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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the eCommerce Behaviours: Understanding the Consumer Journey: Inc Impact of COVID-19-US market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the expected growth of the ecommerce industry, as consumers have increased their online shopping across categories. As consumers continue to limit their in-store shopping and rely on online channels throughout their consumer journey, online retailers are intently working on enhancing their ecommerce capabilities and shopping experience. Moving forward, ecommerce will become even more essential to all phases of the shopping journey, and it is imperative for retailers to understand consumers’ changing behaviors and preferences to ensure an optimal online shopping experience.

All reports purchased from the Mintel Store now come with free access to our COVID-19 Global Insights Hub, allowing you to understand how industries and consumer behaviour is changing worldwide.

What does the COVID-19 Global Insights Hub give you access to?

  • Over 450 pieces of research (with more published each week) addressing markets across the globe.
  • Discover how people in countries at different stages of the crisis are adjusting to the ‘new normal’.
  • Trending industries which have seen growth due to the changes in circumstance.
  • Our latest consumer research surveys, allowing you to see customers views right now.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Katie Yackey, a leading analyst in the eCommerce sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

The online consumer journey is not always a linear path, as consumers are often on a fluid journey between discovery, research, purchasing and re-buying. Consumers want to be able to seamlessly transition between shopping across online and offline channels, based on their needs and preferences. As COVID-19 has caused an increase in online shopping across categories, retailers must work to improve their ecommerce capabilities to cater to consumers’ evolving shopping behavior and expectations in the next normal Katie Yackey
eCommerce Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
        • Executive Summary 

            • Top takeaways 
              • Market overview 
                • Figure 1: Total US retail ecommerce sales and forecast, at current prices, 2015-25
              • Impact of COVID-19 on eCommerce
                • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on ecommerce, July 2020
              • Opportunities and Challenges  
                • Improving the seamless shopping experience
                  • Increasing engagement through personalized experiences
                    • Small businesses can leverage social media to stay connected with consumers shopping online
                      • An uncertain future leads to scaled back spending and an increased focus on value throughout the entire consumer journey
                      • The Market – What You Need to Know

                        • The ecommerce market sees exponential growth
                          • Comfort levels with buying a variety of products online grow
                            • Access to the internet is not ubiquitous
                            • Market Size and Forecast

                              • eCommerce growth continues to accelerate
                                • Figure 3: Total US retail ecommerce sales and forecast, at current prices, 2015-25
                            • Market Overview

                              • eCommerce is used on a regular basis…
                                • Figure 4: Online shopping frequency, May 2020
                                • Figure 5: Items purchased online, May 2020
                                • Figure 6: Items typically purchased online by online shopping frequency, May 2020
                              • …but it still comprises a smaller piece of total retail sales
                                • Figure 7: Total percentage of online purchases, May 2020
                            • Market Factors

                              • Unemployment, Consumer Confidence & DPI
                                • Figure 8: Unemployment and Underemployment, January 2007-June 2020
                                • Figure 9: Nordstrom Local, Brentwood CA
                              • Varied access to the internet
                                  • Figure 10: Comcast Internet Essentials
                                • Emerging technology ups the ecommerce game
                                  • Augmented and virtual reality
                                    • Digital showrooms
                                      • Figure 11: Diesel’s virtual showroom
                                    • Artificial intelligence
                                      • Figure 12: Brookfield Properties and Fit:Match Partnership
                                    • Social commerce
                                      • Figure 13: TargetShop
                                    • Brands need to walk the walk
                                      • Figure 14: Target Black-owned businesses promotion
                                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                    • Partnerships will be key to future growth and success
                                      • Social commerce continues to climb
                                        • Seamless shopping is expected
                                          • Local businesses rely more heavily on ecommerce
                                            • Plowing ahead with 5G connections
                                            • What’s Happening

                                              • Partnerships beyond a brand’s category
                                                • Lululemon & MIRROR
                                                  • Figure 15: Mirror demonstration
                                                • West Elm & Zoom
                                                  • Figure 16: West Elm Zoom background
                                                • The rise of social commerce
                                                  • Figure 17: Target Shop
                                                • Seamless shopping: a new era
                                                  • COVID has accelerated the seamless shopping experience
                                                    • Figure 18: Ashley Homestore interior design
                                                  • Brookfield Properties incorporates Fit:Match
                                                    • Figure 19: Brookfield Properties Fit:Match
                                                  • eCommerce supports local communities
                                                    • Small businesses became a focus with the outbreak
                                                      • Figure 20: Green City Market
                                                  • What to Watch

