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Online shopping behavior in the United States - statistics & facts

Over the years, it has become impossible to imagine a world in which one cannot buy on the internet. In fact, it has become so common that roughly 85 percent of consumers across the globe have shopped for items on the web. Adding to this, numbers are set to increase even further in the future: retail e-commerce sales worldwide are forecast to more than double over the course of the coming years, reaching a projected total of 6.5 trillion U.S. dollars. In the past, consumers around the world had been more skeptical about shopping online, however, with time that sentiment has decreased considerably, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Online shopping behavior in the U.S.

Consumers in the United States can and do buy all kinds of products from a variety of retail platforms and online marketplaces, such as,, and Some types of products, however, are more frequently purchased online than others: for example, American shoppers often bought apparel, consumer electronics, and cosmetic products on e-commerce platforms. Some of the major reasons why U.S. shoppers like ordering from online stores include the convenience of having items delivered to their door, the frequently cheaper prices, and the greater product range.

Shopping in a pandemic

The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, swept the world in 2020 and caused a vast array of lifestyle and behavioral changes in order to prevent the infection from spreading. People stayed at home, kept socially distant from one another, and many more were not shopping as frequently as they normally would. During the many weeks and months since the virus was considered a public health emergency, over 80 percent of consumers in the United States claimed the pandemic had had an impact on their usual shopping habits. While the crisis had caused a decline in physical store shopping, it also caused a major boost in the number of online shoppers in many cases.

For further information about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, please visit our dedicated Facts and Figures page.


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