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Online and Mobile Shopping - US - March 2012

Changes in consumer electronics ownership and cellular data services are creating scenarios that promote online sales: smartphone apps allow consumers to scan barcodes when at brick-and-mortar retailers and help them determine whether immediacy is of sufficient value to incur the price difference; tablets present a larger screen for mobile shopping, and retailers continue to release shopping apps optimized for smartphone and tablet usage. Even outside of the mobile arena, home access to broadband is still on the rise. Within this environment, Mintel’s custom consumer research for this report explores the following questions:

  • Which are the leading online retailers and how have they become successful? How dominant is Amazon?
  • Which consumers are the heaviest online buyers? Which are the heaviest mobile shoppers?
  • What attitudes and motivations influence the demographics that spend the most online?
  • How does hardware ownership impact behavior? How do the categories purchased differ between PC shopping and mobile shopping?
  • Are payment services important to loyalty? Do mobile buyers prefer apps or browsers?
  • How frequently is barcode scanning accomplished? How often do people utilize daily deal sites? How often do they seek out mobile coupons?
  • Does the rise of online sales suggest that there will be a tipping point at which they become the norm?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                        • The market
                          • A future brighter than its already glowing past
                            • Figure 1: Fan chart forecast of U.S. total online and mobile shopping sales, 2006-16
                          • Market factors
                            • Gifts, internet access, 3G/4G tablets drivers
                              • Figure 2: Frequency of purchasing via tablet, by presence of data plan for tablet, December, 2011
                            • Competing with brick-and-mortar retailers harder than it looks
                              • Figure 3: Online and mobile shopping share of total retail sales, 2006-11
                            • Selling the home page
                              • Television buys require special motive
                                • The consumer
                                  • Growth is in spend, not penetration
                                    • Store selection based on familiarity and pricing
                                      • Mobile shopping, mobile shopping apps most appreciated by Millennials
                                        • Figure 4: Categories purchased on PC vs. mobile, December, 2011
                                      • Whites, Asians, and married with children lead sales
                                        • What we think
                                        • Issues in the Market

                                            • Can mobile hardware be bad for online sales?
                                              • Can e-tailers stay a step ahead of the taxman?
                                                • In-person shopping: free entertainment?
                                                  • The immediacy problem: Can e-tailers compete in consumables?
                                                  • Inspire Insights

                                                      • Inspire trend: Let’s make a deal
                                                        • From chore to hobby
                                                          • Hotwire and dynamic pricing
                                                            • Inspire trend: Make it mine
                                                              • One-size-fits-all mentality is dead
                                                                • Personalized products, personalized imagery
                                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • The glorious future just around the corner
                                                                        • Figure 5: U.S. total online and mobile shopping sales, at current prices, 2006-16
                                                                        • Figure 6: U.S. total online and mobile shopping sales, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2006-16
                                                                      • Smartphone sales
                                                                        • Figure 7: U.S. Smartphone shopping sales*, at current prices, 2006-15
                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                          • Figure 8: Fan chart forecast of U.S. total online and mobile shopping sales, 2006-16
                                                                      • Market Drivers

