Study

Online Shopping Statistics 2024: How Many People Shop Online?

Source: Insiderintelligence

From 2022 to 2023, 80 million more people have joined as an eCommerce buyer. This rounds up to 2.64 billion people shopping online in 2023. With a 3.1% year-over-year increase, this means 33.4% of the world is at least signed up to one eCommerce platform. 

Why wouldn’t they?

Online shopping means:

  • Easy return
  • No pressure to buy something because the store clerk is staring you down.
  • Next-day delivery
  • Access to products in another country
  • Full disclosure of product information.

Do you want to reach these shoppers and make life easier for them?

These online shopping stats could help you find your ideal customers to take your brick-and-mortar shop digital this year.

Key Global Online Shopping Statistics in 2024

According to PayPal, 57% of online shoppers find a product they want internationally if required. 

In other words, more than half of online shoppers are willing to pay shipping fees if they get their perfect product. 

This alone shows the passion and commitment of digital buyers. The following statistics of global online shopping may not come as a surprise at all. 

Source: Statista

  • The global e-commerce market is projected to reach 6.3 trillion in sales in 2023. 
  • Etsy is the biggest marketplace for handmade and handcrafted items. 
  • 63% of all consumer journey starts online, whether a purchase is made online or not. 
  • 84% abandon their cart before checkout on mobile, and 72% abandon their cart on desktop. 

48% abandon their cart because of shipping charges or additional taxes. It might be better to count the shipping and tax charges while pricing the product rather than shock customers later. 

Another 24% of online shoppers do not follow through with a purchase because the website wants them to make an account. 

Keep guest buying an option- always.

Even if the website is highly optimized, you will still end up with cases of cart abandonment.

Sometimes, consumers simply are not prepared to make a decision. They can come back to the cart later. 

They do come back. Otherwise, 79% of shoppers wouldn’t have bought something online at least once per month. 

It’s 12 shopping sessions guaranteed per month. 

49% shop every other week. 22% shop every week. 

People who shop online get addicted to it. Once you have tasted the ease, looking up something you want to buy is second nature. 

Other times, this lack of ease is what makes customers abandon carts. 

95% admit to not making the final payment because the delivery option to a neighbor or a parcel locker wasn’t available. 

Simply providing home or office delivery won’t do. You have to make arrangements with local parcel storage, too. 

How Many Online Shoppers Are in the World?

As of 2023, there are 2.64 billion online shoppers. However, this number is expected to hit 2.7 billion by 2027. 

Even until 2020, we had only 2.37 digital buyers. From 2020 to 2022, online buyers increased by over 100 million every year. This is somewhat expected. Those were the peak days of the pandemic. 

As shops closed everywhere, more people took to online shopping for necessities and luxury. 

However, the habit clearly stuck for most of the ones converted. 

The projected growth from 2023 to 2025 is significantly lower.

Even as the internet penetrates various parts of the world and brings new online buyers, some people still like the traditional shopping experience. 

Now, they feel free to return to it. 

But this doesn’t mean the number of online buyers is any close to decreasing each year. 

Over 60 million will still join every year. 

The product type also influences buyer behavior. You wouldn’t hesitate to buy a giant bookshelf off Amazon but think twice before purchasing lipstick. 

A bookshelf, surprisingly, is easier to return than a lipstick where the color didn’t come off as was projected in the image. 

And so, let’s take a look at the demographics and countries most comfortable with online shopping. 

Online Shoppers By Demographics

Male vs female shopping statistics 2024

Do you think women shop more than men online? According to a report by Affilinet, men make up 84.3% of online shoppers. In comparison, 77% of women shop online. Women make more frequent purchases – at least 7.1 times per year. Men shop 5.4 times a year.

Men also spend $10.50 more on each session than women. 

However, the stereotypes are true when it comes to decisions that lead to a purchase. 

Men shop based on features, product pricing, shipping facilities, and the overall package. 

Women consider these factors but get swayed more often by discounts, coupons, brand names, and email offers. 

Online shopper demographics by age group

The shopping landscape is way different when we focus on the spending habits of different age groups. 

Let’s take a look at Baby Boomers. Their spending power is way bigger than Gen X. 

But they spend less online. 

Gen X doesn’t shop online much, either. But they spend more than all other age groups. 

  • The largest online shoppers are Millennials from age 25 to 34. 
  • Gen X, aged 35 to 44, are the second most frequent online shoppers. 
  • Millennials shop 5.4 times per week, while Gen Z shops 4.4 times. 

93% of Millennials wait for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to shop. Clearly, they love shopping but would rather get the best out of every purchase. 

It’s the age group you can entice the most with discounts. 

They may collect more items, but they are proactive about saving money. 

Millennials have to compromise based on the current economic situation. They are not settled in like Gen X or have years of saving like Baby Boomers. 

61% of millennials also buy locally. The tendency comes from both availability and a desire to support local shops. 

The cultural norms also have an effect on how people from different age groups shop online. 

