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Tracking Trends in the Retail Industry

Updated: Jan. 12, 2023 | By Claire Tassin

To help retail and e-commerce brand leaders identify which consumer shopping behaviors are taking hold and which are not, Morning Consult is tracking shifting consumer e-commerce and retail industry trends through a monthly survey of U.S. adults. We’ll be updating this page with new data and analyses each month. Sign up for alerts below. 

The methodology for the monthly tracker is included at the bottom of this page.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

A higher share of urbanites say they’re shopping online to save money (currently at 49%, up from 37% in September 2022), which is notable because urban dwellers generally prefer in-store shopping. U.S. consumers’ overall preferences to shop online for beauty, grocery and home items all rose in December, though this is more likely due to holiday stressors than a meaningful shift. 

Shipping speed expectations grew from November into December amid the holiday rush: A greater share of shoppers expected their apparel, electronics, personal care and home furnishings deliveries to arrive within two days.

The holiday rush also saw more shoppers experiencing delays. The share of shoppers reporting delayed deliveries grew 3 percentage points from November to December as holiday volume strained delivery networks. Consumers were more likely to blame fulfillment providers than retailers.

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CHANNEL PREFERENCES: IN-STORE VERSUS ONLINE SHOPPING TRENDS

Consumer Shopping Channel Preference

Respondents were asked how they typically prefer to shop

Reasons Consumers Prefer Online and In-Store Shopping

Respondents were asked why they choose to shop online or in stores

Consumer Preference for Online Shopping by Category

Share of adults who said they prefer to make purchases online in the following categories:

Mobile Payment Utilization by Channel

Shares of adults who said they paid via mobile payment in the last month

Figures may not add up to 100% due to rounding

FULFILLMENT EXPECTATIONS AND EXPERIENCES

Utilization of Fulfillment Channels by Category

Share of adults who used the following fulfillment options when ordering in each category:

Shoppers’ Shipping Speed Expectations

Respondents were asked how quickly they expect to receive online orders in the following categories:

Shoppers’ Experience with Shipper Delays

Share who said they have experienced delays receiving any items ordered in the last month

Where Shoppers Assign Blame for Shipping Delays

Respondents were asked which scenario best describes their delayed order experience

Return Method Used by Purchase Channel

Respondents were asked how they returned items in the last month

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ABOUT

Methodology

The Morning Consult Retail Monthly Trend Tracker relies on data collected through Morning Consult’s proprietary survey research capabilities. The interviews are conducted online, and the data are weighted to approximate a representative sample of U.S. adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race and region. Results from the full survey have a monthly sample size of 2,200 to 4,400 U.S. adults and an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

On April 1, 2022, Morning Consult updated its general population weighting targets for the United States to be more representative of the most recent population data. Historical data has not changed. 

About Morning Consult

Morning Consult is a global decision intelligence company changing how modern leaders make smarter, faster, better decisions. The company pairs its proprietary high-frequency data with applied artificial intelligence to better inform decisions on what people think and how they will act. Learn more at morningconsult.com

About the author

Claire Tassin is the retail & e-commerce analyst on the Industry Intelligence team, where she conducts research, authors analyst notes and advises leaders in the retail and e-commerce industry on how to apply insights to make better business decisions.

Email  to speak with a member of the Morning Consult team.