                                                                        • Key points
                                                                          • Gift purchasing
                                                                            • Figure 9: Any online purchase, by category (net of PC, phone, and tablet), December 2011
                                                                          • Access to hardware and broadband
                                                                            • PC penetration comes to a standstill
                                                                              • Figure 10: PC penetration, 2008-11
                                                                              • Figure 11: PC penetration, by age, February-September 2011
                                                                              • Figure 12: Internet access at home, 2008-11
                                                                              • Figure 13: Internet access at home, by age, February-September 2011
                                                                              • Figure 14: Internet access at home, by household income, February-September 2011
                                                                              • Figure 15: Broadband access in online sample, December 2011
                                                                              • Figure 16: Broadband access in online sample, by household income, December 2011
                                                                            • Millennials still climbing aboard mobile hardware, online shopping
                                                                              • Figure 17: Smartphone, tablet, and PC penetration in online sample, by age, December 2011
                                                                              • Figure 18: Smartphone, tablet, and PC penetration in online sample, by household income, December 2011
                                                                              • Figure 19: Planned acquisition of first smartphone, tablet, or PC, by age, December 2011
                                                                              • Figure 20: First time buying presents online, by age, December 2011
                                                                            • Access to mobile internet
                                                                              • Figure 21: Internet usage on cell phone, by age, February-September 2011
                                                                              • Figure 22: Internet usage on cell phone, by household income, February-September 2011
                                                                              • Figure 23: Access to 3G or 4G mobile internet on cell phone or tablet, December 2011
                                                                              • Figure 24: Access to 3G or 4G mobile internet on cell phone or tablet, by age, December 2011
                                                                              • Figure 25: Access to 3G or 4G mobile internet on cell phone or tablet, by household income, December 2011
                                                                            • 3G and 4G tablets game changers for tablet shopping
                                                                              • Figure 26: Online shopping via tablet, by access to mobile broadband for tablet, December 2011
                                                                            • Interest in remote shopping
                                                                              • Figure 27: Attitudes to shopping, by gender, December 2011
                                                                              • Figure 28: Attitudes to shopping, by age, December 2011
                                                                            • Credit/debit card possession
                                                                              • Figure 29: Credit card/debit card penetration, by age, February-September 2011
                                                                          • Competitive Context

                                                                            • Key points
                                                                              • Slim share of total retail growing annually
                                                                                • Figure 30: Online and mobile shopping share of total retail sales, 2006-11
                                                                              • Electronics, purchases for kids compete best against brick-and-mortar
                                                                                • Figure 31: Any online purchase by category (net of PC, phone, and tablet) vs. in-person purchase, December 2011
                                                                              • Subscriptions remain niche market
                                                                                • Figure 32: Online subscription for household consumables, by age, December 2011
                                                                                • Figure 33: Online subscription for household consumables, by household income, December 2011
                                                                              • PC vs. mobile: gains or cannibalization?
                                                                                • Figure 34: Frequency of online shopping via PC, Tablet, and phone, December 2011
                                                                            • Innovators and Innovations

                                                                                • Scan that ad
                                                                                  • Scan that catalog
                                                                                    • Online dressing rooms
                                                                                    • Leading Companies

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Only half of leaders general merchandisers
                                                                                            • Figure 35: Online sales of top 10 internet retailers, 2009-10
                                                                                          • Purchasing in past month at standard, auction, and daily deals sites
                                                                                            • Figure 36: Traditional online stores shopped at in past month, by age, December 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 37: Traditional online stores shopped at in past month, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                          • Daily deals and other specialty sites
                                                                                            • Figure 38: Daily deal and other specialty online stores shopped at in past month, by age, December 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 39: Daily deal and other specialty online stores shopped at in past month, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                          • Amazon’s moat: 1-Click, PayPhrases, Prime, and subscriptions
                                                                                            • Figure 40: Amazon membership and feature usage, by age, December 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Amazon membership and feature usage, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                            • Figure 42: Online shopping frequency by usage of Amazon or other subscription features, December 2011
                                                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Sites themselves power marketing tools
                                                                                              • Amazon
                                                                                                • eBay
                                                                                                  • Walmart.com
                                                                                                    • QVC
                                                                                                      • Television campaigns
                                                                                                        • Overstock’s big winter sale
                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Overstock “Big Winter Sale,” December 2011 – January 2012
                                                                                                        • Zappos seeks out piece of the holiday pie
                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Zappos “Get your gift,” December 2011
                                                                                                        • QVC aims to be a verb
                                                                                                          • Figure 45: QVC “Holiday greetings,” December 2011
                                                                                                        • eBay is not your grandmother’s auction site
                                                                                                            • Figure 46: eBay “tighten up,” September 2011 – March 2012
                                                                                                          • Walmart wants your cyber dollars
                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Walmart “Cyberdeals,” November 2011
                                                                                                          • Amazon: Happiness is a barcode scanned
                                                                                                            • Figure 48: Amazon “Appalicious,” September-November 2011
                                                                                                        • Online Shopping—Penetration, Frequency, and Spend

