The worldwide ecommerce market has skilled unprecedented development because the begin of the pandemic. The so-called “pandemic impact” generated massive spikes in web shoppers, and particularly first-timers, in addition to the accelerated arrival of newer ecommerce enterprise codecs like on-line grocery purchasing and last-mile deliveries.

Whereas the ecommerce increase continued by way of 2020, the world has tailored in some ways. We’re seeing softer restrictions to offline experiences, and continued disruptions to the worldwide provide chain and output. Have these points impacted the rising enchantment of on-line purchasing? What tendencies have vanished into skinny air, and which of them are right here with us to remain?

This report makes use of insights from the Semrush .Tendencies platform to deal with these questions. We assess the depth of the ecommerce increase in 2021 and spotlight some ecommerce tendencies which are right here to remain—all that can assist you form a better, insight-driven digital advertising technique in your ecommerce enterprise in years to come back.


In {dollars}, the ecommerce trade has seen double-digit development charges for the previous decade. Visitors-wise, we’ve seen the same sample—buyers are more and more shifting to on-line platforms to search for merchandise for buy.

COVID solely fueled this pattern. Yr-over-year (YoY) site visitors tendencies throughout all the trade exhibits that from 2019 to 2020, e-tailers noticed 27% extra site visitors. If we take a look at the most well liked months for ecommerce—particularly, pre- and winter vacation months—the November 2020 site visitors reached an all-time excessive.

However has this development pattern continued in 2021? Visitors knowledge exhibits that whereas curiosity in on-line purchasing platforms stays excessive, it hasn’t grown. On the contrary, it seems like buyers’ on-line craze cooled down—if we stack Q3 2020 stats up in opposition to the Q3 2021 numbers, we will see that 2021 ecommerce site visitors went down by 2%.

What does this imply: As an ecommerce enterprise, you’ll be able to now not simply depend on the increasing market to capitalize on the general development. Because the market stops rising, you need to refocus your advertising technique to market share growth.

On-line Consumers’ Consumer Conduct Shifts


In the case of person conduct adjustments, the pandemic was marked by an awesome enhance in desktop utilization. As extra folks stayed at house, on-the-go internet browsing grew to become much less well-liked, so a whole lot of customers turned to good outdated desktops each time they wanted to search for one thing on-line.

Has this affected the gadget breakdown inside ecommerce, although?

As of 2021, cell site visitors nonetheless dominates the ecommerce trade, with greater than 56% of web shoppers nonetheless browsing ecommerce websites from their telephones. 

But ever because the begin of the pandemic, desktop utilization has grown, and through November 2020, mobile-desktop breakdown did come extraordinarily shut. After that—simply because the world was slowly rolling again on some pandemic restrictions—the hole widened as soon as once more.

Nonetheless, desktop’s development seems to have caught for the lengthy haul, and as we speak’s desktop site visitors exceeds that of pre-pandemic by round 60%.

What does this imply:Whereas we do all function now within the mobile-first period and cell experiences are nonetheless the precedence, don’t disregard desktop utterly. In ecommerce, desktop site visitors share is similar to that of cell, so you must tailor to each cell and desktop customers and supply an impeccable cross-device expertise.

What Nations Are On-line Consumers Coming From?


The ecommerce increase has taken over all the world. However as you’d anticipate, it’s the nations with among the highest GDP throughout the globe that usher in essentially the most site visitors to ecommerce websites. 

The US, the UK, and Germany prime the checklist of nations bringing the most important shares of web shoppers. The remainder of the checklist additionally is sensible, with the highest 10 right here virtually completely synchronized with the highest 10 nations by GDP. 

What does this imply: The English-speaking world completely dominates the ecommerce panorama. But when fascinated by rising your market share, you would possibly wish to think about different markets like France, Germany, and Japan and translate your web site (or like Amazon, even have a separate web site) for non-English-speaking guests.

High Ecommerce Market Gamers (International)


In the case of prime ecommerce gamers, US-based companies make up the bulk. Amazon, eBay, and Walmart have the most important site visitors share with the latter exhibiting a development fee of 21%, the very best of 2021.

Whereas Asian firms are positively a drive to reckon with, as Asia (and particularly China) has among the most digital-first inhabitants, the China-based Aliexpress noticed the largest -19% YoY site visitors drop—we will ‘blame’ the availability chain or smarter advertising techniques of different gamers, however the sample is right here.

Curiously, simply as we noticed in our country-by-country site visitors breakdown, Germany exhibits a whole lot of promising indicators. Its native Amazon web site has the fifth largest market share among the many ecommerce trade, and it exhibits the second-fastest development tendencies.

