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Number of digital buyers worldwide from 2011 to 2016 (in millions)

This timeline displays a forecast of the number of digital buyers worldwide up to 2016, based on factual numbers from 2011 to 2012. In 2014, 1.12 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online.


Digital buyers in the U.S. – additional information

Digital buyers can be influenced by a range of digital resources when shopping. A survey taken amongst American internet users during the second quarter of 2013, revealed the ways that these digital resources influenced online shopping. Of those surveyed, nine percent stated that brand emails encouraged them to spend more than they planned to. In comparison, 25 percent of respondents stated that product reviews had encouraged them to buy products or brands that they had never bought before.
The range of devices with internet connections available to online shoppers allows products to be purchased almost anywhere. Surveys of digital buyers’ activities and preferences help to determine which devices are most used and most helpful when making an online purchase. In a survey in March 2014, the reasons for shopping on the computer versus shopping on a mobile device among online shoppers in the U.S. were revealed. According to the survey, 43 percent of respondents stated that difficulty of getting a clear or large enough image of the product as one of the main reasons for using a computer over a mobile device when buying online.
In the U.S. internet users purchasing items online is expected to remain popular in the future. eMarketer calculated digital buyer penetration in the U.S. in 2013 and presented a forecast until 2018. In 2013, 73 percent of internet users in the U.S. had made at least one purchase online during the calendar year. The share of digital buyers is expected to rise to a 79.6 percent share of internet users in 2018.

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 Digital buyers in millions
2011 792.6
2012 903.6
2013* 1,015.8
2014* 1,124.3
2015* 1,228.5
2016* 1,321.4
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