96% of Americans shop online, and the majority of those shoppers prefer shopping online for reasons like saving time and avoiding crowds.
However, there’s plenty more to learn about how, where, and why Americans use the internet to shop.
Basic Overview of US Shoppers
- 96% of Americans shop online
- 29% of shoppers reported they were concerned about privacy while shopping online
- 49% of shoppers reported they would prefer to see (in person) and touch an item before buying
Ecommerce Shopper Behaviors
- Marketplace shoppers (think: Amazon) reported spending an average of $488 online yearly
- 71% of marketplace shoppers report that they also shop at large omnichannel retailers
How Different Generations Shop Online
- 67% of Millennials shop online, spend about 6 hours per week online
- 72% of Seniors shop in-store, spend 2.5 hours per week online
How Frequently Americans Shop Online
- 11% of parents shop online daily, and 33% weekly, the most reported by any shoppers
- 55% of baby boomers shop online monthly
When Americans Shop Online
- The most shoppers reported making online purchases from bed (43%), and 67% of those are Millennials
- 32% of Millennials reported shopping online from their car
- 32% of parents reported they online shop while in the bathroom
What Americans Purchase Online (and Where)
- The majority of shoppers reported making purchases from marketplaces such as Amazon
- 47% of shoppers reported purchasing apparel at large retailers, while 43% purchase on marketplaces
- 19% of shoppers purchase flowers and gifts from specialty web stores
Factors That Influence Shoppers to Buy
- 87% of online shoppers indicated that price was the most important purchase factor, followed by shipping cost and speed
- 21% of online shoppers reported being influenced by advertisements
- “Flexible or free returns” (68%) were just as important as a “brand’s reputation” (67%)
Inconveniences of Shopping Online
- “Paying for shipping” the biggest pain point for online shoppers (58%), while inability to see products in person came in second (49%)
- Shoppers don’t seem to have a problem knowing where to find the products they need, as only 9% of shoppers cited this pain point
Action Items for Ecommerce Retailers
Retailers with both bricks and mortar and ecommerce sites may have the advantage in the future, as 49% of shoppers would still prefer to see a product in person before they buy.
In addition, it’s important for retailers and brands to keep an eye on the generational preferences, and tailor their shopping experience accordingly–just look at the way Millennials shop compared with Seniors. There’s quite a wide gap, and this will determine how you market and sell products successfully.
A few last tips:
1. Make sure your online shopping experience is as user-friendly (and mobile-friendly) as possible.
This is so key. Millennials shop in their car and from bed. Parents shop from the restroom. Don’t limit their options or frustrate them with a clunky mobile experience as they shop from wherever–and you’ll be rewarded.
2. Expand your online sales to Europe if you have the site and shipping capabilities.
While we know that the majority of Americans love to shop online, only 53% of global Internet users [PDF] overall made an online purchase in 2016–meaning there’s room to grow.