                                                    • Amazon moves further into seamless shopping
                                                      • Figure 21: Amazon Dash Cart
                                                    • Digital showrooms bring the in-store experience online
                                                      • The heated race to 5G
                                                      • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                        • Consumers want flexibility in their shopping journey
                                                          • Social media grows as a starting point for searches and source of inspiration
                                                            • The consumer journey does not end after purchase
                                                              • There are opportunities to overcome the price barrier
                                                                • Products need to resonate with consumers to encourage impulse buys
                                                                • eCommerce Attitudes

                                                                  • Consumers want what they want
                                                                    • Figure 22: Attitudes toward ecommerce, may 2020
                                                                  • The online shopping process is emotional
                                                                    • Figure 23: Attitudes toward ecommerce, may 2020
                                                                  • COVID-19 changed the online retail game
                                                                    • Figure 24: Attitudes toward eCommerce, may 2020
                                                                • The Elements of eCommerce

                                                                    • The elements work together to create an optimal shopping experience
                                                                        • Figure 25: eCommerce attribute importance, May 2020
                                                                      • Gen Z wants a crafted experience
                                                                        • Figure 26: eCommerce attribute importance, by generation, May 2020
                                                                    • Shopping Starting Points

                                                                      • Social media playing more of a role in the shopping journey
                                                                        • Figure 27: Ulta Instagram bio
                                                                        • Figure 28: Starting points for clothing, groceries or beauty products, May 2020
                                                                      • Social media spikes for younger consumers
                                                                        • Figure 29: Starting points for clothing, groceries or beauty products, by generation, May 2020
                                                                      • Consumers want options
                                                                        • Figure 30: Reasons for starting point, May 2020
                                                                        • Figure 31: Pinterest Lens
                                                                      • Younger consumers look for stamp of approval by community
                                                                        • Figure 32: Lulu’s Ambassador
                                                                        • Figure 33: Reasons for starting point, by generation, May 2020
                                                                      • The basics need to be rock solid for brands to build upon
                                                                        • Figure 34: Important factors for online purchase, May 2020
                                                                    • Search Inspiration

                                                                      • Social blends inspiration and information
                                                                        • Figure 35: Sources of product inspiration, May 2020
                                                                      • Instagram inspiration
                                                                        • Figure 36: Instagram inspiration
                                                                        • Figure 37: Sources of product inspiration, by generation, May 2020
                                                                    • Mobile Usage

                                                                      • Mobile is closing the gap on computers
                                                                        • Figure 38: Typical online shopping habits, May 2020
                                                                        • Figure 39: Typical online mobile shopping habits, May 2020
                                                                      • The shopping experience is connected through mobile devices
                                                                        • Figure 40: Mobile shopping attitudes, May 2020
                                                                      • Millennials rely on their mobile devices along their shopping journey
                                                                        • Figure 41: Mobile shopping attitudes, by generation, May 2020
                                                                    • Post-purchase Follow-up

                                                                      • Companies must go beyond the transaction
                                                                        • Figure 42: StitchFix Offer
                                                                        • Figure 43: Post-purchase opportunities, May 2020
                                                                      • Provide younger consumers opportunities to be involved
                                                                        • Figure 44: Post-purchase opportunities, by generation, May 2020
                                                                    • Barriers and Frustrations

                                                                      • Price will always be a barrier to overcome … but it can be overcome
                                                                        • Figure 45: Allbirds carbon footprint
                                                                        • Figure 46: Barriers to purchase, May 2020
                                                                        • Figure 47: TURF Barriers to purchase, May 2020
                                                                      • Eliminate barriers to a smooth and speedy checkout
                                                                        • Figure 48: Frustrations with online shopping, May 2020
                                                                      • Seeing is believing, even if seeing is virtual
                                                                        • Figure 49: Frustrations with online shopping, by generation, May 2020
                                                                    • Impulse Buys

                                                                      • Adding value will entice consumers to add more to their carts
                                                                        • Figure 50: Impulse buy drivers, May 2020
                                                                      • Gen Z is driven by emotion when making impulse purchases
                                                                        • Figure 51: Impulse buy drivers, by generation, May 2020
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Fan chart forecast
                                                                          • Consumer survey data
                                                                            • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                              • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                  • Figure 52: Total US retail ecommerce sales and forecast, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                  • Figure 53: Sources of product inspiration, by race, May 2020
                                                                                  • Figure 54: Barriers to purchase, by generation, May 2020

                                                                              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.


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