Highlights. In the United States alone, 268.2 million consumers shop online.

  • 44% of female shoppers and 53% of males prefer to browse retail items online as opposed to in-store.
  • Millennials (born 1981-1996) are 23% more likely than the average consumer to do most of their shopping online.
  • Generation Z consumers (born 1997-2012) are 9.5% more likely than the average consumer to make frequent online purchases.

Please note that this report generally conforms to terminology used in source data.

Grouped Bar Graph: Selected Online Purchases by Gender, according to Statista

Online Shopping by Sex or Gender

Statistics indicate that shopping habits inform spending.

  • 43% of women and 32% of men regularly shop third-party online marketplaces.
  • 35% of women prefer to purchase items online as opposed to in person.
  • Among female online shoppers, 62.9% prefer to use a brand’s app or website.
  • 22.9% of women buying online prefer to use a brand’s mobile app or website.
  • 40% of men prefer to purchase items online as opposed to in person.
  • 60% of men buying online prefer to use a brand’s app or website.
  • 12.5% of men prefer to buy mobile app or mobile website.
  • 57% of men and 45% of women shopping online have used buy now, pay later (BNPL) services.
  • 94% of women aged 15 to 35 years who shop online shop at a rate exceeding one hour per day.

Grouped Bar Graph: How Shoppers Research Products by Age Group, according to Statista

Online Shopping by Age

Age groups and generations often have unique shopping preferences.

  • 54.4% of clothes shoppers on mobile devices are between the ages of 18 and 24.
  • 26.8% of clothes shoppers on mobile are 25- to 34-year-olds.
  • Just 4.2% of mobile clothes shoppers are 45 to 54 years old.
  • Online shoppers aged 18 to 44 years are equally likely to use buy now, pay later (BNPL) services (roughly 60% have used the service at least once).
  • 45% of shoppers aged 45 to 54 years have used BNPL.
  • Among shoppers aged 55 years and older, 25% have used BNPL.

Grouped Bar Graph: Online Grocery Shoppers Per Age Group, according to Information Research, Inc.

Online Shopping by Generation

Consumers born between 1965 and 1980 (usually classified as Generation X) are most likely to shop online on a daily or weekly basis while shoppers born between 1997 and 2012 (Generation Z) are the least likely to shop online at all.

  • Shoppers born between 1981 and 1996 (Millennials) are 14.3% more likely than any other generation to do most of their shopping online.
  • Millennials are also the only generation to prefer online shopping to in-store shopping (by 2.78%).
  • In 12 months, Generation Z shoppers are 12.0% less likely to shop online than the average American consumer.
  • Shoppers born between 1946 and 1964 (Baby Boomers) are 8.43% more likely than other generations to shop online at least once over the course of a year.
  • Gen Z consumers are 11.9% less likely to regularly shop online than the average American consumer.
  • Gen X consumers are 9.52% more likely than the average American to shop online at least on a weekly basis.
  • Generation Z adults are the generation most likely to use mobile payment online (by 27.3%).

Grouped Bar Graph: Primary Shopping Method by Generation according to the National Retail Federation

Generation Z Online Shopping Statistics

Many Generation Z consumers (born 1997-2012) are still below the age of 18, meaning they may not purchase their own groceries, clothing, or personal products.

  • Given the option, 36% of Generation Z consumers would prefer to shop online instead of in-store.
  • 28% of Gen Z consumers shop primarily online; 36% shop online and in-store in equal measure.
  • 73% of Generation Z consumers shopped online over 12 months.
  • 37% of Gen Z-ers shop online on a daily or weekly basis.
  • 56% of Gen Z adults used mobile payment online at least once in the last month.

Millennial Online Shopping Statistics

Millennial consumers (born 1981-1996) are more likely than other generations to browse and buy online on a regular basis.

  • Given the option, 37% of Millennials would prefer to shop online instead of in-store.
  • 32% of Millennials do most of their shopping online; 30% shop online and in-store in equal measure.
  • In 12 months, 85% of Millennial consumers shopped online.
  • 44% of Millennials shop online on a daily or weekly basis.
  • 44% of Millennials used mobile payment online at least once in the last month.

Generation X Online Shopping Statistics

While Generation X consumers (born 1965-1980) prefer to shop in-store, they shop online roughly as often as Millennials.

  • Given the option, 25% of Generation X consumers prefer to shop online instead of in-store.
  • 27% of Gen X consumers primarily shop online; 23% shop online and in-store in equal measure.
  • In 12 months, 85% of Gen X consumers shopped online.
  • 46% of Gen X-ers report shopping online on a daily or weekly basis.
  • 29% of Gen X-ers used mobile payment online at least once in the last month.

Baby Boomer Online Shopping Statistics

Baby Boomers (born 1946-1964) prefer in-store shopping and are the generation most likely to have shopped online at least once in the last 12 months.

  • Given the option, 25% of Baby Boomers would prefer to shop online instead of in-store.
  • 22% of Baby Boomers shop primarily online; 18% shop online and in-store in equal measure.
  • In 12 months, 90% #2) of Boomer consumers shopped online.
  • 39% of Boomers shop online on a daily or weekly basis.
  • 16% of Baby Boomers used mobile payment online at least once in the last month.

Grouped Bar Graph: Online Grocery Shopping Trends by Annual Income according to Information Research Inc.

Online Shopping by Income

Consumers from households with higher incomes are more likely to purchase groceries online.

  • Given the option, 30% of consumers prefer to shop online instead of in-store regardless of household income.
  • 18% of consumers from households with an average income below $50,000 buy from online second-hand clothing stores.
  • 75% of consumers from households over $100,000 say they will never purchase second-hand clothing online.
  • Consumers from high-income households are 9.62% more likely than other income levels to purchase beauty products online after the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Consumers from low-income households are 4.88% more likely than other income levels to have maintained the same beauty product-buying habits.

These data and insights were compiled by the Capital One Shopping team based on publicly available data.

Sources

  1. Statista, E-Commerce
  2. Statista, Retail & Trade
  3. Morning Consult, Retail & E-commerce
  4. Pew Research Center, Defining Generations
  5. Forbes, 20 Facts to Know When Marketing to Women
  6. Numerator, Ad Age
  7. Statista, Finance & Insurance