E-Commerce Insights From the World's Biggest Product Data Engine

Written by
Frederik Bussler
July 2, 2021

E-commerce is booming, as in-store shopping has plummeted dramatically, and millions of shoppers are turning to the Internet. To better understand recent trends in e-commerce, we've applied the Commerce.AI data engine, which has analyzed over a trillion product data points. See our full e-commerce report for more.

By latching onto the following trends, savvy businesses can quickly adjust their strategies to take advantage of industry shifts and beat their competition.

E-commerce has existed for almost 30 years now, with the first online retail transaction occurring in 1994. Dotcom startups started popping up in the late '90s, followed by larger retailers such as Amazon and eBay gaining popularity throughout the 2000s. 

Hockey Stick Growth

Today, e-commerce websites have continued to grow explosively and are handling billions of transactions.

Commerce.AI’s data engine has seen this clearly reflected in the data, with 10 years worth of growth happening in just a few months of 2020. With quarantines and other pandemic-related restrictions on movement, shoppers all over the world naturally turned to the Internet.

We can even find similar trends in past pandemics. The 2009 H1N1 pandemic, for instance, also kept some shoppers out of brick-and-mortar stores. COVID-19 had the same effect, but at a tremendously greater scale.

E-commerce is expected to continue to grow 8% CAGR globally.

As the coronavirus scare unfolded in 2020, Amazon stock grew by a tremendous 73.5%, reflecting the gargantuan impact of the entire world turning to e-commerce. This propelled Jeff Bezos to become the world’s richest person, even if temporarily, while Amazon nears a $2 trillion market cap.

New brands and categories

E-commerce is growing both up and out, with a tremendous increase in sales, but also new categories and brands.

With 150 million new consumers shopping online, entirely new brands and even categories emerged to meet their needs.

Top recent e-commerce categories include Cell Phones & Accessories, Health & Household, Electronics, and more. It’s important to dive deeper into categories of interest to your product teams, as not all sub-categories are made equal.

For instance, there’s far more interest at the moment for screen protectors than for cellphone replacement parts. Check out the full e-commerce report to dive into the details.

A burst, not a stream

COVID-19’s impact on e-commerce was akin to a sudden burst for the industry, fueling massive sales growth across products and categories.

While a post-pandemic world will see more e-commerce sales than the pre-pandemic world, this explosive growth won’t continue. With an expected CAGR of 8%, future e-commerce growth is nothing to scoff at, but it won’t be at the incredible levels of 2020.

Ultimately, product teams and e-commerce firms need to listen to the data, now and in the future, and be able to course-correct quickly to anticipate the changing shopping habits of both consumers and competitors.

Return to blog