The Consumer Shopping Habits You Need to Know to Increase Online & In-store Selling

“When it comes to converting consumers,” says Help Scout, “the secret to more sales is as simple as understanding consumer behavior and learning what your buyer wants from your business.”

And because today’s consumers have more options than ever before, it’s essential to understand their buying behavior across every touch-point in order to influence their purchase decisions and improve sales online and in your brick and mortar store.

New Statistics Reveal How Americans Buy

According to Bigcommerce survey statistics found on Small Business Trends, 96% of Americans shop online, but 65% of their shopping budget is spent in stores.

Source: Bigcommerce via  Small Business Trends

Among the various reasons for this are the following:

  • 58% of consumers say they don’t like shipping costs
  • 58% of consumers want to try out the product before making a purchase
  • 34% of consumers don’t like waiting for delivery
  • 58% of consumers indicated that the online return process is too difficult
  • 58% of consumers have privacy concerns

Where Consumers Shop Depends on What They’re Buying

The Bigcommerce study also discovered that what customers buy depends on where they shop. For example, 44% of consumers purchasing entertainment products shopped at Amazon Marketplace, while 47% of consumers buying from large retailers purchased apparel. When it comes to health and beauty products,19% of consumers bought from web-stores and another 19% bought from specialty stores when looking to purchase flowers and gifts.

Source: Big Commerce via Small Business Trends

So, how can the information from this study help you sell more online and in-store?  The Oxford College of Marketing has the answer:

“To make the right marketing choices, you need to understand where your customers prefer to purchase from. Understanding their reasons for their current preferred purchase method could also be the key to influencing them to change the way they buy…”

Using consumer data, like the statistics found in this article, can help you personalize your customers’ shopping experiences online and in-store based on their interests and preferences. Just make sure that your brick and mortar and online stores are seamlessly connected and function as one, says Small Business Trends.


“The key to a successful marketing campaign lies in consumer behavior,” says The Oxford College of Marketing. “Marketing to an audience that you don’t truly understand will not get you very far; the only way to reach and connect with a customer, the only way to influence their purchasing decision, is to understand their buying behavior.”

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.