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26 Useful Statistics on Online Shopping vs in Store Shopping [The 2021 Edition]

by Milos Djordjevic

Online shopping has come a long way since its invention in 1979 by Michael Aldrich. In 2021, more and more shoppers are opting for this shopping method, as compared to conventional shopping, as statistics on online shopping vs in-store shopping show. 

Here’s why:

For starters, convenience is synonymous with online shopping and is perhaps its biggest perk. As a consumer, you can shop from anywhere in the world, no matter whether it’s day or night. 

There’s more:

The online shops’ prices are often pocket-friendlier. Also, if you’re one of those people who hate it when shop assistants hover over your shoulder as you shop, online shopping might be an excellent option for you. 

What’s in it for the sellers?

Goes without saying: sales volumes. 

Still not convinced? Here are some stats to help you make an informed decision. 

Surprising Statistics on Online Shopping vs in store Shopping (Editor's Choice)

  • 47% of online shoppers buy financial services on the internet.
  • According to predictions, retail chains ended 2020 with a collective 76.8% growth in ecommerce.
  • The total market share for online sales will rise to 18.1% in 2021.
  • Experts expect online sales projections to hit $145.8 billion by 2023.
  • 69% of Americans have purchased something online. 
  • 55% of 2020 Black Friday purchases came from mobile devices.
  • 60% of shoppers said they preferred online over physical stores during the holiday season in 2020.

Surprising Facts and Statistics on Online vs Brick and Mortar Shopping

1. 47% of online shoppers buy financial services on the internet.


According to the latest available data (2019), financial services topped the list of the most popular services that clients bought online. Online shopping vs in store shopping statistics shows that nearly half (49%) of financial services buyers prefer to get the services online. 

In-store sales for the services were just 20%, which is 50% less than those of online financial purchases that same year. Rather than queuing in banking halls and other financial institutions, financial buyers now prefer online shopping, which only takes a few seconds online.

2. 46% of US online shoppers shopped for TV and video devices in 2019. 


TV and video devices were popular online shopping categories for almost half (46%) of the United States online shoppers in 2019. The brick and mortar vs online statistics make sense.

Here’s why:

With so many TVs and video brands in the market, it helps to make comparisons of things like prices, features, or discounts to see which one best suits you. Making a comparison online is very easy, compared to doing it from different physical stores.

Imagine doing a comparison in-store:

You would have to walk from store to store, trying to find the best deals. That would be costly in terms of time and money, not to mention the fatigue from walking around for hours. 

Now imagine browsing online, finding the best device for you in a matter of minutes, and then having the online retailer deliver it to your doorstep. 

Stress-free, right?

3. The total market share for online sales will rise to at least 18.1% in 2021.


Ecommerce giants like Amazon have paved the way for online sales success. As of 2019, most consumers opted for online purchases in general merchandise stores. The latest survey’s (in 2019) percentage of online sales vs brick and mortar shows an increase of 7% since 1990.

It’s clear that retailers in specific categories, like accessories or apparel, are making a killing on the online front. However, as of 2020, general merchandise such as groceries and homeware became a normal part of most digital buyers’ online orders.

4. Experts expect online sales projections to hit $145.8 billion in 2023.


If we compare the revenue of brick and mortar business with that of the online businesses, it’s clear that the internet is steadily becoming a significant contributor to the US GDP. Industry players predict that the total online revenue for accessories, apparel, and footwear will rise to $145.8 billion by 2023

5. 69% of Americans have purchased something online.


Have you ever wondered, what percent of retail sales are made online? The percentage of retail sales online shows that nearly 70% of people in the US have bought something online so far. It looks like Americans are no longer afraid to use their credit cards online.

67% of shoppers on Jeff Bezos’s Amazon trust the online retail giant to protect their details from fraudsters. 

Why is that so? 

Advancements in cybersecurity for digital transactions has become a priority for most online stores. Unlike in previous years, the ecommerce landscape is safer than ever before. 

6. According to predictions, retail chains ended 2020 with a collective 76.8% growth in ecommerce.

(Digital Commerce 360)

2020 has seen ecommerce soaring to new heights. Although some industries, such as apparel, have seen a devastating fall last year, they are expected to see massive improvement on the digital front. From the online shopping statistics by yearthe coming years are likely to experience even more growth, going by the trends. 

Global Statistics on Online Shopping vs in Store Shopping

7. Predictions show that there will be approximately 2.14 billion digital buyers by 2021. 

Statistics on Online Shopping vs In Store Shopping - Number of Digital Buyers Worldwide

Industry players estimate that there will be around 2.14 billion online buyers by 2021. The ecommerce landscape is growing fast, and many sellers are switching to online sales platforms to accommodate the growing demands. From the look of things, the number is likely to go even higher in the coming years.

8. 41.8% of ecommerce payment transactions happened through mobile and digital wallets in 2019. 


In 2017, 42% of digital shoppers worldwide preferred to use credit cards to make payments. Ecommerce vs retail stats show that credit card use was the most popular payment method (42%) with online shoppers around the world.

