30 Compelling E-Commerce Demographics

Shopping online is become easier every day. People are using tablets and smartphones to shop on websites like Amazon consistently. If you want to break into the world of e-commerce, then you need to know who is shopping online, what they want to purchase, and how often they plan to purchase something.

Women account for about 58% of online spending, yet control more than 80% of the discretionary spending in the United States.

This means men are just as likely to purchase something online as women are even though conventional wisdom dictates that e-commerce marketing efforts be directed at men. This is why knowing all of the e-commerce demographics is so important.

Who Shops Online Today?

  • Millennials in the 18-34 age demographic spend about $2,000 online every year, which is more than any other age demographic.
  • One in four mobile shoppers in the U.S. is over the age of 55. That’s about even with their share of the overall U.S. population.
  • 55% of e-commerce shoppers in the U.S. live in households with incomes above $75,000. 40% live with an average HHI of over $100k.
  • Low–income online Americans are more likely to see the risks of online shopping than herald the time-saving or convenience benefits of using the internet to shop.
  • 6% of internet users say that in their typical day, they will purchase at least one thing online.
  • 11% have bought or sold stocks online.
  • 17% have paid to access or download digital content, such as a newscast, sporting event, or radio show.

People who have a lower household income tend to be more vigilant about where their money is going and how it is being used. This is why they are the most likely to be skeptical of an e-commerce platform. They see all of the risks because they don’t have the money on-hand to cover an unethical provider taking their cash. Yet compared to an average HHI of $25k-$60k, low income households under $25k are more likely to say that the internet is the best place to buy items that are hard to find and be able to find it at a bargain price.

E-Commerce Mobile Demographics

  • 22% of men made a purchase on their smartphones last year, compared to 18% of women.
  • 20% of men bought something on a tablet, while the percentage for women was 17%.
  • 40% of American men aged 18 to 34 said they would “ideally buy everything online,” compared to only 33% of women the same age.
  • 43% of men ages 18-34 say they typically shop on online auction sites like eBay, compared to only 31% of women the same age.
  • 86% of teen boys say that they shop online regularly, compared to 75% of teen girls.
  • All e-commerce shoppers are 4x more likely to shop on Amazon on a regular basis than they are to shop on eBay.
  • 43% of internet users have been frustrated by the lack of information they encounter while using the internet to find out about or buy goods or services, yet 30% of internet users say the amount of information they have is overwhelming.
  • 3 out of 4 online shoppers say that they are uncomfortable with giving out their credit card information to an unknown e-commerce provider.

Men must be considered a major demographic for e-commerce marketing, yet so often they are ignored because many sites focus on retail, clothing, or other items that women typically shop for when they wish to spend moment. When the internet first began to go mainstream in the early 2000s, it was mostly affluent households that could afford to spend money online with an average HHI of $80k. In 2005, the average HHI dropped to $60k. It continues to drop to this day as e-commerce becomes more and more accessible. The bottom line is this: everyone who can read this content fits into an e-commerce category somewhere.

The Explosion of E-Commerce

  • E-Commerce accounts for $1.5 trillion in annual sales around the globe.
  • 7 out of 10 shoppers believe that they can get a better deal by shopping online compared to what they can get in the stores.
  • US e-commerce sales account for about 20% of the total amount in annual sales on a regular basis.
  • Just 28% of small businesses in the United States are selling at least one of their products or services online.
  • In Q1 2014, mobile e-commerce sales accounts for $7.3 billion in total revenues.
  • 98 million people in the US have purchased at least one item in the last year by using a tablet or a smartphone, which is about 50% of the total online buyer population.
  • Shoppers spend 30% more on an e-commerce order when free shipping is included, explaining why just under 50% of all online orders include free shipping.
  • By 2017, e-commerce globally is expected to be worth $3.2 trillion.

Imagine what the e-commerce world would look like if small businesses could get online and begin to sell their products. Many demographics would prefer to shop locally for items, but because online products are perceived as being cheaper, consumers don’t go down to the local store. Since 65% of US consumers own a smartphone and 3 out of 10 consumers own at least one tablet [according to 2013 data], designing a site that is comfortable for a mobile browser is more important today than ever before.


Why Shoppers Don’t Finish Shopping

  • 54% of shoppers abandon their shopping cart because their shipping costs made the total order cost more than they expected.
  • Half of e-commerce shoppers are comparing prices for a future order.
  • 44% of shoppers abandoned an order because they weren’t spending enough to qualify for free shipping.
  • 1 in 5 people state that website issues negatively affected their e-commerce experience: a site loading slowly, being required to register an account, or the checkout process being too long.
  • 46% of e-commerce shoppers read blogs and public reviews about products before purchasing something online.
  • 84% of shoppers will refer to at least one social media site for a recommendation before completing an online purchase.

Comfort. What causes every person to finish a transaction through an e-commerce platform is being comfortable with the order they are making. If anything disrupts this comfort, then they will not finish the transaction. Sometimes it is the cost of the product, but sometimes it is a feeling of insecurity that comes when making a purchase over a mobile device. Maybe this is why more than 90% of e-commerce shoppers complete a mobile transaction at home. If a website can make people comfortable, they can sell to any demographic.

Small Business Ecommerce Statistics

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