21 Internet Business Statistics to Shape Your Online Strategy

Updated on March 4, 2020

21 Internet Business Statistics to Know

5 Statistics on the State of Internet Business

  1. 1.79 billion people shopped online last year.
  2. 64% of Americans prefer buying in-store to buying online, all other factors being equal. In contrast, millennials now make 60% of purchases online. 
  3. 92% of US retail sales still happen offline but ecommerce sales have steadily risen since 2007. 
  4. Global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021.
  5. Amazon sales accounts for 40% of US ecommerce.

16 Statistics on Running an Internet Business

  1. 64% of small businesses have a website.
  2. 26% of small businesses don’t have a website because of cost.
  3. But 28% of small businesses with websites spent less than $500 setting theirs up.
  4. Of small businesses with websites, 51% used in-house employees to maintain their websites.
  5. $260 billion could be recovered through improving checkout experiences.
  6. 69.57% is the average cart abandonment rate.
  7. 75% of customers expect help online within 5 minutes.
  8. 53% of mobile users abandon session after waiting 3 seconds for a page to load.
  9. Just a 1-second page load delay can cause a 7% conversion rate dip.
  10. The average word count of all top-10 Google results is greater than 2,000.
  11. Only 2% of brands fully own their first page of search results.
  12. 88% of consumers research online before making a purchase—whether that purchase is online or in-store.
  13. 57% of users wouldn’t recommend a business with a subpar mobile site.
  14. 40% of users have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile site experience.
  15. 84% 25 to 34 year-olds have dropped off of a previously-liked website because of bad user experience or irrelevant advertising.
  16. Nearly 80% of companies that didn’t meet revenue goals had 10,000 or fewer monthly site visitors. 

Key internet business statistics can help illuminate how your business should be approaching its ecommerce, online branding, and lead generation strategies. From something as simple as learning how many small businesses actually have websites to something as complex as page load time to drop-off ratios, statistics on business’s online presences can answer a wide variety of questions.

As you’re formulating or improving your business’s online strategy, it’s crucial to take a look at the numbers so that you can base your next moves off of real-life behavior and preferences. Here are 16 of the most interesting, actionable internet business statistics to put to work for your small business’s online presence:

Statistics on the State of Internet Business: a Deeper Dive

Before diving into the intricacies of running your own internet business, be sure to get an idea of the landscape first. Here are internet business statistics that will paint a picture of just what you’re getting into:

1. 1.79 billion people shopped online last year.

Internet business statistics from Statista reveal that 1.79 billion people bought goods and services online last year, up from 1.66 the previous year. [1]

2. 64% of Americans prefer buying in-store to buying online, all other factors being equal. In contrast, millennials now make 60% of purchases online. 

The Pew Research Center found that, with factors like price and quality being equal, 64% of American shoppers would prefer to buy a good in-store than to buy online. Factors like being able to try a product out in person and buying from sellers they are familiar with swayed consumers to prefer brick-and-mortar retail. [2] In contrast, millennials now make a majority of their purchases online: 60% of all purchases made by this generation are online. [16] 

3. 92% of US retail sales still happen offline but ecommerce sales have steadily risen since 2007. .

Despite burgeoning internet business growth we’ve seen over the past decade, almost all retail purchases remain offline. Through a survey of ecommerce statistics, Ripen found that, believe it or not, 92% of US retail sales are offline sales. [3] U.S. ecommerce sales as a percentage of overall retail sales have steadily risen since 2007. [17] 

4. Global ecommerce sales are expected to reach $4.8 trillion by 2021.

According to Shopify, revenues through ecommerce are expected to reach a whopping $4.8 trillion by 2021. [8] This number becomes even more impressive when you consider that ecommerce brought in $517.26 billion in 2018. [4] That’s a projected annual growth rate of a stunning 276%. Look for—and participate in—astronomical growth in ecommerce over the next three years.

5. Amazon sales account for 40% of US ecommerce.

According to Digital Commerce 360, Amazon sales jumped 16.3% year over year. And this growth landed it a shocking 40% of total US ecommerce that occurred last year. [5] This means that Amazon revenues account for nearly a majority of all internet business sales.

Statistics on Running an Internet Business: A Deeper Dive

Having an online presence for your business has increasingly become more important over the years. But is a simple business website enough to get potential customers to convert? Most ecommerce and internet business statistics indicate that the answer’s no. Making sure your customers completely check out, make it to your brick-and-mortar store, or both will require some careful, data-driven decisions for your business website.

Here are some internet business statistics that can help you be deliberate and well-guided in optimizing your business’s online presence:

1. Only 64% of small businesses have a website.

According to Clutch, only 64% of small businesses have a website. [6] This leaves a surprisingly large number—more than a third—of small businesses presumably without a website.

