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The Evolving Retail Landscape: Consumer Behavior E-commerce and Future Projections

Retail: A Snapshot of the Industry

When thinking of retail, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s the feeling of strolling through a store, looking at various items, and trying out some of them.

Or maybe you think of online shopping, perusing through different websites and checking out thousands of items with just a few clicks. Regardless of how you approach retail, the industry remains an integral part of our economy and daily lives.

In this article, we will explore retail statistics and provide information on employment, consumer behavior, e-commerce trends, and the rise of small business retailers. Employment in the U.S. Retail Sector

First, let’s take a look at employment trends in the U.S. retail sector.

As of August 2021, the retail industry provided jobs for approximately 15.8 million people. Out of these jobs, 6.2 million were held by women, while 8.9 million were held by men.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the retail industry is expected to experience a growth rate of 2% from 2020 to 2030. Number of Brick-and-Mortar Retail Establishments in the U.S.

One of the most significant changes for retailers in recent years has been the rise of e-commerce.

However, brick-and-mortar stores remain a crucial part of retail, with shoppers enjoying the experience of strolling through a store and physically interacting with products. As of 2021, the United States had approximately 1 million physical retail establishments operating, including stores, kiosks, and carts.

While this number may seem high, there has been a steady decline from past years, indicating a rise in e-commerce sales. E-commerce Share of Total Retail Sales in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant shift in consumer behavior, with many individuals opting for online shopping to avoid the crowds and potential exposure.

According to eMarketer, e-commerce rose from 14.4% of total U.S. retail sales in 2019 to 21.3% in 2020. However, with the rollout of vaccines and the reopening of physical stores, there has been a decline in e-commerce sales.

In 2021, e-commerce sales are projected to be 18.1% of total retail sales, indicating a return to physical stores.

Small Business Retailers and Website Presence

In recent years, there has been a rise in small business retailers launching their own websites. However, many small businesses still rely on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to promote their products and services.

According to SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses grow and prosper, approximately 40% of small business retailers do not have a website. This means their customer reach, marketing capabilities, and online presence are limited.

Largest U.S. Retailers by Sales and Number of Stores

The retail industry is home to some of the largest corporations in the world. These companies are responsible for providing jobs, competing in the market, and meeting customer needs.

According to the National Retail Federation, the 10 largest U.S. retailers by sales in 2020 were:

1. Walmart



3. Kroger



5. Costco


Home Depot

7. CVS



9. Lowe’s


Albertsons Companies

The 10 largest U.S. retailers by the number of stores in 2020 were:

1. Dollar General


Family Dollar

3. Dollar Tree



5. Subway


Circle K

7. McDonald’s


Burger King

9. Walgreens



Retail Statistics by Brick and Mortar Stores

While e-commerce has been growing in popularity, physical stores remain a critical part of retail. Many customers prefer to shop in person to see, touch, and even taste products before making a purchase.

Retailers with the Most Stores in the U.S.

Many retailers have turned towards physical stores and have set up multiple locations throughout the country. Here are some of the top retailers with the most stores in the U.S.:


Subway – 23,802 locations

2. McDonald’s – 14,087 locations


Dollar Tree – 15,685 locations

4. Dollar General – 16,979 locations


Starbucks – 15,340 locations

Consumer Preference for In-Person Shopping

Despite the rise of e-commerce, many customers still prefer to shop in person. In a survey by Accenture, 75% of respondents reported that they prefer to see, touch, and smell products before making a purchase.

On average, shoppers spend about 65% of their shopping budget in-store.

Projected Percentage of Sales Attributed to Physical Stores

As we move past the pandemic and into a post-COVID world, many retailers are predicting a return to physical stores. According to eMarketer, physical stores will account for approximately 81% of total U.S. retail sales in 2021.

Consumer Increase in Time and Money Spent in Physical Stores

With the reopening of physical stores, customers are now returning and exploring their options for products and services. According to Forbes, in the second quarter of 2021, department store sales increased by 45.2% from the previous year.

Additionally, customers are spending more time and money in stores, with the average in-store purchase increasing by 54% from last year.

Consumer Return to Physical Stores After the COVID-19 Pandemic

After a year of staying home and shopping online, consumers are now returning to physical stores. According to a survey by Accenture, 60% of respondents said they are likely to return to stores and shop in person more often than they did pre-pandemic.

This indicates a return to the personal and sensory aspect of shopping.

