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Study: Everybody loves e-commerce

BY CSA STAFF

It seems safe to say the novelty of shopping online has worn off.

According to a new study examining the online shopping and purchase habits of the U.S. population from e-commerce platform BigCommerce, 96% of Americans are shopping online. E-commerce customers spend an average of five hours per week making online purchases and allocate an average of 36% of their shopping budgets to e-commerce.

Respondents ranked online shopping ahead of smartphone GPS and streaming media as a basic essential they could not live without.

While e-commerce favors younger generations, with millennials spending nearly half of their total budget online, all consumers are allocating a significant amount of their time and budget to online shopping. Sixty-seven percent of millennials and 56% of Gen X prefer to search and purchase on ecommerce sites rather than in-store; 41% of baby boomers and 28% of seniors prefer online to offline shopping. Millennials and Gen X spend 50% more time shopping online each week (six hours) than their older counterparts (four hours).

In addition, although they have greater proximity to physical stores, online shoppers in metropolitan areas spend more online annually ($853) than suburban shoppers ($768) or those in rural areas ($684). Men reported spending 28% more online than women during the past year. Eighty percent of online shoppers make online purchases at least once a month; 30% make a purchase at least once a week.

Results also showed a growing acceptance of social commerce. Thirty percent of online purchasers would make a purchase from a social media network. Respondents were most open to making a purchase on Facebook (20%), closely followed by Pinterest (17%), Instagram (14%), Twitter (12%) and Snapchat (10%). Males are more open (23%) than women (17%) to make a purchase through Facebook. More than half (51%) of millennials say they would be likely to buy through a social network.

Other notable findings include:

· One in two (48%) online customer journeys begin at ecommerce marketplaces such as eBay or Amazon.

· In the last year, online shoppers have spent the most with e-commerce marketplaces ($488), closely followed by major online/offline brands ($409).

· A quarter of online shoppers (25%) have made an online purchase from a brick-and-mortar store.

· When identifying factors influential in determining where to shop online, 87% of respondents cited price as influential, closely followed by 80% reporting shipping cost and speed as influential.

· Two-thirds (66%) have decided not to buy an item because of shipping costs; 72% of females and 59% of males have decided to abandon their purchase because of shipping costs.

· Online shoppers want products to be brought to life with images (78%) and product reviews (69%).

· Half of respondents cite not being able to touch, feel or try a product (49%) as one of their least favorite aspects of online shopping; 34% said difficult to return items and waiting for delivery were also a pain.

BigCommerce conducted this survey in partnership with Kelton Global during March 15-19, 2016. Survey responses were collected from more than 1,000 nationally representative Americans 18 years and older who cited making an online purchase within the previous six months.

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