“Shopping online has become a critical aspect of shopping in general for consumers over the last several years. The pandemic certainly accelerated consumers’ use of ecommerce across generations, and while they are returning to in-store shopping, they still use online channels for everything from discovery and research to purchasing and post-purchase interactions with brands. The coming years will see increased online engagements as innovations such as the metaverse grow, and social commerce becomes more commonplace.”
– Katie Hansen, Senior Analyst, Retail and eCommerce

This Report looks at the following areas

  • The profile of the online shopper
  • Why consumers decide to shop online
  • Where consumers begin their online shopping journey
  • Researching and purchasing behaviors
  • Post-purchase expectations and opportunities for brands
  • Reasons for impulse purchases as well as cart abandonment
  • Frustrations with the online shopping process

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Market overview
      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of ecommerce, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 2: eCommerce outlook, 2022-27
    • Challenges and opportunities
    • Online window shopping leads to higher rates of cart abandonment
    • A choppy shopping journey will have consumers jumping ship
    • Evolutions in tech help brands bring experiences to consumers online
    • Key consumer insights
  3. Market Size and Forecast

    • eCommerce continues its climb, albeit at a slower pace
      • Figure 3: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of ecommerce, at current prices, 2017-27
      • Figure 4: Total US ecommerce sales and forecast, at current prices, 2017-27
  4. Market Factors

    • Consumers re-examine their budgets as inflation continues to rise
      • Figure 5: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, 2007-22
    • Younger generations are a key target market for brands online
      • Figure 6: Population by generation, 2021
    • Technological advancements change the path-to-purchase landscape
    • Online shopping can leave a wake of environmental damage in its path
  5. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

      • Figure 7: Key elements of ecommerce – Ranked 1st, 2022
    • Convenience continues to be king
      • Figure 8: Key elements of ecommerce – Convenience, 2022
    • Seamless shopping gives consumers the flexibility they seek
      • Figure 9: Key elements of ecommerce – Seamless shopping, 2022
      • Figure 10: Rothy’s partners with Happy Returns
    • Personalization opportunities give brands a human touch online
      • Figure 11: Key elements of ecommerce – Personalization, 2022
      • Figure 12: Prose encourages consumers to keep updating preferences for a personalized experience
    • Technology: tech enables an elevated experience
      • Figure 13: Key elements of ecommerce – Technology, 2022
      • Figure 14: Amazon shows its option for virtual shoe try-on
  6. The Online Consumer – Fast Facts

  7. The Online Shopper Profile

    • Consumers from all backgrounds shop online
      • Figure 15: Online shopping frequency, by key demos, 2022
    • A seamless experience must expand to smartphone shopping
      • Figure 16: Devices used to shop, by key demos, 2022
    • Online shopping is intertwined with physical retail
      • Figure 17: Percentage of purchases made online, by key demos, 2022
  8. The Role of Online in the Purchase Journey

    • The online experience provides practicality and convenience
      • Figure 18: Reasons to shop online, 2022
    • Younger generations look for flexibility and control
      • Figure 19: Reasons to shop online, by generation, 2022
    • Consumers can relax as they shop online from their homes
      • Figure 20: Attitudes – Online versus in-store, 2022
    • Millennials are the most enthusiastic about shopping online
      • Figure 21: Attitudes – Online versus in-store, by generation 2022
    • Consumers shop a variety of products online with offline assistance
      • Figure 22: Products purchased, 2022
  9. Online Shopping Origin

    • Amazon commands as consumers’ starting point
      • Figure 23: Online shopping origin, 2022
    • Consumers want options, insight as they start shopping online
      • Figure 24: Reasons for origin, 2022
    • Each starting point has its own benefits
      • Figure 25: Reasons for origin, by starting location, 2022
      • Figure 26: Target and Ulta partnerships, 2022
  10. Sources of Discovery

    • Family and friends, search engines, and social media aid consumers in their discovery process
      • Figure 27: Sources of discovery, 2022
    • Social media continues to be a destination for younger generations
      • Figure 28: Sources of discovery, by generation, 2022
      • Figure 29: Shady Rays puts its product in motion
    • Parents seek out social sources to ask questions, find answers
      • Figure 30: Sources of discovery, by parental status, 2022
  11. Research Behaviors

    • Consumers incorporate a variety of sources when researching products
      • Figure 31: Sources of information, 2022
    • Women seek out opinions from community; men look for authenticity
      • Figure 32: Sources of information, by gender, 2022
    • Basic understanding is the first key to a successful purchase journey
      • Figure 33: Research behaviors, 2022
    • Emphasize clarity, transparency with women
      • Figure 34: Research behaviors, by gender, 2022
    • Younger consumers seek an elevated research experience
      • Figure 35: Research behaviors, by generation, 2022
  12. Purchase Behaviors

    • Price, matching the right need, and the brand relationship drive purchases
      • Figure 36: Motivations to purchase an item, 2022
    • Millennials look for brands that offer flexibility
      • Figure 37: Motivations to purchase an item, by generation, 2022
    • Websites remain most popular for purchasing
      • Figure 38: Preferred purchase method, 2022
    • Younger generations branch outside of websites
      • Figure 39: Preferred purchase method, by generation, 2022
    • Traditional payment methods remain the priority for consumers
      • Figure 40: Preferred payment method, 2022
    • Younger consumers are more likely to seek out alternative payment options
      • Figure 41: Preferred payment method, by generation, 2022
  13. Post-purchase Process

    • The brand experience continues after a consumer makes a purchase
      • Figure 42: Post-purchase follow-up, 2022
    • Gen Z, Millennials see value in a continuous conversation with brands
      • Figure 43: Post-purchase follow-up, by generation, 2022
    • Give parents a reason to feel good about their purchases
      • Figure 44: Post-purchase follow-up, by parental status, 2022
    • The delivery and return experience factors into the purchase journey
  14. Impulse Purchases

    • Value is at the center of impulse purchases
      • Figure 45: Impulse purchases, by gender, 2022
    • Higher household incomes are more receptive to impulse purchase drivers
      • Figure 46: Impulse purchases, by household income, 2022
  15. Cart Abandonment

    • Price, window shopping increase chances for cart abandonment
      • Figure 47: Reasons for cart abandonment, 2022
    • Women consider if they need an item; men consider if they have the best item
      • Figure 48: Reasons for cart abandonment, by gender, 2022
  16. Online Shopping Frustrations

    • Transparency is the number one desired feature from brands
      • Figure 49: Frustrations with online shopping, 2022
    • Parents want to move smoothly through the online journey
      • Figure 50: Frustrations with online shopping, by parental status, 2022
  17. Attitudes toward Online Shopping

    • Provide consumers with control, flexible options as they shop online
      • Figure 51: Attitudes – Delivery, returns, reorders, 2022
    • Gen Z is impatient with their deliveries
      • Figure 52: Attitudes – Delivery, returns, reorders, 2022
    • Consumers find fun as they shop online
      • Figure 53: Attitudes – Online shopping enjoyment, 2022
    • Put human touches on a digital environment
      • Figure 54: Attitudes – The brand relationship, 2022
      • Figure 55: Branch Basics taps into storytelling to connect with consumers
    • Younger consumers take advantage of ways to get to know a brand online
      • Figure 56: Attitudes – The brand relationship, 2022
  18. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
  19. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 57: Total US ecommerce sales and forecast, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2017-27

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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