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Online and Mobile Shopping - US - September 2016

"Online sales doubled from 2011-16, with steady growth of 14-16% annually. Enabling this growth through 2015 were rising numbers of households with access to broadband, as well as rapidly rising ownership of smartphones and tablets. Since the gains from these key drivers has already occurred and may have reached a limit,  future growth will primarily occur on the basis of existing online shoppers making more of their purchases online. This avenue to growth appears to already be in effect, with categories previously purchased only in-store beginning to take hold online, including furniture, clothing, and groceries.

This Report reviews these transitions in the online and mobile marketplace via quantitative and qualitative work on the frequency of online and mobile shopping, cart size, categories purchased, the pre-purchase process, as well as attitudes toward shipping and retailer selection."

- Billy Hulkower, Senior Technology Analyst

This report covers the following areas:

  • Amazon holds aces
  • New shoppers a rare find
  • Grocery shopping not quite ready for prime time

The use of marketing dollars specifically oriented to drive online buyers to mobile and desktop websites is far from an idle pursuit, even when an immediate conversion does not occur. These same sites have become a central means by which shoppers conduct prepurchase research, using e-commerce storefronts to find new products that interest them, compare prices, and assess what other buyers think of those products. Solid e-commerce marketing will increasingly become the means by which total retail sales (online and offline) grow.

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Amazon holds aces
            • Figure 1: Extent of online shopping conducted on Amazon, April 2016
          • New shoppers a rare find
            • Figure 2: Incidence of online shopping in past month, by device, April 2016
          • Grocery shopping not quite ready for prime time
            • Figure 3: Shopping for groceries online, by parental status, April 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Same buyers, more sales
              • Figure 4: Engagement with online shopping, April 2016
            • Young, high-income, and urban households load carts up
              • Figure 5: Median spend on most recent order, by selected demographics, April 2016
            • Social mandates boost sales
              • Figure 6: Fast-growing retailers with social mandates, 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Sales double 2011-16
                • Trillions remain available at brick-and-mortar
                  • Mobile the location of growth 2014-16
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Steady double-digit growth
                      • Figure 7: Total US online retail sales and forecast, at current prices, 2011-21
                    • Best-case scenario places sales near $1 trillion in 2021
                      • Figure 8: US total online shopping sales and fan chart forecast, at current prices, 2011-21
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Barriers remain in food, household goods
                      • Figure 9: Categories avoided in online shopping, April 2016
                    • In their own words
                      • Shifting landscape for groceries
                        • Figure 10: Shopping for groceries online, by gender and age, April 2016
                      • In their own words
                      • Market Breakdown

                        • Mobile carries a third of sales
                            • Figure 11: US mobile shopping sales vs online shopping sales via desktop, 2014 and 2016
                        • Market Factors – Technology

                          • Future growth in broadband households limited
                            • Figure 12: US residential broadband subscriptions, 2012-15
                            • Figure 13: Number of US household, 2005-15
                          • Mid- and high-income households already broadband subscribers
                            • Figure 14: Home internet subscription, by household income, October 2015-June 2016
                          • Tablet ownership still rising
                            • Figure 15: Smartphone and tablet ownership, April 2015-June 2016
                          • Apps for phones, sites for tablets
                            • Figure 16: Methods of internet access, June 2016
                        • Market Factors – Demographics

                          • Households with children
                            • Figure 17: Engagement with online shopping, by parental status, April 2016
                          • Focusing on increasing sales among existing shoppers with children
                            • Figure 18: Number of US households, by presence of children, 2005-15
                          • Growing Hispanic population spending more online
                            • Figure 19: Mean spend on most recent order, Hispanics vs non-Hispanics, April 2016
                          • Ages 25-44 show elevated spending
                            • Figure 20: Mean spend on most recent order, by age, April 2016
                        • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                          • Amazon pulls further ahead
                            • Mass merchandisers, department stores see big gains
                              • Rapid growth aligned with social mandates and category specialists
                              • What’s Working?

                                • Amazon grows sales $12.9 billion in 2015
                                  • Figure 21: Extent of online shopping conducted on Amazon, April 2016
                                • In their own words
                                  • Software, online debuts boost Apple’s online sales
                                    • Walmart prioritizes development of online resources
                                      • Figure 22: Interest in buying groceries online, by Hispanic origin, April 2016
                                    • Department stores see rising e-commerce sales
                                      • In their own words:
                                          • Figure 23: Selected online retailers with increases in sales of $500 million or more in 2015
                                      • What’s Struggling?