In Conclusion

The retail industry is an evolving entity, shaped by changes in consumer behavior, technological advancements, and economic conditions. While e-commerce has seen a surge in sales, physical stores remain a vital part of retail and consumer preferences.

As we continue to navigate post-pandemic life, it is likely that we will see a balance between the rise of e-commerce and the importance of physical stores. As retailers adapt to these changes, they must not lose sight of their customers and their needs.

By providing a positive shopping experience in physical stores and online, retailers can continue to thrive and grow. Retail Statistics: Insights on Consumer Preferences and E-commerce

In today’s retail landscape, understanding consumer preferences and behavior is essential for retailers to stay competitive and meet customer needs.

With the rise of e-commerce, understanding how consumers shop and what they prefer can make or break a business. In this article, we will explore retail statistics related to consumer preferences and e-commerce to gain insights into consumer behavior and e-commerce growth.

Online Shopping Preference by Generation

The digital age has brought significant changes to the retail industry, encouraging more customers to shop online. In a survey by the National Retail Federation, 67% of respondents said they shopped online in 2020, up from 47% in 2019.

However, online shopping preferences differ by generation. According to a survey by McKinsey, 80% of baby boomers prefer to shop in stores, while only 56% of Gen Z prefers in-store shopping.

Millennials and Gen X fall somewhere in between, with 68% and 64%, respectively, preferring in-store shopping.

Consumer Behavior in Product Searches

When shopping online, customers often search for specific products and items. Understanding consumer behavior in product searches can help retailers create targeted marketing campaigns and improve the customer’s shopping experience.

In a survey by Baymard Institute, the top reasons for customers not finding what they were looking for online were poor site navigation, too many irrelevant results, and unclear product descriptions. Retailers can improve product search experiences by regularly updating product descriptions, offering filters and tags to narrow down results, and optimizing site search functionality.

Multi-Channel Purchasing Behavior Among Consumers

As more retailers expand their presence across different channels, customers are increasingly using multiple channels to shop. In a survey by the National Retail Federation, 67% of respondents reported using multiple channels to make purchases.

This indicates the growing trend of customers seeking a seamless and convenient shopping experience. Retailers can meet this demand by offering multiple purchasing channels, such as in-store, online, and mobile app, with consistent experiences across all channels.

This approach can lead to increased customer loyalty and higher sales across multiple channels.

Consumer Preference for Product Testing and Avoiding Delivery Fees

Product testing is one of the advantages of shopping in-store, as customers can see, touch, and even try out products before making a purchase. However, with the rise of e-commerce, customers expect a similarly immersive and personalized shopping experience.

According to a survey by Deloitte, 72% of respondents said they would prefer to test products before making a purchase, whether online or in-store. Additionally, customers are willing to pay more for products in-store to avoid shipping fees associated with online shopping.

Retailers can improve the e-commerce experience by offering virtual product testing options, such as 3D modeling and augmented reality, and providing options for in-store pickup to reduce delivery fees.

Personalized Discounts and Repeat Buying Behavior

Personalized discounts and promotions are a proven way to increase customer loyalty and repeat purchases. According to a survey by Accenture, 91% of customers are more likely to shop with brands that offer relevant and personalized discounts.

Retailers can use customer data to offer personalized discounts and promotions that cater to individual preferences and shopping behaviors. This can foster a sense of brand loyalty and lead to repeat business.

E-commerce Revenue Growth in the U.S.

E-commerce has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with significant revenue gains attributed to the pandemic. According to eMarketer, U.S. e-commerce sales in 2020 totaled $794.50 billion, an increase of 32.4% from 2019.

However, with the reopening of physical stores, the growth rate in 2021 is projected to slow to 3.9%. Number of Online Retailers Operating in the U.S.

The growth of e-commerce has also led to an increase in the number of online retailers operating in the U.S. According to the National Retail Federation, there were approximately 1.4 million e-commerce websites operating in the U.S. in 2020.

Amazon’s Share of U.S. Online Retail Sales

Amazon remains a dominant force in the e-commerce industry, accounting for a significant share of U.S. online retail sales. According to eMarketer, Amazon’s share of U.S. online retail sales is projected to be 38.7% in 2021, down from 42.9% in 2020.

E-commerce Projected Growth

The future of e-commerce looks promising, with continued growth projected in the coming years. According to eMarketer, U.S. e-commerce sales are projected to reach $1.058 trillion in 2022, up from $794.50 billion in 2020.