This number is pretty staggering to see this day and age. Setting up a business website might not be the easiest thing to do—especially for the less tech-savvy small business owners out there. But doing business without a business website can actually be just as difficult. For example, a crucial part of getting a business loan from many small business lenders is proving your legitimacy—and applying for a business loan will often require you to provide your website’s URL.

Long story short? Most potential customers, vendors, and partners will consult your business website while they try to decide whether or not to work with you. To win them over, you’ll want to at least have a basic business website.

2. 26% of small businesses without websites cited cost as the main reason why they’re not online.

Clutch also dug into why small businesses decide not to have a website in this day and age. Small businesses cited multiple motivations for not having a website, like irrelevance to industry or relying on social media pages. But one of the main reasons for not having a business website was the cost that creating one would entail. [6]

If you can’t find the working capital to cover the upfront costs of a business website, consider accessing a small loan through forms of short-term financing such as invoice discounting or revenue-based financing.

3. But 28% of small businesses with websites spent less than $500 setting theirs up.

Nonetheless, 28% businesses that do have their websites set up said that developing their site cost them less than $500. [6] Of course, $500 isn’t a negligible amount—especially on a small business budget. But, as a one-off cost to set your business up in the digital age, a sum of less than $500 can seem like small change for the business that setting up a website will bring. There are countless affordable ways to build your small business website, so don’t let the potential costs of building a website keep your business offline.

4. 51% of small businesses with websites used in-house staff to maintain their site.

Top Digital found that a majority—51%—of small businesses with websites used in-house staff to maintain their website. Meanwhile, 40% outsourced to a freelancer or consultant and 31% outsourced to a web design agency.

Meanwhile, 38% of small businesses took matters into their own hands with a DIY website builder. [7]

Though these online business statistics don’t offer any insight into how small businesses tend to combine these website maintenance resources, they do suggest that many small businesses are turning to multiple options for building and maintaining their sites.

5. 69.57% is the average documented online shopping cart abandonment rate.

Ecommerce abandonment statistics from 41 studies that the Baymard Institute performed showed that the average cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. A majority—58.6%—of ecommerce shoppers dropped off before purchase because they were just browsing. That said, 55% of ecommerce that were ready to buy dropped off because the extra costs were too high, and 34% dropped off because the business site wanted them to create an account. [8]

6. $260 billion could be recovered through checkout experience optimizations.

The Baymard Institute also found that $260 billion in revenues could be recovered through addressing prevalent checkout experience imperfections that cause cart abandonment. [8] They gathered this number based on the average increase in conversion rate businesses saw from checkout experience optimization, relative to $738 billion of pre-existing ecommerce sales already made in the US and the EU.

7. 75% of customers expect to receive online help resolving their problems within 5 minutes.

Online business statistics from Dynatrace indicate that online shoppers have high standards—75% of them expect to access online help within five minutes of experiencing a roadblock. [9] In other words, most users will expect your business to have infrastructure set up—be it a chatbot, or a help email with a near-immediate response—to answer their questions at a moment’s notice.

8. 53% of mobile users abandoned their session if they had to wait longer than 3 seconds for a page to load.

Dynatrace also found that most mobile users—53% of them, to be exact—will abandon a session if they have to wait longer than three seconds for a given page to load. [9] This online business statistics suggests that load time is important for mobile sessions. It makes sense—mobile users are likely on-the-go, and a longer load time means less time to do other things. Improving your mobile website load time to three seconds or less will likely mean a lower bounce rate, longer average session, and—as we’ll soon see—more transactions for your online business.

9. Page load delays of even 1 second can lead to a 7% reduction in conversion rate.

Wordstream reported that a 1-second page load delay can be tied to a 7% reduction in conversion rate. [10] As our previous online business statistics have established, users don’t like to wait. And this number shows just how much their aversion to waiting will affect your ecommerce success—just a single second delay in page load will mean a 7% reduction in conversion rate.

10. The top 10 results for any keyword on Google have an average length of above 2,000 words.

Search engine optimization is one of the most cost-effective, high-converting ways to get potential customers onto your small business’s website. But ranking well on Google search results won’t be as straightforward as it might seem. In fact, QuickSprout found that the average length was above 2,000 words for each result of the first page of a given Google search. [11] If you want to harness the power of SEO to make your small business website a success, then you’ll need to put in the time to create comprehensive, content-heavy pages.

11. Only 2% of brands own their entire first page of Google.

Relatedly, Status Lab found that only 2% of brands own the entire first page of their branded search results. This online business statistic, considered alongside the fact that 94% of users only look at the first page of Google results, shows that most business’s online presences will consist of more than just their own domain. [12]

12. 88% of consumers research online before making a purchase—whether that purchase is online or in-store.

