics in conjunction with live web analytics. Similar major trends include an increased social media presence, BOPIS (buy online, pickup in-store) practices, and improved web support for customers.

Lastly, customers have shown time and again, that they respond well to personalized interactions. As a result, investing in an omnichannel customer engagement platform that can deliver these interactions at scale seems to be a necessity for any leading and ambitious retailer in 2022. We at ContactPigeon specialize in conveying the right message, at the right time, and to the right audience. By booking a free consultation, our skilled personnel will introduce you to the benefits of marketing automation and provide the support you need for your company’s growth.


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