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Consumers continue to gravitate to online commerce — even for expensive items

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Online shopping
Apparel and fashion items continue to be the most popular products purchased online, at 56%.

More Americans are willing to purchase products online — including pricey items.

Americans are more open than ever before to purchasing expensive items such as homes (56% versus 49% in 2023), vehicles (58% versus 53%), and major appliances (78% versus 73%) online, according to a new survey from digital marketing agency Adtaxi. The company also found that only 19% of consumers expressed an unwillingness to buy groceries online, compared to 42% in 2017.

Nine-in-10 American adults (93%) engage in online shopping, with 26% reporting that they shop online daily (up from 24% in 2023). More than four-in-10 (43%) shop weekly (up from 40% in 2023). 

Consumers’ willingness to buy products online is evident in sales numbers. Adobe recently found that e-commerce spending from Jan. 1 to April 30 rose 7% year-over-year to $331.6 billion. The first half of 2024 is expected to drive over $500 billion in spend online, representing 6.8% year-over-year growth.

Other findings from the survey include the following:

•Free delivery remains the top-ranked factor in purchasing decisions. Following free delivery (27%), the top reasons customers cited were product reviews (21%) and the ability to search for a variety of products (15%).

•Apparel and fashion items continue to be the most popular products purchased online at 56%. Following that are beauty or personal care products (50%), grocery or food items (48%), home goods (48%) mattresses (11%) and CBD (7%).

•While most U.S. adults (76%) use a mobile phone when shopping online, on average, shoppers utilize at least two different device types. After smartphones, laptops were cited by nearly half (47%) of respondents. Tablets and desktop computers are used by roughly one-third of respondents.

“This year’s survey proves that online shopping is the first choice for the majority of Americans and the only choice for a growing number confirming now more than ever that e-commerce should be a focus for digital marketers,” said Chris Loretto, executive VP of Adtaxi. “Every business has an opportunity to expand its reach in the growing world of e-commerce."

Adtaxi’s survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey among a national sample of 1,096 adults spanning across U.S. geographic regions, income levels, gender and age.

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