The global rise in 'always-on' shoppers driving eCommerce

Global e-shoppers spend on average 22% (UK average: 25%) of their annual outgoings on goods and services online, shop for 5 hours a month (UK average: 6), watch TV whilst shopping online (global: 46%, UK: 51%) and make the majority of their purchases at 20:40 (UK: 20:05), according to the Global Online Shopper Report commissioned by WorldPay.


The Global Online Shopper Report surveyed 19,000 consumers and 153 senior decision makers from global retail merchants to identify the online shopping habits of consumers in the UK, USA, China, Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Japan, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Canada, Argentina and India.
The report found e-shoppers are increasingly varying the devices they use to shop online. 55%, 19% and 11% respectively use a laptop, smartphone or tablet. Mobile device usage is rising particularly among 'heavy spenders' those who have spent 30% of their disposable income online in the past year. Globally, 55% of heavy spenders have used a smartphone and 67% a tablet in the last three months to buy online; consequently more shoppers are buying on the move. 29% of global shoppers buy online at work, 6% at college or university, in a car or in a physical retail store, 7% make online purchases when out at a caf, bar, restaurant or pub and 8% whilst on holiday.
The report uncovered cultural differences in the ways consumers shop. Globally, 19% of consumers purchase using their smartphone. China has the largest percentage of consumers that use their smartphone to purchase online (46%), closely followed by India (40%). In terms of mobile shopping apps, whilst the global average is 2.6, Chinese shoppers used 5.7 compared to 1.2 in Finland.
Philip McGriskin, chief product officer, WorldPay commented: "Online shoppers are becoming increasingly mobile, no longer chained to their PC to buy goods and services. The way shoppers engage with mobile devices is evolving and driving the future of eCommerce as consumers look to purchase through apps, mobile websites and using their device on the move. This increased mobility is expanding the audience of potential consumers for merchants to target but, in tandem, presents challenges in offering the best experience for these consumers whenever and wherever they demand it. As technologies develop merchants will need to be ahead of the game to understand and offer consumers the services they demand."
Key findings from the Global Online Shopper Report:

  • Home shoppers 95% of eCommerce purchases are conducted within the home. 54% of global consumers shop in the living room and 43% the bedroom. For more unusual shopping locations, 5% of global consumers shop in the garden and 3% in the bathroom
  • Distracted shoppers 51% of e-shoppers in the UK watch TV whilst shopping online compared to the global average of 46%. However, only 6% use instant messaging compared to the global average of 18%. Globally, 42% listen to music, 21% the radio and 29% chat to family or friends whilst shopping online
  • Mobile purchases In the UK, of those consumers that buy using a mobile device (14% smartphone, 6% tablet), 50% have purchased clothes, 43% books and 40% music/CDs in the last three months
  • Cross-border shopping 44% of global consumers purchase from an overseas website. Australia has the highest proportion of shoppers willing to buy from retailers located abroad (76%). The motivation for shopping from overseas websites is value for money 60% claim they can get a better price
  • Heavy shoppers Developing economies have the highest proportion of 'heavy' shoppers. The majority of eCommerce customers in China and India are 'heavy spenders' with 48% and 54% respectively parting with more than 30% of their disposable income online. Only 18% of Chinese shoppers and 16% of Indian online shoppers spend less than 10% of their disposable income
  • Security and fraud 42% of global shoppers have been directly affected by online fraud themselves or seen a friend or family member fall victim but 57% say they feel more secure shopping online today than 12 months ago
  • Payment preferences Credit cards (69%), PayPal (40%) and debit cards (37%) dominate global payment preferences but, particularly in developing economies, alternative payments are rising in popularity with 14% using gift vouchers, 8% using Chinese payment method Alipay, 7% m-payments and 5% cash vouchers

Unsurprisingly, Amazon was the most popular website for buying goods online, with 43% of consumers shopping on Amazon in the last three months. In the UK, this figure was 90%. eBay was a close second with 33% globally and 57% of UK respondents. The three most popular shopping websites globally were department stores (31%), clothes retailers (30%) and consumer electronics (25%). In the UK, food shopping is extremely popular, with 33% buying groceries online, against a global average of 18%. The survey asked consumers which website types they thought they would buy from in the coming year and the results pointed to an increase in custom for almost every single category. The only websites that saw a slight predicted fall in the intention to buy were online gaming (from 11% to 10%) and gambling websites (6% to 5%).
eCommerce spend is expected to increase dramatically in the near future. Globally, 64% of shoppers would consider spending more than 50% of their disposable income online (50% in the UK) 7% said they already do. India and China lead the way, with 91% of Indian and 91% of Chinese open to spending over half their outgoings online in the future.
McGriskin concludes: "eCommerce is growing at a rapid pace, with consumers in nearly all countries spending a growing percentage of their income online. The consumer appetite for buying cross-border is strong, particularly in the high-growth developing online economies. This provides merchants with an excellent opportunity to increase sales by targeting overseas customers. As technologies and economies develop, merchants will need to be ahead of the game to understand consumer needs, and offer the right services to take advantage of new eCommerce opportunities."

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