Number of digital buyers worldwide from 2014 to 2021 (in billions)

Global number of digital buyers 2014-2021 This timeline displays a forecast of the number of digital buyers worldwide from 2014 to 2021. In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016.
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-commerce platforms. 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. PayPal is the preferred payment method amongst online shoppers worldwide, as more than 40 percent of online shoppers affirmed using this method. The traditional credit card ranks second with a 31 percent usage rate, followed by debit cards. 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 2016, online orders which were placed from a tablet had an average value of 106.98 U.S. dollars, while orders from PC devices averaged 143.35 U.S. dollars. 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.
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Digital buyers in billions
20141.32
20151.46
20161.52
20171.66
2018*1.79
2019*1.92
2020*2.05
2021*2.14
Digital buyers in billions
20141.32
20151.46
20161.52
20171.66
2018*1.79
2019*1.92
2020*2.05
2021*2.14

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Description Source More information
This timeline displays a forecast of the number of digital buyers worldwide from 2014 to 2021. In 2021, over 2.14 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services online, up from 1.66 billion global digital buyers in 2016.
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-commerce platforms. 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. PayPal is the preferred payment method amongst online shoppers worldwide, as more than 40 percent of online shoppers affirmed using this method. The traditional credit card ranks second with a 31 percent usage rate, followed by debit cards. 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 2016, online orders which were placed from a tablet had an average value of 106.98 U.S. dollars, while orders from PC devices averaged 143.35 U.S. dollars. 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.
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Release date
July 2017
Region
World
Survey time period
2014 to 2017
Age group
14 years and older
Supplementary notes
* Forecast.
The source defines digital buyers as internet users who have made at least one purchase via any digital channel within the past year, including online, mobile and tablet purchases.
2014 and 2015 data from earlier publication.

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