For example, think about countries where technological advances came late. The older generation never got the chance to get used to technology.

Anyone over 54 might ask their children or relatives to shop for them. 

So, even if they shop online, they aren’t doing it themselves. Your eCommerce platform is not identifying them as the main purchaser. 

A fix for this?

You could set up post-purchase email surveys to ask about why an item was bought, for whom, etc. 

Online Shoppers By Country

According to the DHL Global Online Shopper Survey, China is the number #1 country for online shopping. 

No, all these shoppers aren’t Chinese, even though they might be the biggest demographic. China has well over 841 million local shoppers in 2021 alone. 

Even without local sales, China receives lots of foreign purchases via AliExpress, SHEIN, etc. 

Source: DHL eCommerce

  • 89% of American shoppers use Amazon. 
  • 4 in 10 shoppers buy from sites that have free returns. In Mauritius and India, the number is 6 in 10. 
  • 87% of shopping is done on a smartphone in China and Thailand. 
  • 38% have bought something on Facebook. 29% have grabbed an item from Instagram. 

62% of Indians would make a cross-border purchase if the pricing were presented in Rupees (national currency). 

It’s not that converting to another currency is an issue. Mostly, the hesitance comes from the confusion about the total impact of the cart on their wallet. 

Which is why 67% of the world is fine with making a purchase through their credit card, debit card, or digital wallets. 

Except for Thailand and Morroco, where 51% and 42% insist on cash on delivery, respectively. 

The thing which concerns 70% of shoppers is sustainability. They are fine with longer delivery time if it means it will reduce impact on the environment. 

Do note. Because they are fine with longer delivery, it doesn’t mean they aren’t hoping for free delivery.

65% of online shoppers would immediately pay if they got free delivery. Of course, exceptions exist, like in Nigeria, where people have the least problem with free delivery. 

More than anything, customer reviews have an effect on 98% of global shoppers.

These aren’t only reviews customers leave on your product page. 

It depends on what an influencer on TikTok says about you or what someone close to the buyer told them. 

57% in Malaysia alone make their purchases based on TikTok recommendations. 

In the end, it may come down to providing a good customer experience and making your products more accessible. 

How Many Americans Shop Online?

Source: ESET 

70% of Americans shop online. 26% of them buy something per week. In 2022, there were 268 million US digital shoppers. This number reached 285 million in 2023. 

Americans have some of the highest adoption rates when it comes to online shopping. 

  • 38% of Americans fear they will overspend with credit cards. Gen Z and Millenials stick to debit cards for this reason. Gen X and Boomers feel way more comfortable with credit card use. 
  • 45% of Gen Z compare prices across multiple eCommerce platforms to get the best deal. 
  • Millennials make up most of US social media shoppers. 60% of people aged 25 to 41 have bought something on social media. 
  • 58% of US buyers want next-day delivery.
  • 76% of Americans are happy with cross-border delivery. 
  • 35% of US consumers buy from China when they look for products outside the states. 

Americans not only feel comfortable with online shopping, they are also quick to look for products outside the country. 

43% of US citizens state they buy from outside because the price is lower in other countries.  Another 39% value the customer experience. 

A total of 49% of American buyers are fed up with the high delivery costs. 

Reduce their trouble in any of these areas, and your customer retention rate should go up in an instant. 

How Many Online Shopping Apps Are There?

There is no counting how many online shopping apps are there. Thousands crop up every day and get listed in the Google Play Store.

On any given day, there are 50 popular apps consumers can choose between. 

Of course, some apps have more relevance in certain countries than worldwide. 

For example, Alibaba is easily China’s biggest eCommerce platform. It has a market value of 1.7 trillion yuan

Do note a good percentage of the market value comes from cross-border purchases. 

Japan, which is the third-largest eCommerce market after China and the US, has Rakuten as its largest platform. Rakuten is also the third-largest eCommerce platform in the world. 

There’s Shopee, which is Singapore’s largest contribution towards eCommerce. Shopee is restricted to Southeast Asia, so the platform getting 559 million monthly visits is doubly impressive. 

AliExpress comes in 5th. Yet, when it comes to global orders, the platform is the number one choice in almost all countries. 

There’s Walmart, which ranks 7th despite being a general store. The retail company is not available outside of North America. 

But it’s so strongly part of America that it doesn’t need to be. 

Wildberries might be the most impressive, considering the product store is only available in Russia. 

Overall, general online shopping apps seem to do best globally and for local regions. Etsy might be the biggest exception and the facilitator of creators. 

Now, here’s the thing. Gross visitors aside, if we were to lockdown on to the online platform with the highest sales in the world, it would be Taobao. 

Taobao is a Chinese online marketplace and has a market value of 701 billion dollars. It is one you likely haven’t heard of. 

Source: Statista

It is also the one China’s population turns to whenever they need something. The second leading high-value platform is Tmall at 663 billion. 

Both of them are owned by Alibaba Group, along with AliExpress. 

