online shopping

How Many Online Stores Are There in 2024?

Posted on |

There aren’t many online shopping statistics that are harder to untangle than the number of online stores. 

The thing is:

In times of uncertainty such as 2021, the face of online commerce is changing forever. 

Companies are going out of business, and new shops are popping up out of necessity and chance. 

What’s more:

The entire world is turning to online stores in a way no one had predicted just six months ago. 

But we crunched the numbers, and here’s what we found:

How Many Online Stores Are There? 

  • In 2021, there are anywhere between 12 to 24 million online shops. 
  • There are currently over 2.14 billion global online shoppers.
  • There are over 2.1 million online retail stores in the US in 2021.
  • In 2021, there are 263 million online shoppers in the US.
  • The Asian market accounts for 51% of all online sales.
  • The pre-pandemic percentage of online grocery shopping in Asia was 40% and only 13% in North America
  • Drunk Americans spend $30 billion online each year. 

How Many People Shop Online?

(Shopify, Statista, FirstInsight, Forbes, Internet Retailing, Oberlo)

The number of people online shopping worldwide has reached over 2.14 billion. Over the next couple of years, it was expected to go over 2.14 billion or 27.6% of the world population.

The number of online shoppers in the US in 2021 is 263. The number of online transactions per consumer was 19. The largest online market, China, spent twice as much and had 22.1 transactions per buyer during the course of one year.

Statistics on online shopping vs in-store shopping show people might be turning to online shopping, as it allows them to save money

Here’s the deal:

71% of shoppers reported spending more than $50 in a physical store, and only 54% said they did so shopping online.

When we look at how women and men shop online: 

73% of women reported buying in-store and online in equal measure, while 66% of men said they did their shopping in a physical store, and 59% preferred to do so online.

What Countries Buy the Most Online?

(Statista, Website Builder, GlobeNewswire, Internet Retailing)

Global online shopping statistics show us global sales are forecast to surpass a whopping $6.5 trillion by 2023. Revenues in 2019 reached $3.53 trillion, and the pre-pandemic projections for online retailers predicted revenues growing to $6.54 trillion in 2022.

Biggest Online Markets

Three of the biggest online markets are the US, China, and the UK. Online shopping statistics 2019 show that over 50% of the world’s online shopping is done in the Asia-Pacific market.  

Check this out:

One-third of all online shoppers in 2021 are from China and the US.

Chinese shoppers use mostly e-wallets, around 61% of them. In contrast, Americans still mainly use credit cards (38%). In 2020, 926 million Chinese people shopped online, a rise of 70 million from 2019. This number will grow to 988 million in 2021, and it’s expected to reach a mind-boggling 1.2 billion by 2025.

US market growth was less impressive, as the number of online shoppers went from 247 million in 2019 to 263 million in 2021. Predictions suggest over 291 million Americans will shop online by 2025.


Leaders in Specific Categories

Etail websites in the UK see the largest amounts of money spent per shopper per capita, $4201. The US follows with $3428, and South Korea comes third with $2591. Under the $2000 mark are China, France, Australia, Canada, Japan, Israel, and Germany.

On the other hand:

If we look at the percentage of salary spent online, China is in the lead with 19.34%, followed surprisingly by Mexico and Indonesia, with the UK in fourth with 11% and India in fifth with 10%.

E commerce statistics worldwide show that constant improvements in digital development positioned India as the fastest growing market along with Spain and China.

In the Aia-Pacific market, Indonesia is at the top of the list when it comes to buying using mobile devices, m-commerce statistics reveal, followed by China, Thailand, South Korea, and Vietnam.

How Much Shopping Is Done Online?

(US Census Bureau, Statista, CNBC, Invesp, Internet Retailing)

Online business statistics by the US Census Bureau reveal that ecommerce sales make up 10-11% of US retail sales. Additionally, US ecommerce revenues went from $360 billion in 2019 to $469 billion in 2021. Current predictions say revenues will reach $563 billion by 2025.

Just looking at the projections for digital payments, it’s clear that online shopping is on the rise, as digital payments should reach $726 billion by 2020.

Annual revenue per shopper in the US is $1804, followed by the UK with $1629. Sweden, France, and Germany are all over the $1000 mark as well.

On the downside: 

There’s no way to tell how many products are listed for sale online. The biggest US online retailer, Amazon, has an enormous portfolio of 44.2 million books and 10.1 million electronics alone, all waiting for you to purchase them. 

How about that!

how many online stores are there

Why Do People Shop Online?

(Washington Post, NBC News, AdWeek)

The global spread of COVID-19 added to the list of motives for turning to online shopping. This should come as no surprise, as safety became the newfound and often main reason for choosing to look for online retailers online.

Before the pandemic hit in early 2020, the main reason people shopped online was convenience and time saved. Online shopping trends and statistics show us that if they’re 1 mile away from the physical store, 12% of people will opt for buying online. 

