One in Five See Themselves Mainly as Online Shoppers

And those shoppers skew young

September 28, 2017

Roughly one in five consumers consider themselves mainly online shoppers—making the majority of their purchases online. 

The data is part of a new quarterly report from the The National Retail Federation, working with Toluna Analytics, which surveyed 3,002 consumers in July for the report.

Not surprisingly, younger users were more likely to identify themselves as online shoppers. Roughly one-third (34%) of those ages 18 to 34 said they did most of their shopping online. Still, that means a significant majority of younger shoppers are doing most of their shopping in-store, the survey noted.

The NRF study appears to show more of a brick-and-mortar preference than with findings in other recent surveys. For instance, SmarterHQ found that 49% of internet users ages 18 to 35 polled in July said they preferred to shop digitally, whether via mobile or desktop/laptop. 

A June survey by CrowdTwist found roughly similar preferences. Some 57.3% of 18- to 22-year-olds preferred in-store shopping, as did 54.8% of 23- to 37-year-olds.

The SmarterHQ and CrowdTwist surveys, however, asked about preference, whereas the NRF survey asked about where consumers made their purchases.

Younger shoppers' reservations about in-store shopping are fairly well-documented—they tend to want to be left alone with their phones, and they are used to vast product choices available online. 

But the SmarterHQ survey found plenty of reservations about digital retail, too. Asked about frustrations associated with ecommerce, almost three-quarters complained about the volume of emails they receive, and 62% said shipping is too expensive.  

The NRF survey found that, aside from skewing young, online-focused shoppers tend to be well off and live in cities. Some 53% of online shoppers polled said they make at least $75,000 a year, and the same percentage live in a city of 50,000 people or more.

Photo by Muhammad Raufan Yusup on Unsplash