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Introduction
                                                                                                              • No increase in penetration for annual purchasing online
                                                                                                                • Figure 49: Any online shopping in past year, 2008-11
                                                                                                              • Women, young, high-income consumers more likely to shop online
                                                                                                                • Figure 50: Any online shopping in past year, by gender, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 51: Any online shopping in past year, by age, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Any online shopping in past year, by household income, February-September 2011
                                                                                                              • Slow rise in monthly purchasing
                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Online shopping purchase and research in the past month, 2008-11
                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Online shopping and research, by gender, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Online shopping and research, by age, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Online shopping and research, by household income, February-September 2011
                                                                                                              • Rapid growth in expenditure per person
                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Amount spent online shopping in past year, 2008-11
                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Amount spent online shopping in past year, by gender, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Amount spent online shopping in past year, by age, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Amount spent online shopping in past year, by household income, February-September 2011
                                                                                                            • Store Selection

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Likes and dislikes of the online shopper
                                                                                                                  • Auctions a tough sell, familiarity and lowest price critical
                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Factors in online store selection, December 2011
                                                                                                                  • Convenience, familiarity, and price: highlights by age, gender, and income
                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Factors in online store selection, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Factors in online store selection (strongly agree), by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                  • Income not a significant determinant of online buying attitudes
                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Factors in online store selection (any agree), by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                  • Understanding attitudes based on disagreement
                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: Factors in online store selection (any disagree), by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: Factors in online store selection (any disagree), by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: Factors in online store selection (any disagree), by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                • Categories Purchased Online

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Media leads, followed by women’s clothing
                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Types of product ordered online in past year, by age, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Types of product ordered online in past year, by household income, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                    • Categories purchased: PC vs. mobile
                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Categories purchased by PC, phone, tablet, and in person, December 2011
                                                                                                                  • Mobile Shopping

                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                      • Frequency of purchasing via mobile
                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Frequency of online shopping via smartphone or tablet, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Frequency of online shopping via smartphone or tablet, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                      • Frequency of shopping via tablet
                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Frequency of online shopping via tablet, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                        • Apps vs. browsers
                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Preference for apps vs. browsers for shopping on mobile devices, December 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Preference for apps vs. browsers for shopping on smartphones, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Preference for apps vs. browsers for shopping on tablets, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Preference for apps vs. browsers for shopping on tablets, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                        • Barcode scanning
                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Frequency of barcode scanning, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                        • Local mobile couponing apps
                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Use of mobile couponing apps, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                        • Let’s get passive about mobile promotions
                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Attitudes to location-based promotions, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 81: Attitudes to location-based promotions, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                        • Responses by brand of smartphone owned
                                                                                                                          • Figure 82: Attitudes to shopping, by brand of smartphone owned, December 2011
                                                                                                                        • Categories purchased via mobile
                                                                                                                          • Figure 83: Any mobile purchase by category by phone or tablet, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                          • Figure 84: Any mobile purchase by category, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                      • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                          • Internet access
                                                                                                                            • Figure 85: Internet access at home, by race/Hispanic origin, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 86: Internet and app usage on cell phone, by race/Hispanic origin, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 87: PC penetration, by race/Hispanic origin, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                          • Participation in online shopping
                                                                                                                            • Figure 88: Any online shopping in past year, by race/Hispanic origin, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 89: Amount spent online shopping in past year, by race/Hispanic origin, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 90: Use of the internet for purchasing or research in past 30 days, by race/Hispanic origin, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 91: Credit card/debit card penetration, by race/Hispanic origin, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                          • Participation by Hispanics, by language spoken in the home
                                                                                                                            • Figure 92: Credit card/debit card penetration, by language spoken in home, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 93: Internet access at home, by language spoken in home, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 94: Any online shopping in past year, by language spoken in home, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Figure 95: Online shopping, by language spoken in home, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                        • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                            • Participation and spend among $100Ks by type of household
                                                                                                                                • Figure 96: Incidence of online shopping in past year among over-$100Ks, by marital status, household income, and presence of children in household, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 97: Amount spent online shopping in past year among those earning $100K+, by marital status, household income, and presence of children in household, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Market participation and spend among 35-44s by type of household
                                                                                                                                • Figure 98: Incidence of online shopping among 35-44s, by marital status and presence of children, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 99: Average amount spent online in past year among 35-44s, by marital status and presence of children, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Frequency of Purchase in Online Study

