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Survey: Most Americans have made online purchases


New York – A majority of Americans say they have purchased clothing (69%), digital content (59%), and accessories such as handbags and shoes (54%) online, while half (49%) have purchased personal electronics such as digital music players or tablets in this fashion. However, according to a recent Harris Poll of 2,241 U.S. adults, nearly eight-in-10 respondents indicated an in-person preference for general food purchases such as groceries (78%).

In addition, roughly two-thirds for over the counter medications (67%) and clothing (65%) and more than half for prescription medications (58%), cosmetics/grooming products (57%), specialty food and beverages (57%), household electronics (55%) and accessories (52%). Even personal electronics, the category showing the strongest online shopping preference, shows a roughly two-to-one ratio of Americans expressing an in-person (43%) versus online (22%) shopping preference.

Other notable findings include:

• Among smartphone owners, 20% have purchased digital content via such devices (20%) while nearly one-in-10 have used a smartphone to purchase clothing (9%), accessories (8%), and personal electronics (9%).

• More than a third of tablet owners have used such a device to purchase digital content (36%), while roughly two-in-10 have used a tablet to purchase clothing (22%) and accessories (19%). Sixteen percent have used a tablet to purchase personal electronics (16%), while roughly one-in-10 say the same of cosmetics and personal grooming products (12%) and household electronics (9%).

• Women are more likely to have purchased clothing (75% vs. 63%), accessories (60% versus 47%) and cosmetics/grooming products (41% versus 28%) online, while men are more likely to have purchased digital content (62% versus 56%), personal electronics (55% versus 43%) and household electronics (49% versus 37%) online.

• Strong majorities say free shipping (81%) and free postage for sending in returns/exchanges (70%) would make them more likely to make such purchases online.

• A small majority (55%) say the opportunity to make returns/exchanges at a brick and mortar store would make them more likely to make such purchases online, though roughly half (49%) say that returns only being free if they are brought in-person to a brick and mortar store that is not available locally would make them less likely to make a purchase online.

• Among those who would pay extra for same day delivery, six-in-10 (60%) would pay $10 or more and the average up-charge they could live with is $13.90.

• Looking at overnight shipping, among those willing to pay for this at all 45% would pay $10 or more and willing shoppers would pay up to $11.00 on average.

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