Business websites and reviews are a must these days, not simply for promotional reasons, but also for conversion reasons. That’s because nearly 9 in 10 (88%) of consumers research online before they make a purchase. This applies for both online and in-store purchases. [13]

13. 57% of users wouldn’t recommend a business if their mobile site is poorly designed.

Google’s very own mobile playbook shared that 57% of users said they wouldn’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site. [14] Though having a business site in the first place is important, making this site mobile-friendly will make a huge impact in your business’s success. With word-of-mouth marketing contributing more and more to customer acquisition, making sure you’re providing a recommendation-worthy mobile experience to users will become more and more important, as well.

14. And 40% of users have turned to a competitor site after having a bad mobile site experience.

Creating a solid mobile experience for your website will also help you reduce your bounce rate. Google also reported in its mobile playbook that 40% of users will not only leave your site if they after a bad mobile experience, but they’ll also turn to a competitor’s site after leaving yours. [14]

15. 84% 25 to 34 year-olds have left a website they previously liked because of bad user experience or advertising they found irrelevant.

Status Labs also found that, within the  demographic of 25 to 34 year-olds, 84% of users will leave a site that they previously liked because of bad user experience or because of irrelevant advertising. [12] What does this mean for online business? Well, essentially, if you provide a subpar user experience or serve up irrelevant ads, just 16% of users in this age group will be willing to provide your brand the benefit of the doubt based on previous positive experiences.

16. Almost 80% of companies that didn’t meet their revenue goals attracted 10,000 or fewer monthly website visitors.

Last, Hubspot found a surprising online business statistic that links monthly traffic to revenue success. Of companies that didn’t meet their revenue goals, 80% had attracted 10,000 or fewer monthly visitors to their website. Meanwhile, of companies that exceeded their revenue goals,  70% had more than 10,000 visitors. [15]

Though this online business statistic doesn’t necessarily explain why traffic and revenue are directly correlated, it doesn’t necessarily prove that the traffic itself is the direct cause of revenue success. Because traffic also tends to directly correlate with brand awareness and marketing spend (among other metrics), meeting revenue goals could be a result of all of these metrics tied together.

Internet Business Statistics: Next Steps

So, what do these internet business statistics teach us? And how can you put these lessons to use as you set up, optimize, and maintain your business’s online presence?

Well, step one for the 36% of small businesses that don’t have a website will be to invest in one now. It won’t require such a huge chunk of your budget—as we learned, many small businesses with websites were able to set theirs up for less than $500. Plus, many are able to do it themselves with a DIY website builder.

If you’ve already set up your business’s website, it’s time to start optimizing it. Whether you start publishing long-form content to start earning more first-page results, you begin perfecting the mobile version of your site, you work on your page load speed, or all of the above, every bit helps.

Improved website performance is a lever you can pull to increase countless other metrics. If you’re trying to up your word-of-mouth game, to increase online conversion rate, or to simply improve revenue, getting your business website in shape can lead to your business’s success in a myriad of ways.

Internet Business Statistics Sources

  1. https://www.statista.com/statistics/251666/number-of-digital-buyers-worldwide
  2. https://www.pewinternet.org/2016/12/19/online-shopping-and-e-commerce/
  3. https://ripen.com/blog/ecommerce_survey
  4. https://www.shopify.com/plus/guides/global-ecommerce
  5. https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/us-ecommerce-sales/
  6. https://clutch.co/website-builders/resources/small-business-websites-2018
  7. https://topdigital.agency/2019-small-business-website-statistics-you-need-to-know-to-stay-ahead-of-the-digital-curve/
  8. https://baymard.com/lists/cart-abandonment-rate
  9. https://www.dynatrace.com/platform/synthetic-monitoring/
  10. https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/08/02/conversion-rate-statistics
  11. https://www.quicksprout.com/the-science-behind-long-copy-how-more-content-increases-rankings-and-conversions/
  12. https://statuslabs.com/reputation-management-stats-2018/
  13. https://www.pymnts.com/news/retail/2018/omichannel-ecommerce-consumer-habits/
  14. http://www.themobileplaybook.com/en-us/#/chapter1_3
  15. https://offers.hubspot.com/demand-generation-benchmarks-report
  16. https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/2019/03/26/millennials-online-shopping/
  17. https://www.digitalcommerce360.com/article/us-ecommerce-sales/

Related Data & Analysis

Maddie Shepherd
Contributing Writer at Fundera

Maddie Shepherd

Maddie Shepherd is a former Fundera senior staff writer and current contributing writer for Fundera. 

Maddie has an extensive knowledge of business credit cards, accounting tools, and merchant services, but specializes in small business financing advice. She has reviewed and analyzed dozens of financial tools and providers, helping business owners make better financial decisions. 

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