Digital Shopping Behavior

The digital shopping behavior of consumers is evolving at a rapid pace: online payment methods are becoming more common, more people have started shopping on their mobile phones, and overall, consumers are more willing to use e-commerce than they used to be. Worldwide, over four in five consumers purchased goods online in 2020. Online buying has become second nature to many people in recent years and shows no signs of slowing down.

E-commerce is on the rise in most industries, and with the novel coronavirus pandemic, its use among consumers has advanced even faster than expected. Since the dawn of the virus in March 2020, there have been a significant number of first-time online shoppers around the world. While the trend towards online negatively affects physical and local retail stores to an extent, we can see a bright future for the e-commerce market and online shoppers globally.

Share of European consumers who shop online
83%
Most common online payment method in the U.S.
Credit card
Favorite online store in the U.S.
Amazon

Market size

The ever-growing e-commerce market
Year-on-year increase in online retail sales in selected European countries in 2020 and 2021*
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With each year, online retail is becoming larger than it was before. The idea of visiting online marketplaces, buying online, and making digital transactions, was once a novelty, but has become a part of retail and our daily digitalized lives today. Not only has the number of buyers worldwide increased, but growth can also be seen in consumer spending, the number of e-retailers, and payment options, among other things. Digital shopping is also forecast to accelerate even further in future years.

E-commerce worldwide
The eCommerce Report
Where is e-commerce growing fastest?

Market segments

Do consumers prefer shopping online or offline?
Which of these statements do you agree with?
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While online shopping has become a major part of a consumer’s shopping experience, “offline” shopping, i.e., buying in physical stores, is still the most common way in which products are acquired within many industries. Online shopping is most popular and done most frequently among younger generations in modern countries around the world. However, digital shoppers are becoming increasingly ubiquitous, regardless of age and origin.

U.S. online grocery shopping consumer behavior
U.S. millennial consumer goods and shopping behavior
Online vs. offline purchases by category in the U.S.

Industry trends

What impact does COVID-19 have on digital shopping behavior?
Latin American countries where e-shoppers most increased online purchasing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020
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The coronavirus pandemic and its resulting lockdowns have had a profound impact on retail. In terms of online retail, the consequences of COVID-19 were more beneficial: thanks to the closure of brick-and-mortar stores, many e-commerce platforms, online retailers, and major players experienced an increase in digital sales. The crisis led e-commerce to grow faster and earlier than anticipated. What’s more, the virus has caused many consumers to see e-commerce in a more positive light.

Coronavirus impact on holiday shopping in the U.S.
Coronavirus impact on e-commerce in the U.S.
First-time online shoppers since COVID-19, by country

Industry leaders

Amazon and other favorite e-commerce giants
Annual net sales of Amazon in selected leading markets from 2014 to 2020 (in billion U.S. dollars)
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Even though, the online shopper has a vast array of e-commerce platforms to choose and shop from for various items, the global online retail leader is unequivocally Amazon. Founded by Jeff Bezos in July of 1994, the e-commerce company generated over 260 billion U.S. dollars of net sales in 2020 in the United States alone. Some of Amazon’s main online store competitors include Walmart, eBay, and The Home Depot, among several others.

Amazon
eBay
Most popular e-commerce websites worldwide, by monthly traffic

Industry definition

The digital shopping behaviour category offers a worldwide insight into online consumer habits, online payment method preferences, and overall attitudes towards buying digitally on the web. Within this industry, Statista provides data on the online shopping behaviours of shoppers and how the industry, i.e., brands and companies, adapt to these behaviours and considerations. Additionally, information on consumer spending on a global, regional, and local scale is available, alongside which companies are thriving and struggling in this online market environment.

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