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Tracking Trends in the Retail Industry

Updated: Sept. 15, 2022 | By Claire Tassin

Over the last two years, rapidly changing shopping behavior has left retail and e-commerce brand leaders wondering which newfound consumer retail trends will stick and which will shift as these habits normalize. These changes have ramifications beyond checkout, in the competitive world of fulfillment and challenging returns. 

To help retail and e-commerce brand leaders calibrate, 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

Preference for online shopping for apparel dropped 3 percentage points from July, with marked decreases among women, shoppers earning between $50,000 and $99,999 annually, and those who prefer online shopping. The share of female consumers who prefer online shopping overall has held steady, but motivating factors like time savings, product selection and enjoyment of the experience have climbed in importance.

Online ordering for groceries has declined in recent months as shoppers become more keenly aware of inflation’s impact on their grocery purchases. These services can come with higher fees, and shoppers are also keeping a closer eye on value for their dollar as they shop — often easier to do in stores. 

Shoppers’ experience with delivery delays has stayed consistent since March, with just 26% reporting a delayed order in August. Millennials and urban dwellers were more likely to report delays than other cohorts. Blame for delays between retailers and shipping providers has converged.

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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

Read more

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 and e-commerce analyst at global intelligence company Morning Consult, where she conducts research, authors analyst notes, and advises clients on emerging consumer shopping trends.

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