E-commerce is now an industry worth $400bn a year.

The US Department of Commerce reports that increasing consumer comfort with shopping online is today a $400bn industry with a recent report by Astound Commerce suggesting that over the past 20 years the online shopping experience has gone from a game of guesswork and order taking to a standardized industry.

The report analyzed two decades of change based on nearly 300 metrics studied across 100 top retailers. The research features trends that grew the most from market entry to today (50% or more growth).

The report suggests that inventory management, customer reviews and personalized product recommendations are today industry benchmarks. Further, with a better understanding of the industry, these benchmarks now see 90% of e-marketers utilizing these techniques on their websites.

“The current e-commerce experience is almost unrecognizable from that of 20 years ago. The e-commerce experience has undergone such a vast transformation as technology has advanced and retailers have made smart digital investments to improve their merchandising and customer service tactics,” said Lauren Freedman, senior vice president of Digital Strategy at Astound Commerce. ​