Infographic: Online shopping is in and stores are out

Top reason for buying online? The convenience of free delivery

Sabrina Karl
Personal Finance Writer
Data whiz and visual storyteller


With 9 in 10 Americans reporting they’ve made an online purchase in the past year, it’s no wonder that among U.S. merchants who sell both online and in physical stores, 81 percent see internet and mobile commerce as their biggest growth opportunities.

The findings from a new American Express survey of consumers and merchants highlight how much Americans’ buying habits are evolving from physical shopping and cash transactions to online and mobile purchases.

Consumers who made three or more online purchases in the past 12 months were a strong majority, at 73 percent. And almost half of the respondents (47 percent) said they made more frequent online purchases this year than the year before. The convenience of free delivery to their home was the top reason for buying online, cited by almost 8 in 10 consumers (79 percent).

Meanwhile, buying things with cash is becoming less frequent among Americans. Close to half of respondents (46 percent) say they never or rarely use cash for making purchases, and a full 20 percent reported that they currently had no cash in their wallet.

The 2017 American Express Digital Payments Survey’s findings were based on responses from 1,020 U.S. consumers and 401 U.S. merchants and reflect the online shopping habits on desktop computers and mobile devices.

See related: Poll finds the craziest places people do their online shopping, As online fraud spikes, here’s how to protect your accountsMore infographics

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Updated: 02-19-2019