                                        • Declines linked to sector or brand-specific woes
                                            • Figure 24: Selected online retailers with sales declines in 2015
                                        • What’s Next?

                                          • Ethical brands ring it in
                                            • Furniture begins transition to e-commerce
                                              • Everyday purchases
                                                • Figure 25: Selected online retailers with sales increases of 50%+, 2015
                                            • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                              • Desktop dominates
                                                • Spending and frequency intertwined
                                                  • Price comparisons top prepurchase activity
                                                    • Young men, parents less concerned with shipping fees
                                                    • Use of Desktop and Mobile Platforms

                                                      • Desktop platform primary arena for conversions
                                                        • Figure 26: Incidence of online shopping in past month, by device, April 2016
                                                      • Desktop dominance holds in frequency comparisons
                                                        • Figure 27: Frequency of online shopping in past month, by device, April 2016
                                                    • Frequency of Online Shopping

                                                      • Two thirds make multiple purchase per month
                                                        • Figure 28: Frequency of online shopping (any device), by parental status, April 2016
                                                      • Hispanics devoted to frequent purchasing
                                                        • Figure 29: Frequency of online shopping (any device), by race/Hispanic origin, April 2016
                                                    • Cart Size

                                                      • Orders typically well above free shipping limits
                                                        • Figure 30: Mean spend on most recent order, by parental status, April 2016
                                                      • Urbanites carry more weight
                                                        • Figure 31: Mean spend on most recent order, by location of residence, April 2016
                                                        • Figure 32: Motivations for online shopping, April 2016
                                                    • Attitudes to Shipping

                                                      • Avoiding fees priority for majority
                                                        • Figure 33: Attitudes to shipping, April 2016
                                                      • Parents more likely to splurge
                                                        • Figure 34: Attitudes to shipping, by parental status, April 2016
                                                      • Young men less sensitive to fees
                                                        • Figure 35: Attitudes to shipping, by gender and age, April 2016
                                                      • Frequent shoppers more liberal with fees
                                                        • Figure 36: Attitudes to shipping, by online shopping frequency, April 2016
                                                    • Shopping Preferences

                                                      • Some leeway available in price
                                                        • Figure 37: Preferences and behavior in retailer selection, April 2016
                                                      • Parents give thought to suggestions, service, subscriptions
                                                        • Figure 38: Preferences and behavior in retailer selection, by parental status, April 2016
                                                      • Hispanics consider more than price
                                                        • Figure 39: Preferences and behavior in retailer selection, by Hispanic origin, April 2016
                                                      • Frequent shoppers favor overall experience
                                                        • Figure 40: Preferences and behavior in retailer selection, by online shopping frequency, April 2016
                                                    • The Purchase Process

                                                      • Price comparisons, review top prepurchase activities
                                                        • Figure 41: Steps taken prior to online shopping purchases, by category, April 2016
                                                      • In their own words
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                        • Data sources
                                                          • Sales data
                                                            • Market Size definition
                                                              • Fan chart forecast
                                                                • Consumer survey data
                                                                  • Consumer qualitative research
                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                        • Terms
                                                                        • Appendix – Market

                                                                            • Figure 42: Total US online sales, at inflation adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                                            • Figure 43: Population by Hispanic origin, 2011-21
                                                                            • Figure 44: Population by age, 2011-21
                                                                        • Appendix – Consumer

                                                                          • Cart size
                                                                            • Figure 45: Mean spend on most recent order, by household income, April 2016
                                                                          • Motivations for online shopping
                                                                            • Figure 46: Motivations for online shopping, by parental status, April 2016
                                                                          • Engagement
                                                                            • Figure 47: Engagement with online shopping, by area, April 2016
                                                                          • Purchase process
                                                                            • Figure 48: Steps taken prior to online shopping purchases, by product category, by frequent shoppers, April 2016

                                                                        Companies Covered

                                                                        • Experian

                                                                        Online and Mobile Shopping - US - September 2016

                                                                        £3,174.67 (Excl.Tax)