However, the trends have changed!

Now, the preferred method of payment is a digital or mobile wallet. As they are becoming more secure and convenient, experts predict that, with time, digital buyers will rely on digital wallets even more. 

In fact, by 2023, digital wallets will account for 52.2% of ecommerce transactions!

Other payment methods of choice for clients were cash on delivery, bank transfers, vouchers, and cryptocurrency. From the look of things, it’s best for online sellers to enable different payment options to cater to different preferences.  

9. The UK was the leading country with its retail ecommerce share at 30.9% in 2020.


According to online vs in store shopping statistics, online shopping is popular around the world. As the pandemic drove more people to shop online in 2020, all countries witnessed a rise in digital commerce.

However, the United Kingdom, which was among the leaders in ecommerce sales already, reached new records. While the forecast mentions a slowdown to around 28% in the following years, the situation still created an unexpected number of new digital buyers.

10. According to predictions, 88,4% of UK shoppers will shop online by 2024.


Looking at the UK 2017 brick and mortar vs ecommerce situation, 81% of UK shoppers enjoyed shopping on the internet that year. Also, only 19% of shoppers in the country hadn’t bought at least one product online in the last year.

What does the future look like?

According to Statista, by 2024, 88.4% of the UK population will shop online!

11.The average online spend in 2020 was $892 in the holiday season.


Average online spending in-store was around $390 in 2020. Compared to online shopping vs in store shopping statistics from the year before that, the gap, which was already growing in favor of ecommerce, has grown even larger.

12. In 2020, approximately 2.05 billion people bought goods online.


Shopping online vs in store statistics show that a bit more than two billion people purchased goods online. The figure was a massive improvement from 2019 when global online buyers were just 1.92 billion.

And in 2021, according to predictions, we can expect around 2.14 billion online shoppers in the world!

13. The brick-and-mortar retailer market value was expected to drop to $4.711 trillion in 2020.


While the pandemic gave an unexpected boost to all things digital, brick-and-mortar retailers suffered a considerable loss last year.

While losses are still calculated, the bottom line is hard to miss: brick-and-mortar retailers will have to evolve in order to survive. 

Retail vs Ecommerce by Demographics

14. 72% of women shop online.


Online sales vs retail sales show that more women prefer to buy products online compared to men; 72% and 68%, respectively. 

What do women buy online?

Women mostly buy groceries, books, clothes, and medicine. Men, on the other hand, mostly buy things like computers, accommodation, furniture, tickets to events, or music.

15. Women and men tie when it comes to preference for retailers offering free shipping, at 60%.


According to brick and mortar vs online sales figures, free shipping is equally important to both men and women. Only 40% don’t care about shipping costs. Both genders tie at 60%, showing that stores that want to make more sales should incorporate free shipping. 

16. 77% of women love great bargains. 


Nearly 77% of the ladies buy products that have the best bargains. Physical store vs online store stats shows that deals are equally crucial to men, although the percentage is slightly lower, at 74%. Therefore, if you want to attract more sales from both genders, display more bargains on products that appeal to both sexes. 

17. 67% of millennials prefer to buy products online.

Statistics on Online Shopping vs In Store Shopping - Percentage of Online Shoppers in the US (by Age Group)

Looking at online shopping vs traditional shopping statistics, 67% of millennials prefer to shop online. For other age groups, 56% of Gen X, 41% of baby boomers, and 28% of seniors buy from ecommerce sites. 

Online Sales Growth vs Brick and Mortar

18. Between 20,000 and 25,000 stores were expected to close in 2020.


Compared to 2019, that is more than twice the number. The industry is getting ready to face the challenges of 2021. By now, you must be wondering, “will online shopping replace traditional shopping?” 

The answer is no, and here’s why:

Although ecommerce is growing at a rate that businesses cannot afford to ignore, in-store shopping will not go extinct. Instead, it will evolve. In 2020, we saw the combination of online and physical rise. Curbside pickup, click-and-collect, augmented reality, and AI assistants all helped enhance the hybrid online vs in-store experience. This all goes to show how essential brick-and-mortar stores are for customer experience.

However, the fact remains that online shopping is on the rise worldwide. We are yet to see the direction in which brick-and-mortar will evolve in 2021.

19. 30% of brands say that opening physical stores is still a priority for them in 2020.

(Retail Customer Experience)

Online shopping vs in store shopping research shows that although online purchasing is common these days, 30% of sellers still plan to open stores. 

Yes, ecommerce is growing, but some clients still prefer to visit stores. 

Shoe brands like Allbirds started operating online back in 2014. The company has since opened 15 stores and is planning to double the number of its stores by 2020. 

Examples of companies that also plan to expand their businesses by adding more physical shops in 2020 and beyond are:

  • Nordstrom
  • Levis
  • Target
  • Warby Parker

Online Shopping vs in Store Shopping Statistics, Sorted by Device Type

20. According to the latest statistics, 82% of US Internet users used mobile devices in 2019 to shop.


If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile devices, it’s high time you did. When it comes to how much shopping is done online via mobile phones, in 2020, almost 169 million people shopped via handheld device in the US alone.

