Online payment statistics

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Once upon a time, a brick-and-mortar store was the center of the shopping experience. But online shopping has become the norm for many people, and with it come new payment choices and challenges.

Online sales (excluding mobile) took a dip after the Great Recession, but they have since picked up, nearly doubling between 2008 and 2014.1 


U.S. e-commerce spending

Millennials are among the biggest users of online shopping, spending nearly $2,000 a year in 2013.2

Although online sales still make up a tiny fraction of all retail sales, their slice of the pie is growing. Marketing analytics firm Custora reports that the online share of retail sales for 2013 was 6 percent, up from 5 percent in 2012 and 1 percent in 2000.3

Growing online share of retail sales

The growing market translated into an 11 percent increase in U.S. e-commerce revenue in the first quarter of 2014 from the same period in 2013.3  The 2014 holiday season was even better, with e-commerce revenue up 15.6 percent over the year before.4

Analysts predict further growth. Forrester Research estimates shoppers will spend $370 billion online (including Web shopping on their phones) by 2017, up from $262 billion in 2013.5

Credit-card-statistics-road-mapFUN FACT:
In a 2013 survey, 51.2 percent of respondents in the Northeast said they had ever made a purchase online, compared to 71.7 percent of respondents in the South.8


It's important to note that consumers aren't eliminating one mode of shopping in favor of another; rather, they're embracing multiple modes for different purposes. Forty percent of purchases made in 2014 were made across multiple channels.6 For example, a consumer might browse through items in a store and make a final purchase online or vice versa.

Online shoppers tend to know what they're looking for. Nearly 44 percent of all e-commerce transactions in the first quarter of 2014 were the result of online search queries.3

Credit cards favored for online purchases

When it comes to making online payments, 48 percent of consumers in 2014 preferred to use their credit cards, compared to 41 percent in 2013. The preference for debit card use online also jumped from 22 percent in 2013 to 30 percent in 2014. Preference for PayPal online fell from 22 percent in 2013 to 12 percent in 2014.7

preferred payment methods online


  1. comScore press release, May 13, 2014
  2. Business Insider, Feb. 25, 2013
  3. Custora E-Commerce Pulse: Q1 2014 Pulse U.S. E-Commerce Update: Double-Digit Growth
  4. Custora Holiday E-Commerce Report 2014 -- What Mattered Most
  5. Forrester Research: U.S. Online Retail Forecast, 2012 to 2017
  6. comScore press release, June 11, 2014
  7. TSYS 2014 Consumer Payments Study
  8. Online survey by SeeWhy, 2013

See related: Credit card statistics, Mobile payment statistics, Payment method statistics

Published: March 11, 2015


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Updated: 02-20-2017


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