In conclusion, retailers must continuously adapt to the changing retail landscape and consumer behavior. By understanding customer preferences and incorporating e-commerce into their business, retailers can continue to thrive and meet customer needs.

Retail Statistics: Key Trends Shaping the Industry

The retail industry is continually evolving, driven by changing consumer behaviors and advancements in technology. In this article, we will explore retail statistics related to some of the key trends that are shaping the industry: consumer adoption of BOPIS (Buy Online, Pick Up In Store), the increase in retailers offering curbside pickup, and the future projection of the U.S. retail industry.

Consumer Adoption of BOPIS

BOPIS has gained significant popularity among consumers in recent years, offering a convenient and time-saving shopping experience. In a survey by Adobe, 80% of respondents reported using BOPIS in 2020, with 22% using it for the first time.

The convenience of BOPIS allows customers to shop online and pick up their items at a physical store, eliminating the need for shipping and reducing delivery times. This trend has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, as customers sought alternatives to crowded stores and long shipping wait times.

Increase in Retailers Offering Curbside Pickup

Curbside pickup, an extension of BOPIS, has experienced a significant increase in adoption by retailers. According to a survey by RetailMeNot, 59% of respondents reported using curbside pickup during the pandemic.

This trend is expected to continue even as the pandemic subsides, as customers have grown accustomed to the convenience and efficiency it offers. Retailers across various industries have implemented curbside pickup as part of their omnichannel strategies.

This contactless service allows customers to order products online and have them brought directly to their vehicles, enhancing convenience and safety. Future Projection of the U.S. Retail Industry

The retail industry is projected to undergo significant changes in the coming years, driven by shifts in consumer preferences, technological advancements, and the aftermath of the pandemic.

Here are some key projections for the future of the U.S. retail industry:

1. Continued Growth of E-commerce: E-commerce is expected to maintain its upward trajectory, with projections showing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.6% from 2020 to 2025, reaching $1.5 trillion in sales by 2025.

This growth will be driven by factors such as the proliferation of smartphones, improved website and mobile app experiences, and the adoption of emerging technologies like virtual reality and augmented reality. 2.

Emphasis on Personalized Experiences: As customer expectations continue to evolve, personalization will play a crucial role in retail. According to a study by Deloitte, 36% of customers are interested in personalized products or services.

Retailers will leverage data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning to deliver tailored experiences, including personalized recommendations, customized marketing messages, and individualized discounts. 3.

Integration of Physical and Digital Channels: The line between physical and digital retail channels will blur further, as retailers strive to create seamless omnichannel experiences. Brick-and-mortar stores will increasingly serve as showrooms and experiential destinations, while digital channels will facilitate convenience and personalization.

Retailers that successfully integrate these channels will be well-positioned to meet consumer demands. 4.

Sustainability as a Key Focus: Environmental sustainability will gain prominence in the retail industry, as both retailers and consumers seek to minimize the environmental impact of their actions. Retailers will adopt eco-friendly practices, such as reducing packaging waste, implementing sustainable supply chains, and offering environmentally friendly products.

Customers, in turn, will prioritize sustainable brands and products, driving the demand for ethical and eco-conscious retail options. 5.

Rise of Social Commerce: Social media platforms will play an increasingly significant role in the retail landscape. Social commerce, where retailers sell products directly through social media platforms, is expected to grow rapidly.

According to eMarketer, social commerce sales in the U.S. are projected to reach $55.6 billion in 2023. This trend will require retailers to develop engaging and shoppable social media strategies to reach and convert customers effectively.

In conclusion, the retail industry is undergoing a transformative period, shaped by changing consumer behaviors and emerging trends. Retailers that adapt to these trends, such as BOPIS and curbside pickup, while embracing the future projections of the industry, will be well-equipped to thrive in this ever-evolving landscape.

In conclusion, the retail industry is evolving rapidly, driven by changes in consumer preferences and technological advancements. Key trends such as consumer adoption of BOPIS and the increase in retailers offering curbside pickup are reshaping the industry, providing convenience and flexibility to customers.

Additionally, the future projection of the U.S. retail industry highlights the continued growth of e-commerce, the importance of personalized experiences, the integration of physical and digital channels, the focus on sustainability, and the rise of social commerce. It is crucial for retailers to adapt to these trends to meet customer demands and stay competitive.

By embracing these shifts and delivering seamless, personalized experiences, retailers can thrive in the ever-changing retail landscape.

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