High Ecommerce Gamers by Area 


Whereas main gamers like Amazon dominate the ecommerce market in virtually each nation, there are some regional nuances.

Amazon is the #1 ecommerce model throughout North America and Europe. The latter’s prime 3 options some Europe-local manufacturers— the Netherlands-based and Сhina-based

The largest variations to the worldwide ecommerce image happen throughout the non-western areas—MEA (the Center East and Africa), LATAM (Latin America), and APAC (Asia-Pacific).

The MEA area’s prime 3 manufacturers are all Turkey-based—the nation has seen one of many quickest development tendencies, with the ecommerce increase greater than doubling from 2017 to 2021 and reaching greater than $22 billion in gross sales.

LATAM’s hottest e-tailers are additionally extra native, with the Argentina-based MercadoLibre (MercadoLivre in Brazil) and Brazil-based Americanas making up the highest.

APAC’s prime options extra acquainted names like Rakuten and Flipkart—manufacturers which are famend on a world scale.

As nearly all of web shoppers and prime manufacturers all come from the US, we’ve determined to see how the tendencies from the earlier part differ for the top-performing ecommerce area.


Just like its worldwide place, Amazon holds the #1 spot throughout the most well-liked ecommerce websites within the US. {The marketplace} has a whopping 40% market share—greater than its 5 closest rivals mixed.

If we dig into the YoY market share pattern, although, we will see that in 2021, the market chief has misplaced a big a part of the market, virtually 10%. Among the many prime 3 market gamers, Walmart (+8%) was the one one to see its market share go up in 2021.

The quickest development charges belong to the smaller rivals—Lowe’s (+14%) and Etsy (+10%). 

Basically, we’re seeing some blended tendencies within the US—whereas some gamers are nonetheless capitalizing on the earlier yr’s ecommerce increase, others, and particularly the larger manufacturers, are already seeing the impact of the market’s total cooldown.

What does this imply: If you happen to’re competing for the eye of the US viewers, the race is barely getting more durable. The smaller gamers develop whereas the massive ones nonetheless maintain a big—even dominant in Amazon’s case—market share. With this in thoughts, you must concentrate on aggressive intel and create game-changing methods that can show you how to break by way of the competitors. 

US Ecommerce Market Measurement (Dec 2020-Dec 2021)


Any market has untapped development potential. However most gamers don’t even know the scale of the prevailing market. So we mixed potential audiences for the highest ecommerce gamers within the US to evaluate the market dimension for the nation. 

We regarded on the demand stats for merchandise the US e-tailers are providing (primarily based on key phrase volumes and site visitors to those key phrases) and topped this off with their precise viewers. We found: 

  • The full addressable market (TAM) for ecommerce items within the US is at 6.7 billion. This, in fact, doesn’t imply that if you happen to had a 100% market share, you’d get virtually 7 billion guests. This quantity implies that if you happen to had been to promote all of the merchandise obtainable on the ecommerce market within the US, you can anticipate round 7 billion curiosity factors in these merchandise, not essentially gross sales, although.
  • The full serviceable market (SAM) within the US is at 5.8 billion. This quantity is extra sales-focused and exhibits what number of gross sales you’ll be able to probably see if you happen to held a 100% market share throughout the ecommerce house within the US.

What does this imply: Actually nobody can have a 100% market share in any trade, however this quantity, particularly if you happen to take a look at it throughout time, offers a extra real looking view of the net market dimension than precise site visitors numbers, hinting precisely on the unrealized market potential.

High US Ecommerce Gamers: Are Market Leaders Nonetheless within the Lead, and Who Has the Potential to Change the Sport?

The right way to learn this picture: every model has two bubbles of the identical coloration—the brighter one exhibits the place the model stands as of December 2021, the paler one displays the place it was again in December 2019. The dotted line showcases every model’s market place all through the 2 analyzed years, serving to to pinpoint the important thing shifts within the total aggressive panorama.