                                                                                                                              • Majority online make online purchases monthly
                                                                                                                                • Figure 100: Online shopping via PC, tablet, or smartphone, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • 25-34s, those earning $50K+ drive sales
                                                                                                                                • Figure 101: Frequency of online shopping via PC/tablet/smartphone, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 102: Frequency of online shopping via PC/tablet/smartphone, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Additional Useful Tables

                                                                                                                              • Broadband access
                                                                                                                                • Figure 103: Broadband access in online sample, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Figure 104: Broadband access in online sample, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                              • Frequency of purchasing in online survey
                                                                                                                                • Frequency of purchasing by PC
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 105: Frequency of online shopping via PC, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 106: Frequency of online shopping via PC, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Frequency of purchasing by tablet
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 107: Frequency of online shopping via tablet, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Frequency of purchasing by smartphone
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 108: Frequency of online shopping via smartphone, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 109: Frequency of online shopping via smartphone, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 110: Frequency of online smartphone, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Frequency of shopping via smartphone or tablet
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 111: Frequency of online shopping via smartphone or tablet, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Category purchasing by hardware platform
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 112: Categories purchased, by PC, phone, tablet, and in person, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Category purchase by any online platform
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 113: Any online purchase by category (net of PC, phone, and tablet), by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 114: Any online purchase by category (net of PC, phone, and tablet), by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Category purchase via phone or tablet
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 115: Any mobile purchase by category (net of phone and tablet), by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Category purchase via PC
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 116: Categories purchased by PC, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 117: Categories purchased by PC, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 118: Categories purchased by PC, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Category purchase via smartphone
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 119: Categories purchased by smartphone, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 120: Categories purchased by smartphone, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 121: Categories purchased by smartphone, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Category purchase via tablet
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 122: Categories purchased by tablet, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 123: Categories purchased by tablet, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 124: Categories purchased by tablet, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Factors impacting store selection
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 125: Factors in online store selection, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 126: Factors in online store selection, by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 127: Factors in online store selection (any agree), by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 128: Factors in online store selection (strongly agree), by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 129: Factors in online store selection (strongly agree), by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 130: Factors in online store selection (any disagree), by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 131: Factors in online store selection (any disagree), by age, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 132: Factors in online store selection (any disagree), by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Mobile shopping
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 133: Mobile shopping behavior, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 134: Mobile shopping behavior, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 135: Frequency of barcode scanning, by household income, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 136: Use of mobile couponing apps, by gender, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Responses by race/Hispanic origin in online sample
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 137: Smartphone, tablet, and PC penetration in online sample, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 138: Broadband access in online sample, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 139: Attitudes to location-based promotions, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 140: Online shopping via PC/tablet/smartphone, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 141: Frequency of online shopping via tablet, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 142: Online shopping via PC, by race/Hispanic origin, December 2011
                                                                                                                                • Responses by household type among 25-34s
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 143: Amount spent online shopping in past year by marital status, age, and presence of children in household, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 144: Amount spent online shopping in past year, by marital status, age, and presence of children in household, February-September 2011
                                                                                                                              • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                • Apple, Inc
                                                                                                                                • Dell Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Etsy
                                                                                                                                • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Groupon, Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Kmart Corporation
                                                                                                                                • LivingSocial
                                                                                                                                • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                                • Office Depot (North America Retail)
                                                                                                                                • OfficeMax, Inc
                                                                                                                                • PayPal Inc.
                                                                                                                                • Staples, Inc
                                                                                                                                • U.S. Bureau of the Census
                                                                                                                                • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                Online and Mobile Shopping - US - March 2012

                                                                                                                                £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)