Number of digital buyers worldwide from 2014 to 2019 (in billions)

This timeline displays a forecast of the number of digital buyers worldwide up to 2019, based on factual numbers from 2014 to 2015. In 2019, over 2 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, up from 1.46 billion global digital buyers in 2015.


Digital buyers worldwide – additional information

Purchasing goods and services online has become a common practice among many people around the world. Some choose to make online purchases for convenience, others because of the competitive price offered by some e-commerces. Digital buyers can also be influenced by a range of digital resources when shopping, such as brand emails and product reviews. Reasons to purchase aside, the number of digital buyers is on the rise. Around 1.4 billion people made online purchases in 2015. This figure is forecast to constantly increase in the coming years, passing the two billion mark in 2019. Credit card is the preferred payment method amongst online shoppers worldwide, as more than half of online shoppers affirmed using this method. Digital payment systems such as PayPal and Alipay are also popular options for online shoppers.

The range of devices with internet connections available to online shoppers allows products to be purchased almost anywhere from any device. During the last quarter of 2015, online orders which were placed from a tablet had an average value of 107.63 U.S. dollars, while orders from traditional devices averaged 124.32 U.S. dollars. A vast majority of global online shoppers still opt for PC to research online their next purchase. For example, 46 percent of them prefer to research consumer electronics and computers online via PC as of 2015.

In the U.S., online shopping is expected to remain popular in the future, as the country is one of the leading online retail markets ranked by online shopper reach with growth projections for the next years. About 80 percent of internet users in the U.S. are expected to make at least one purchase online during the calendar year in 2019, a significant increase from 2013, when this share stood at 73 percent. As of October 2015, more than half of the digital buyers in the U.S. were aged between 25 and 54 years old.

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 Digital buyers in millions
2014 1.32
2015 1.46
2016* 1.61
2017* 1.77
2018* 1.91
2019* 2.07
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