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New Global Consumer Report Analyzes Latest Online Shopping Trends

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Without a doubt, ecommerce is experiencing massive growth.

In 2022, global ecommerce sales will exceed $5 trillion for the first time ever, accounting for more than one-fifth of overall retail sales. 

With numerous factors influencing the ways consumers buy online — including the global pandemic, technological advancements and social movements — brands will need to keep pace with current consumer behavior trends in order to make smarter business decisions.

In our Global Consumer Report, BigCommerce surveyed more than 4,000 online shoppers in the US, UK, Italy, France and Australia to help uncover the major trends that are shaping retail today and in the future.

Here’s a sneak peek of what we found: 

Over half of consumers (55%) shop online at least once a week.

With so many shoppers buying online rather than in-store, we wanted to find out what consumers are buying online right now.

Out of 15 different online shopping categories, fashion and apparel (80%) electronics (56%) and entertainment and media (55%) ranked as the top three. 

And the bottom categories? Automotive and boating (14%), investment trends like crypto and NFTs (15%), luxury apparel (19%) and baby and toddler items (19%).

16% of consumers have used Buy Now, Pay Later at checkout.

With alternative payment methods, such as digital wallets, skyrocketing in popularity, buy now, pay later (BNPL) has been a standout player among consumers.

Of those who have used Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), the majority were in the US, UK and Australia, and 49% say BNPL helps purchases fit into their budgets. 

However, as income increases, more consumers say it’s not about the budgeting but rather the convenience and transparency of BNPL.

The majority of consumers (84%) rate sustainability as an important factor in making a purchasing decision. 

However, while consumers do want to support a brand’s sustainability efforts, they are generally reluctant to pay more for sustainably produced items. 

Instead, consumers are most willing to sacrifice convenience by having items delivered on specific days — much like Amazon’s Amazon Day option.

26% of consumers have a strong understanding of the Metaverse. 

Without providing a definition or explanation, we asked consumers what level of knowledge they have about the Metaverse. Surprisingly, 26% claimed they have a strong understanding, followed by 25% with a mild understanding. 

But how many consumers are actually ready to shop on the Metaverse?

Almost half (46%) are willing to shop on the Metaverse, and of those, 51% are interested in buying both virtual and physical goods.

72% of consumers are willing to share data in exchange for personalized experiences.

Personalization drives loyalty — whether it be through targeted ads, awards and benefits or other customized experiences. 

Unsurprisingly, Gen Z and millennial shoppers are the most willing to share their personal data, while Gen X and Baby Boomers are the least willing. However, if a consumer is willing to share, they’re most open to giving brands their email, gender and name, respectively.

The Final Word

But there’s more where that came from. 

For a deep dive on when, where and what consumers are buying online, as well as what factors are influencing their purchasing decisions, download our full Global Consumer Report.

Haylee Reed avatar

Haylee is a Content Marketing Writer at BigCommerce, where she partners with the SEO team to craft narratives and blog content. She earned a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Texas at Austin and afterward spent a year abroad to pursue a Master's in International Management from Trinity College Dublin. When she’s not writing, you can usually find Haylee with her nose in a book, enjoying live music or scoping out the best local coffee shops.