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Online Shopping Statistics in the USA – 2021 Report

See how consumer spending is changing over time with insights from Jungle Scout’s Q2 2021 Consumer Trends Report. 

This article will cover: 

  • Consumer spending changes since last quarter
  • How consumers expect their spending to change over the next quarter   
  • How frequently consumers shop online 

This report will be updated quarterly — check back for the most recent data. 

 

Online shopping statistics for 2021

Here are some quick facts about the state of online shopping and U.S. consumer spending in 2021:

  • Overall consumer spending has stayed consistent with spending trends from late 2020
    • 32% of U.S. consumers say their overall spending decreased in early 2021, 43% said it stayed the same, and 26% said it increased
    • 78% expect their overall spending to decrease in Q2 
  • Online shopping, however, is on the rise
    • 39% say their online spending increased in early 2021 — a 5% increase since late 2020
    • 77% expect their online spending to stay the same or decrease in Q2
  • Amazon is still the leading retailer in the U.S. 
    • 71% of consumers shopped on Amazon in 2021, making it the most-shopped retailer in the U.S. 
    • 37% of consumers spent more money on Amazon in early 2021 vs. late 2020
  • Walmart is catching up to Amazon as an ecommerce staple
    • 54% of U.S. consumers have shopped in-store at Walmart in 2021, and 39% shopped online at Walmart.com 
    • Price is the #1 reason why consumers shop on Walmart.com 
    • 41% of U.S. consumers are Walmart+ members, up from 38% in Q1 
  • Price is still important to shoppers in 2021
    • When shopping online, 67% of consumers are looking for products with the lowest price 
    • 35% of consumers say consistently lower prices than competitors is a top reason why they shop for specific brands
    • 44% of consumers say they often use deal-finding browser extensions or plug-ins like Honey and Pricescout when shopping online
  • Consumers want to shop second hand in 2021
    • 27% of consumers say they are looking for pre-owned products when they shop online
    • 44% of consumers have bought or sold pre-owned items over the last year
  • Online shoppers have high expectations for shipping costs and delivery time 
    • 51% of U.S. consumers are willing to pay more for a product for faster shipping
    • 56% have noticed changes in online order shipping speed since the beginning of the pandemic
    • 66% of consumers expect free shipping for all online orders, and 91% expect to receive an online order within a week

 

Since early 2021, overall consumer spending has remained flat while spending online increased

Last quarter, 43% of surveyed consumers said their overall spending had decreased since late 2020. In our most recent survey, 26% of consumers say their overall spending increased during Q1, whereas 75% say their overall spending stayed the same or decreased over the same period.

 

Overall consumer spending in Q1 U.S. consumers
Decreased 32%
Stayed the same 43%
Increased 26%

Online consumer spending

What about online consumer spending? As has been the trend over the past year, online spending increased during Q1. 

Online consumer spending U.S. consumers
Decreased 24%
Stayed the same 37%
Increased 39%

Consumer spending on Amazon 

This upward trend also holds for consumer spending on Amazon, which has largely stayed the same or increased since Q1. 

Consumer spending on Amazon U.S. consumers
Decreased 26%
Stayed the same 37%
Increased 37%

Consumer spending on Walmart.com

Consumers indicate that their spending on Walmart.com has remained level or increased since Q1 as well. 

Consumer spending at Walmart.com U.S. consumers
In-store Online
Decreased 31% 27%
Stayed the same 43% 47%
Increased 26% 27%

 

Will consumer spending change in Q2 2021? 

Over a year since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers’ economic situations are showing signs of improvement. 

Sustained pandemic-related financial uncertainty, including worries about income loss and inadequate savings, had coincided with a widespread reduction in consumer spending throughout 2020 and early 2021. Now, consumers are more willing to make purchases.

Generally, consumers expect their spending to stay the same or decrease, though as many as one in four predict that their spending will increase when shopping at Amazon and Walmart in Q2.  

Consumer spending in Q2 2021 U.S. Consumers
Will decrease Will stay the same Will increase
Overall 26% 52% 23%
Online 26% 51% 23%
Amazon 25% 51% 25%
Walmart (in-store) 22% 53% 24%
Walmart (online) 25% 52% 23%

What factors could influence an increase in consumer spending? 

For one thing, employment and income appear more stable now than they did earlier in the pandemic. Only 4% of surveyed consumers reported being unemployed or furloughed in Q2, down from 8% in Q1. 

On top of that, only 12% said their income had decreased in the past three months, down from 22% who said the same in Q1. 

On the other hand, consumers are still quite price-conscious, and 44% use deal-finding browser extensions or plug-ins like Honey and Pricescout. 

They are also interested in shopping second hand — nearly a third (32%) currently look for pre-owned products when shopping online, and 44% have purchased or sold something pre-owned in the past year.  

For more insights about how consumers spend in general and online, check out Jungle Scout’s latest Consumer Trends Report

 

 

 

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