Mobile devices are affordable and portable. As long as a client has internet, they can order anything online, which makes it so easy to shop using mobile devices.

Statistics on Online Shopping vs In Store Shopping - Online Shopping Reach (by Device)

21. 65% of online consumers used PCs to purchase goods in 2019, according to the most recent stats.


PC use is yet another common way to shop for goods online. As of 2019, online shopping vs brick and mortar statistics show that 65% of online shoppers use PCs to buy products on the internet. Therefore, sellers must optimize their sites for different device use. 

22. 55% of 2020 Black Friday purchases came from mobile devices.


In the past years, brick and mortar stores have experienced crowds of shoppers during Black Friday and Cyber Mondays. Most people save up for these days, hoping to buy products at heavily discounted prices. 

Online shopping vs brick and mortar stats show that the practice is slowly shifting from physical store visits during the two occasions to online shopping. 

As of 2019, more than half of Cyber Monday shoppers came from mobile purchases. Also, 40% of Black Friday sales came from mobile shopping. 

23. 80% of shoppers have used a mobile device inside a physical store to browse for info regarding a product.


Have you ever been to a store, saw an item you liked, and then wondered if other stores have better deals for it? The only problem is that you were not in the mood to go to different stores to make comparisons?

Shopping online vs shopping in stores data shows that 80% of shoppers use mobile devices to make comparisons about items that they find in stores. These shoppers also check a product’s review before making a purchase. 

Online Shopping Affecting Retail Stores Statistics

24. 60% of shoppers said they preferred online over physical stores during the holiday season in 2020.


2020 has changed the way people shop, even during the holiday season. With many of these people being first-time digital shoppers, the ecommerce market is going to look much different in 2021.

25. 58% of consumers prefer shopping online because they can shop at any time.


The ability to shop 24/7 seems to be an attractive feature for online shoppers. Physical shops only stay open only for a certain amount of time, making it impossible for people to shop 24/7. 

Online vs brick and mortar shopping statistics show that 58% of shoppers love shopping online because of flexibility, time-wise. 

Think about it:

Besides being able to shop at any time of day, sometimes potential clients aren’t always within the same country as the sellers. Luckily online shopping knows no geographic boundaries, and clients can shop from any country. 

This shopping method is considerate of time differences, and shoppers can order items at any time.

26. 40% of clients prefer to shop online because it saves time.


Online sales vs brick and mortar stats show that 40% of clients enjoy shopping online because it saves time. The assertion is correct, bearing in mind that most physical shops almost always have long queues, for instance, banks or supermarkets.

To go to a physical shop, a client also needs to get ready first (probably take a shower, dress up), which is unnecessary when shopping online. Also, brick and mortar shoppers have to make their way to physical shops, which also takes time. 


The ability to shop without stepping foot in a store and not have to worry about delivery logistics is one of the most attractive qualities of online shopping. The statistics on online shopping vs in store shopping above show that online shopping is growing faster than brick and mortar, and entrepreneurs should take note.


Is online shopping more popular than in store shopping?

When you compare and contrast shopping online and shopping in stores, online shopping is still popular as of 2020. The main reason online shopping is more popular than in-store shopping is that it’s convenient, saves time and money. 

What are the statistics of online shopping?

Different online shopping vs in store shopping articles shows that online shopping is growing in leaps and bounds. Trends predict that ecommerce is likely to keep growing, as more and more clients are opting for this shopping method these days. 

Here are some stats to show you that online shopping is on the rise:

  • In 2020, Cyber Monday has surpassed Black Friday as 59% of people from all generations rely more on online discounts.
  • Experts predict that online sales will hit $145.8 billion by 2023.
  • 69% of Americans have purchased something online in the course of their lifetime. 
  • The total market share for online sales will rise to at least 18.1% in 2021.

Is online shopping cheaper than instore?

Sales online vs in store shopping statistics show that buying stuff online is cheaper in many aspects. For starters, most ecommerce stores offer free shipping, which is not the case for brick and mortar stores.  

Also, digital stores always have ongoing sales discounts and coupon deals. Finally, there are usually no taxes on online goods, which makes them cheaper. 

On the other hand, physical shops have a lot of overhead costs that they have to spread across their goods, to get a good Return On Investment (ROI). Think of store rent, electricity costs, store maintenance, staff salaries, or even shipping costs.

How does online shopping affect retail stores?

Online shopping vs in store shopping statistics 2020 show that more clients are opting to buy their products from ecommerce stores. Although there are still clients that purchase products in-store, the majority is shifting to online stores, hence reducing the number of clients that do conventional shopping. 

What percent of all retail sales are online?

Ecommerce vs. brick and mortar statistics 2020 show that according to the latest data available, 16% is the percentage that accounts for online retail sales. 


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