Shifting away from an summary view of the market to actual figures, we’ll see that the ecommerce trade within the US was experiencing a whole lot of volatility all through the previous yr:

  • The general slowdown of market development left its mark on the important thing e-tailers’ market positions—half of all of the main ecommerce manufacturers noticed their positions weakening in 2021 in comparison with 2020.
  • With no sturdy game-changers–aka manufacturers which are seeing the quickest site visitors development fee however have decrease site visitors share–we see nearly all of gamers sticking to the established order. For example, Kohl’s and Etsy misplaced their game-changer standing and have change into area of interest gamers. BestBuy and Goal additionally dove even deeper into the area of interest participant section.
  • The largest shifts had been seen throughout the Leaders and Established Gamers positions. Due to excessive site visitors share and comparatively excessive development fee, Walmart is the one e-tailer that even competes for the Chief standing in 2021. Amazon and eBay—2020’s Leaders—misplaced their positions in 2021 and are actually amongst Established Gamers, or manufacturers with massive market shares however a gradual development tempo.

How Do the High Ecommerce Manufacturers Generate Visitors?

Because the US ecommerce gamers have at all times led the best way on the subject of advertising methods, we’ll dissect their most profitable site visitors acquisition methods. However do the highest US market gamers’ methods differ from the worldwide site visitors era tendencies?

Learn on to see.

E-tailers’ Visitors Technology Technique (International)


Once we take a look at the general site visitors acquisition patterns among the many main ecommerce manufacturers worldwide, we will see that direct site visitors dominated all the trade.

This suggests that model consciousness is essentially the most highly effective device in ecommerce entrepreneurs’ toolbox. Direct site visitors has at all times accounted for over 40% of site visitors throughout the ecommerce house, and this pattern solely grew all through the pandemic and has continued to develop since. 

Paid and social site visitors share has seen little to no change for the previous few years, which signifies that adjustments come from elsewhere. 

It appears search has given approach to referral because the second most necessary site visitors supply for e-commerce websites, which means that sturdy advertising partnerships and link-building efforts can go a good distance as a future site visitors acquisition technique. 

What does this imply: Ecommerce companies have at all times relied on model consciousness, however in 2021 that is more and more the case. So if you must make selections when investing in advertising campaigns, give precedence to model consciousness and partnerships that may deliver referral site visitors. 

The Main US Ecommerce Gamers’ Visitors Acquisition Methods 

To evaluate the US manufacturers’ site visitors era techniques, we regarded on the prime three hottest e-tailers—Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

The general image is much like the worldwide one—the three manufacturers get nearly all of their site visitors from direct, and referral comes because the second most necessary site visitors supply.

But when we take a look at the YoY site visitors breakdown for the three ecommerce websites, we’ll get a extra nuanced view:

  • Amazon, the US model that misplaced essentially the most market share in 2021, has seen a big drop (-13%) in direct site visitors. So if we think about model consciousness as the important thing site visitors era technique for ecommerce websites, Amazon’s lack of site visitors comes as no shock. Amazon additionally noticed an enormous decline in search (-23%) and paid (-8%) site visitors, a sample that goes together with the final trade tendencies.
  • The identical story is true for eBay, one other market chief that noticed its site visitors go down in 2021. They noticed a lower in direct site visitors (-10%), in addition to paid and search channels, however realized development in referral site visitors (+17%). This in all probability saved the model from shedding the next market share within the US.
  • Now, Walmart, the one US model that has each excessive market share and noticed its site visitors solely go up, has been doing one thing proper in 2021. Not like the opposite two market leaders, all Walmart’s site visitors sources introduced in increased numbers of holiday makers, with the one exception being paid. Curiously, Walmart’s social site visitors expanded by 24%, so it’s value having a look at its social media technique for some inspiration.

What does this imply: It’s curious to see such a good correlation between the trade’s finest practices and adjustments within the precise channel-by-channel site visitors breakdown for choose e-tailers. As direct site visitors seems to be essentially the most beneficial site visitors supply for the trade, people who lose some viewers numbers from that channel are instantly exhibiting slower development charges. 

Why Individuals Flip to E-tailers: Most Needed Merchandise and Calls-to-Motion


he main query for any ecommerce enterprise is, “What do prospects need?” From nation to nation, folks flip to e-commerce websites for varied merchandise. For the US, it’s primarily high-tech merchandise that entice customers to buy on-line:

  • Amazon’s hottest pages are devoted to AirPods and the Hearth TV Persist with Alexa Voice Distant. Pandemic-related fast assessments for COVID had been additionally prime three.
  • eBay’s guests additionally love headphones, however desire Harman Kardon and JBL.
  • Consumers who flip to Walmart seem like most enthusiastic about all issues gaming, with Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox topping essentially the most needed checklist. Simply to notice, Sony’s console web page attracts double the variety of guests in comparison with Xbox!

Whereas the cumulative view of the most well-liked gadgets for a number of e-tailers usually featured electronics and pandemic-related merchandise, Amazon’s most trending inside searches had been totally different. 

