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Online Shopping Exceeds In-Store Purchases: Report

We knew this day was coming: According to a UPS report, online orders have finally surpassed in-store purchases.

The study, conducted by ComScore and e-commerce consultancy The e-Tailing Group, shows that on average, 51 percent of shoppers’ purchases, excluding groceries, were made online within a three-month period.

Driving the trend are two factors — millennials, who on average now make 54 percent of their purchases online; and smartphones, which were used to buy stuff by 44 percent of device users, up 3 percentage points from last year.

Why? Satisfaction with shopping by smartphone increased by 8 percent this year over last, to 73 percent of handset users, thanks to larger screen sizes, mobile site improvements and user-friendly apps, UPS said.

In contrast, buying via tablet is down 2 percentage points, matching smartphones at 44 percent of purchases, while computers still reign supreme for online orders, used by 95 percent of the study’s 5,330 respondents.

Source: UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper

But once again millennials, defined here as those ages 18 to 34, fueled the m-commerce fires, with 63 percent of that demographic using their smartphones to make purchases.

Source: UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper

The UPS report also found that despite all the hoopla around multichannel shopping, the vast majority of consumers preferred either searching and buying online (42 percent) or shopping and buying in stores (20 percent), but not mixing the two by, for example, searching online and buying in-store.

Source: UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper

The complete whitepaper is available for download here.