A new report shows interesting insight into online shopping habits.

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A new report from Square and BigCommerce takes a deep dive into the online shopping behaviors of Americans, looking at who buys what, when, and why. Overall, the data shows that the online shopping trend is growing, but what’s surprising is the alarming number of US retail businesses that still aren’t tapping into the online marketplace.

Let’s take a look at the some of the key findings from the report to see how online shopping has grown in recent years and to better understand the potential opportunities.

Shopper Behaviors

  1. 51 percent of Americans prefer to shop online
  2. Online sales are growing 23 percent year-over-year
  3. 67 percent of Millennials and 56 percent of Gen Xers prefer to shop online rather than in-store
  4. Millennials and Gen Xers spend six hours per week shopping online on average
  5. Parents spend 61 percent more online than non-parents
  6. Men spent 28 percent more than women online during the past year
  7. Americans spend 36 percent of their shopping budget online
  8. 30 percent of Americans shop online at least weekly, while 80 percent shop online at least monthly
  9. The largest spending for online shopping is for clothing, shoes and accessories, with 60 percent of shopping happening via large retailers in this category

Next, let’s look at what the data shows about how businesses stack up with these online shopping preferences.

Business Data

34 percent sell online through their own website

25 percent sell through Facebook

16 percent sell through Amazon

46 percent of small businesses do not have a website


What we can glean from both data sets is this: Despite the fact that online shopping is increasing and shoppers have expressed a desire for online shopping experiences, nearly half of all US small businesses are yet to address this aspect of sales.

What’s more: Only about one-third are taking advantage of online sales through an online store.

Sales through social channels and various marketplaces are still relatively low, too. Markets like Facebook, Amazon, and eBay present cross-channel selling opportunities, but those participating in these spaces still appear to be those in the ‘early adopter’ category.

As shoppers continue to express a desire for online shopping opportunities, retailers need to consider how they’ll address those requests. When creating a strategy for online sales, think about how you can cater to shoppers browsing from multiple devices and across multiple platforms.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.