US Online Shoppers Spend 23% of Disposable Income Online

April 25, 2012

worldpay-share-of-disposable-income-spent-online-april2012.jpgUS consumers spend 23% of their disposable income online, slightly higher than the 22% average across 15 countries studied by WorldPay [download page] in an April 2012 report. Online consumers in India were found to spend the greatest share of their disposable income online, at 33%, followed by those in China (31%), Brazil (27%), and the UK (25%). Within the US, 8% of respondents – who were required to have shopped online within the past 6 months – said that they already spend more than 50% of their disposable income online – compared to 11% in the UK (the highest proportion among the countries), and the total sample average of 7%.

Online Spending Booms in China

worldpay-net-growth-decline-in-online-spending-april-2012.jpgLooking at how online spending has changed since the start of the global recession, WorldPay discovered that 63% of consumers in China report spending more online, compared to just 5% who say they spend less. This net growth of 58% was far higher than the nearest country, India, with net growth of 30% (45% vs. 15%). By contrast, only 22% of consumers in the US report spending more online since the start of the global recession, compared to 32% who report spending less, for a net 10% decline.

This boom in spending in China correlates with December 2011 results from Translated’s T-Index, a statistical index that determines the online market share per country by combining the internet population and the corresponding GDP per capita. That research forecast that the US (16.8%) will fall behind China (18.8%) in online market share by 2015, despite having more than double the share in 2011 (24.4% vs. 11.5%).

Most Shopping Done in Afternoon and Evening

Data from WorldPay’s “Global Online Shopper Report” indicates that 44% of global online spending takes place between 6 PM and 12 AM, with a peak at 8:40 PM. 30% of shopping is done in the afternoon and early evening (12 PM-6 PM), while 16% is done in the morning hours (6 AM-12 PM), and 10% between 12 AM and 6 AM.

In terms of shopping locations, notably, 95% of online spending worldwide is made at home, with the most common areas being the living room (54%), bedroom (43%), and study (35%).

Other Findings:

  • Almost 3 in 10 global online shoppers say they make purchases online when at work. 8% buy online while on holiday, 7% while out at a cafe, bar, restaurant, or pub, and 6% while at college or university, in a car or in a physical retail store.
  • Many respondents multitask while shopping online, making it both more difficult and more important for merchants to capture their attention. 46% report watching TV; 42% listen to music; 31% use social networks; 29% chat to family and friends; and 21% listen to the radio.
  • More than one-third of heavy shoppers (who spent 30% or more of their disposable income online in the past year) have purchased online using a smartphone, compared to 17% of medium shoppers (who spent between 10 and 30% of their disposable income online). Heavy shoppers are also much more likely to have shopped via a tablet (23% vs. 9%).
  • 5% of global online shoppers have purchased online using a smart TV.

About the Data: The WorldPay data is based on an online survey conducted in January and February 2012 of 19,000 global consumers who had shopped online within the past 6 months. The shoppers were drawn from: China (2,000); Germany (1,000); the US (2,000); Spain (1,000); Finland (1,000); France (1,000); Japan (1,000); Russia (1,000); Brazil (2,000); the UK (1,000); Mexico (1,000); Australia (1,000); Canada (1,000); Argentina (1,000); and India (2,000).

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