It should come as no surprise that the percentage grows with distance. And by the time the distance is 50 miles, so is the percentage. 50% of consumers will purchase the goods from website retailers rather than spending the time and the gas to reach the brick-and-mortar shop.

The convenience of not having to deal with other people, crowds, and waiting in line along with the possibility of better online deals also plays a part in deciding to buy online.

That being said:

Not all motives for online shopping are as rational as it may seem at first glance. 

For example:

Drunk Americans are spending as much as $30 billion each year online. Share on X

In fact, the average amount of money spent without planning and while drunk amounts to $447 per person

Ouch! These figures will make the next morning’s hangover even worse!

On a different note:

Up to 87% of people say social media plays a big part in their online shopping behavior. Almost 75% say they have made online purchases after watching a video on social media.

The recent global spread of COVID-19 added to the list of motives for turning to online shopping, as safety is the newfound reason for choosing to look for retailers online.

What Do People Buy the Most Online?

(Nielsen, EConsultancy, Statista)

Online shopping stats for the period from 2018 to the beginning of 2020 marked the top online shopping categories to be fashion and footwear with 61%, with travel right behind them with 59%. Books and music followed with 49%, IT was at 47%, and events at 45%.

As much as 58% of Americans have bought clothes online in 2018, and 22% of total electronics sales happened online during that year.

In contrast:

The Asian market looked a bit different, with the top online category being packed and fresh groceries with 40% and 37%, respectively, with home care and gaming following at 37% and 30%

Meanwhile, online sales of packed groceries in North America were at 19% during the same year, with that percentage being only 13% in the United States.


These online shopping facts and stats hold firm for ecommerce before the global COVID-19 pandemic. But in 2020, a drastic change occurred and is still happening. 

The COVID-19 Effect

Online shopping might be forever changed, as new realities force people to turn to ecommerce. At the same time, many customers are abandoning their old shopping habits for good.

Here’s how:

The fashion segment, which used to amount to the largest percentage of all online purchases and bring in significant revenues, is seeing a dramatic drop in sales worldwide. 

As a result of customers’ changing habits and priorities, new categories are seeing an increase in online shopping.

In fact, what we buy online now compared to what we were buying online just five months ago has changed dramatically. 

The travel sector is facing a 90% drop in sales, as the world is in lockdown. It’s questionable when and how it will bounce back, with airlines in particular facing massive employee layoffs and even bankruptcy. 


Groceries and home care items are seeing drastic increases in online sales across the world.  Share on X

Fantastic growth is recorded in the gardening sector, where UK etailers have recently seen a 275% rise in sales of barbecues and a mind-blowing 1,292% growth in online hammock sales

With the sales of baking goods exploding in Canada, soccer balls and garden equipment in the UK, we can see that people are preparing for a period of prolonged social distancing.

But at least they’ll be able to nap comfortably in the garden, right?

Ecommerce statistics for 2020 show that, at the moment, Western markets too are turning to food and essentials as top categories. It remains to be seen if the change is going to be permanent.

How Many Online Shopping Sites Are There?


Determining how many online stores are there is not easy, as the numbers range anywhere from 12 million to 24 million due to the constant changing of the marketspaces and the global economy.

In 2020, while some new shops are opening, many online stores offering non-essential goods are forced to close. This includes even large brand names such as Reformation, Marysia, The Frankie Shop, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Victoria’s Secret, and HomeGoods. 

And that’s not all:

The new challenges are forcing even the auto industry in Asia to trial online commerce. 

How Many Online Stores Were There in 2018?

(Etail Insights, Statista, Oberlo, WPForms)

There were 7.1 million online retail stores in the world in 2018.

Global ecommerce statistics for 2019 show that the biggest online marketplace is Taobao, the Chinese platform with a $515 billion GMV, while Tmall and Amazon follow with $432 billion and $344 billion GMV a year. Alibaba, Amazon, and eBay made up for 50% of worldwide sales by the end of 2018.

How Many Online Stores Are There in the US?

(Shopify and You, Etail Insights, Ecommercedb, G2 Learning, EtailInsight )

Before 2018, the numbers for online retail in the USA reached 1.8 million. Shopify alone has reported having 800,000 online shops, at least 500,000 of which are active.

In 2021, there are 2.1 million online retailers in the US.

The number of all stores is fluctuating with the market, as ecommerce companies in the USA open and close their business. The number, even if fluctuating, is constantly on the rise, as 69% of Americans report buying something online and 25% say they do so once a month.

The top internet retailers currently in the US are:

  • Amazon
  • Walmart
  • Apple
  • Home Depot
  • Best Buy
  • Target
  • Wayfare
  • Macy’s

In Conclusion

How many online stores are there is a question without a definitive answer. 

The exact number is all but impossible to ascertain due to constant fluctuations. And with shops opening and closing daily, we should keep an eye on the latest online shopping statistics.

Buying things online has become more than a convenience. The recent global developments will, without a doubt, change the way we shop for good.

One thing is clear: 

The price of not having an ecommerce outlet for a business is something no one can afford to pay anymore.