Avid Online Shoppers Drifting Away From Offline Stores

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Avid online shoppers are spending more money on the web than in stores.

According to a new survey from shipper UPS and analytics group comScore, this is the first time in the study’s five-year history that “avid” online American shoppers — those who make two or more purchases online in a three-month period — have made enough online purchases to surpass their in-store shopping.

In 2014, UPS said online shoppers made 47 percent of their purchases online. That percentage inched up to 48 percent last year before hitting 51 percent in 2016, finally surpassing shoppers’ in-store purchasing.

Steve Osburn — who advises retailers on supply-chain issues for global management and strategy consulting firm Kurt Salmon — told the Wall Street Journal that “there’s been a dramatic shift” and that people have grown increasingly comfortable shopping online.

Department store chains such as JCPenney, Kohl’s and Macy’s are feeling the pinch as more consumers turn to online retailers like Amazon to shop for everything from toilet paper and home goods to clothing and shoes.

Randal Konik, a retail analyst at the investment bank Jefferies & Co., told the Journal:

“There’s going to be severe continued pressure on department stores because traffic is going to peel away from that channel towards Amazon.”

The survey also found online shoppers want two-day shipping. According to the Journal:

Those surveyed said they now select two-day shipping 20% of the time, compared with 16% last year and 10% in 2014. “Amazon Prime is likely driving this increase as members select two-day shipping 31% of the time, compared to an average of only 8% for nonmembers,” according to the survey.

The Journal noted that Amazon accounted for an estimated 60 percent of online sales growth in the United States.

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