Online Shopping Friction on the Rise for US Youth

December 2, 2021
Ipsos US Online Shopping Friction by Generation Dec2021

Even with online shopping seeing significant increases during the pandemic, some people say it’s more difficult than shopping in a traditional store. Per a new report [pdf] from Ipsos, 3 in 10 (29% of) US adults say they have difficulties shopping online. 

Online shopping offers consumers the convenience of home delivery and product variety. However, not everyone finds it easier to purchase online. This friction appears to be highest among young consumers. While being the least likely to struggle using the internet, Ipsos’ survey of 1,000 US adults found that nearly half (47%) of Gen Z consumers agree that shopping online is more difficult than shopping in traditional stores. This is a significant increase from last year when just one-third (32%) of US Gen Z said the same.

Millennials are also reporting difficulties with online shopping. About one-third (32%) say they find online shopping more difficult than shopping in-store. Perhaps most surprising is that older generations appear to be having the least trouble shopping online. Only 1 in 5 (22% of) Gen X respondents say that shopping online is more difficult than shopping in traditional stores, down from 32% in 2020. Additionally, only 1 in 4 (26% of) Baby Boomers agree that shopping online is more difficult than doing so in-store.

Fortunately for e-commerce retailers, fewer US shoppers, overall, are finding shopping online more difficult than in-person than in 2016. Indeed, recent research from ​​Digital Commerce 360 and Bizrate Insights shows that three-quarters of consumers say online retailers have met or exceeded their expectations when it comes to the check-out process, supply and search. 

Moreover, to address potential friction, retailers say they plan to improve their online experiences by offering more differential experiences and supporting new touchpoints, while the majority are prioritizing improving the online check-out process.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 1,000 US adults 18-75. 

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