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How Many People Shop Online

With more than 6.5 billion people living on the earth today, it is impossible to tell the exact number of people who shop online. However, according to some research studies, roughly 27 percent of the world’s consumers shop via the Internet. This figure goes up during the holidays and reaches 55 percent on the US market, according to a study by E-Tailing Group and MarketLive. About 70 percent of the customers shared that they would shop at competitors’ websites on encountering out-of-stock products. Sixty percent of the shoppers cited in-store pick-ups as important. One in three customers preferred to use his or her mobile phone for shopping-related purposes (e.g. redemption of promotions, in-stock checks, and price checks). Social networking websites also influenced the shopping behavior of more and more customers (about 36 percent).

Today, the largest number of online shoppers in the world comes from the Asia-Pacific region, with at least 35 percent of the total number of users shopping online. Most of these consumers are from South Korea and China. As the Chinese are the largest nation in the world, it is no surprise that Asia is the home of a large number of people who shop online.

Why do People Shop over the Internet?

Online shopping has become a popular trend for a variety of reasons. With the wide availability of internet, people have found convenient ways to communicate and do business through the world’s biggest media outlet. Many online businesses offer lower prices as the Internet space allows them to make higher profits at a lesser cost. This fact is advantageous to business owners and online shoppers as well.

Another reason for people to shop online is the convenience that comes with it - online purchases save time and money. With brick-and-mortar shops, you need to get dressed, drive to the store or shopping center (or ride a cab) and what’s worse, you pay more because the business has expenses for rent, shipment of orders, etc.

Anyone who has a credit card, a PayPal account, or an online banking account can shop anytime and with ease in the web space. With more and more people obtaining credit cards and opening PayPal accounts, it is no wonder that many consumers shop online.

Preferred items to shop online

In view of the sheer number of products available online, it is hard to tell what kind of items e-customers tend to buy. Basically, two main types of products can be bought online – physical and digital. Digital products include computer software, audio, e-books, and videos. They can be used right after payment, and no additional costs are involved as digital products are downloadable.

Physical products are the conventional tangible products that you buy in shopping centers such as paperback books, furniture, flowers, gifts, etc. According to recent research, about 36 percent of the online shoppers purchase clothes. Shirts, pants, jackets, and the like are important for day to day living, and substantial fluctuations in their sale rates are not observed. About 35 percent of the consumers purchase household products such as kitchen ware, cleaners, tools, and other stuff. Companies such as Lowe’s and other home improvement businesses have become popular due to growing demand.


As the trend toward online shopping continues to grow, the number of people who shop online is also increasing. If only about 27 percent of the world’s population shops over the Internet, the constantly growing selection of items on offer, together with the opportunity to shop at discount prices, is likely to attract more customers to shop online.