Due to Sellzone Key phrase Wizard device, we may pinpoint which merchandise folks looked for essentially the most on Amazon all through 2021.

*Sellzone is a Semrush-powered platform designed to assist develop anybody’s Amazon enterprise. You may be taught extra about Sellzone’s instruments for locating profitable Amazon merchandise, boosting Amazon visibility, rising site visitors, bettering conversions, and profiting from Amazon promoting right here.

What Truly Makes On-line Consumers Click on?

Every market has its personal triggers—phrases, or CTAs (calls-to-action), that entice surfers to click on on the product advert and select one platform over one other.

We’ve analyzed a whole bunch of digital advertisements from the highest 10 e-tailers within the US and pinpointed the most well-liked CTAs inside their advert copies:


Phrases like “deal”, “free transport”, and “free/straightforward returns” are current throughout a lot of the marketplaces’ advertisements. The important thing messaging is constructed round these three guarantees, with some nuances:

  • Pharma-related e-tailers like CVS function health-related CTAs, with COVID testing topping the checklist of hottest set off phrases.
  • Kohl’s typically emphasizes its sale alert service and hassle-free on-line purchasing.
  • BestBuy typically guarantees a one-hour supply, which means that {the marketplace} places an even bigger wager on the promptness of transport. So does Goal, solely its supply has a extra prolonged timeframe—someday.
  • eBay appeals to prospects by specializing in its providing of prime manufacturers.
  • Etsy, not like the remainder of the e-tailers, underlines safe purchasing.

In fact, we will’t declare that these messages are essentially the most environment friendly, but when ecommerce companies’ advertisements function sure phrases repeatedly, it implies they work essentially the most. 

Perception-Pushed Suggestions to Shaping Your 2022 Advertising and marketing Technique for Ecommerce 

Lots of ecommerce entrepreneurs thought that the pandemic-induced development was right here to remain. Pre-COVID forecasts additionally recommended that 2020 could be bigger than 2019, and 2021 could be higher nonetheless. 

However COVID reshuffled this regular development and predictable market patterns, driving an unimaginable site visitors surge to e-tailers all through 2020. In 2021, nonetheless, because the offline world began its gradual however regular reopening, market growth slowed down and even bought overturned. 

This report tackled among the key 2021 digital tendencies throughout the ecommerce trade particularly to assist those that make the calls throughout the ecommerce house. So listed below are among the most important factors to remove for shaping your advertising technique within the upcoming yr:

2020’s ecommerce market growth was promising an ever-growing viewers base and, therefore, decrease competitors. However the ecommerce increase has slowed down, so your advertising methods ought to now goal rivals and market share growth.

  • Desktop experiences additionally matter

As a lot as cell nonetheless dominates the panorama, ecommerce websites entice a comparable share of desktop customers. So cross-device optimization is the one approach to go with a view to supply a bump-free UX and UI expertise to all customers.

  • Contemplate increasing your goal market

Whereas the English-speaking world is liable for the most important site visitors share for ecommerce websites, different geos may help you broaden your total market share and usher in an inflow of latest buyers, therefore, extra gross sales, and, in consequence, additional cash circulation to put money into extra advertising campaigns. 

France, Germany, and Japan have massive audiences enthusiastic about on-line purchasing, so chances are you’ll wish to embrace them earlier than your rivals do.

  • The US ecommerce market is getting more durable to win

Greater gamers are shedding some chunk of their market share to smaller gamers. Appears to be like like a promising pattern, however you’ll should compete in opposition to the largest chips on the worldwide ecommerce market—Amazon, eBay, and Walmart.

It looks like the one profitable technique right here is to be taught in regards to the competitors out and in and give you sturdy artistic methods that can show you how to beat the stronger rivals. 

  • Prioritize model consciousness campaigns over the whole lot else

The post-pandemic period of ecommerce is marked by the rise of direct site visitors. And in contrast to many different tendencies that disappeared throughout 2021, this one seems to have caught. So model consciousness campaigns are the important thing to serving to you entice extra guests and broaden your market share. Something that brings you referral site visitors—co-marketing campaigns, varied partnerships, and link-building—also needs to be inside your focus.

  • Frequently examine your premises

Whereas we’ve tried to focus on ecommerce tendencies which are right here to remain for the lengthy haul, the trade adjustments very quick. So that you’ll at all times be navigating uncharted waters and making an attempt new issues, new platforms, and new techniques. To try this efficiently, you want all of the insights you may get—from each the market and the competitors. Semrush .Tendencies does simply that.

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