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New Research Shines Light On E-Commerce Habits

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Online shopping

Online shopping and e-commerce have made big shifts in the past two decades, with shoppers not only buying more online, but increasingly relying on mobile apps and social media, according to a new e-commerce survey by Pew Research.

In June 2000, just 22% of Americans said they had ever made a purchase online. The recent survey finds that roughly eight in 10 Americans are now online shoppers: 79% have made an online purchase of any type, while 51% have bought something using a cellphone and 15% have made purchases by following a link from social media sites.

New Research Shines Light On E-Commerce Habits

Overall, 64% of Americans said, all things being equal, they prefer buying from physical stores to buying online. Rarely are all things equal, though. 65% of Americans said when they need to make purchases they typically compare the price they can get in stores with the price they can get online and choose whichever option is cheapest. 

82% of Americans say they consult online ratings and reviews when buying something for the first time; 40% (and roughly half of those under the age of 50) said they nearly always turn to online reviews when buying something new.

Social media is becoming a part of the shopping experience. 39% of Americans have shared their experiences or feelings about a commercial transaction on social media platforms. 

Read Pew's full white paper here.