Online vs. In-store Shopping Statistics

22.3% of global shopping is done online. To put it into perspective, 16.1% of US retail sales were online in 2022. 

Globally, most countries still prefer in-store shopping over online. The US and UK are some of the few countries with the highest online shopping adoption rates. 

  • 40% of total consumers make an in-store purchase every week. 
  • 27% of shoppers buy online every week. 
  • 61% of shoppers still go to a physical store because they want to try out the product before buying. 
  • 60% of shoppers prefer going to a local store because it means purchasing the item immediately. This is especially true for electronic purchases. 
  • 65% of online shoppers go to a local store to avoid shipping fees. 

Clearly, despite the popularity of eCommerce, when given the choice to a deliberate shopper, they prefer to buy in-store. 

Indeed, non-regular shoppers might be the ones who prefer buying online the most. 

When you don’t like shopping or browsing in-store, online shopping is convenient to get a fast delivery of a necessary item. 

What Do People Buy The Most Online?

Source: DHL eCommerce

According to online shopping reports, clothing and footwear take up 63% of global purchases. 

  • Another 31% end up buying electronic goods such as mobile phones or laptops. Cross-border lightbulb delivery is unlikely, but people pay a good sum for smartphones from foreign manufacturers. 
  • Sports, leisure items, and cosmetics all have a 24% distribution in interest among online shoppers. 
  • An astonishing 13% buy books across the border. Due to copyright restrictions and publishing coverage, some books can be available in selected countries. So, it’s not all amazing for book lovers to buy overseas. 
  • 15% buy furniture and homeware from abroad. The number is more than expected, considering the shipping fee for a couch would be rightfully high. 
  • India and the United Arab Emirates are the biggest buyers of health supplements at 25% and 26%, respectively. Globally, about 14% do cross-country health product buys. 

Only 5% of the world buys CDs and DVDs across the ocean. These people mostly reside in the European and North American regions. 

15% of the world isn’t hesitant about buying food and beverages across borders. This is especially true for Asia and 60% of Africa. 

76% of Indian shoppers and 78% of South African shoppers are guilty of buying footwear. 

If you have a household appliance eStore, your biggest consumer base is Nigeria. 

Conversely, if you sell electronic products, you will have the hardest time convincing German buyers. 

Electronic products are priced super competitively in local stores in Germany. Naturally, this reduces the need for consumers to look for electronics outside the country. 

Black Friday and Cyber Mondays are two concepts adopted all around the world. 

However, these are American traditions. Even with how large scale they have become, they fail to compete with local festivals. 

As such, Gen Z and Millenials in the US wait for Thanksgiving to come around to go on their November shopping spree. 

The reality is different for someone in India, China, or Malaysia. 

Indians start their buying spree a month before Diwali, which is almost always in November. Depending on the state, holiday buying could start way earlier. 

There are all kinds of festivals the country celebrates. 

Ramadan is another popular celebration in India and other countries with a larger Muslim population, such as Malaysia and Indonesia. 

Then, China has the Singles’ Day concept reserved for 11/11. It is a day when people supposedly celebrate being single, though couples appear to have taken over the holiday. 

South Koreans celebrate Chuseok (Harvest Festival) and so on. 

You should note down local festivals so you can send discounts and special offers to their inbox at the perfect time.

What Do Online Shoppers Want?

When you summarize the key statistics, finding out what online shoppers want isn’t tough. 

  • 65% of customers want the option to change the delivery date after they have bought an item. 
  • 70% of customers want information on the delivery provider when making a purchase. 
  • 51% of global customers want to be able to track their items while in transit. 
  • 36% of the world is subscribed to an eCommerce platform. 
  • Food delivery companies get the highest subscription vote in every country. 

When you look at the statistics, what you have to do to make your eCommerce business thrive is an easy equation. 

  • Give customers multiple delivery options. This means multiple dates and places to deliver the item. 
  • Keep customers up to date on each phase of item packaging and delivery. 
  • Hide delivery prices inside the total price. Your customers know delivery charges are included. They don’t want to see how much. 
  • Non-mobile friendly websites will lose more customers. 

Social media is gaining more of the online shopping market every day. 

Create an account on Facebook or Instagram, promote your items, and make it easy for customers to buy items while inside the social app. 

And your biggest future shoppers, Gen Z, cares about sustainability. Try to adopt it. 

How many people use online shopping

80 million more people joined as eCommerce buyers between 2022 and 2023. In 2023, this adds up to 2.64 billion consumers who will purchase online. This translates to 33.4% of the world’s population being at least registered with one eCommerce platform, a 3.1% growth year over year.

Final Thoughts

While shopping habits can differ based on the country and region, when it comes to preferred items, most of the globe has the same preferences. 

Clothing, footwear, and cosmetics sell the most. These are also the areas with the highest competition

Pet products may have the most dedicated fanbase. Pet owners pay more and buy more. 

Also, if you are an American food and beverage seller, you have to sell coffee to the 60% of Americans who love bitter brews.