Omnichannel Shopping Stats and Key Trends for US Retailers in 2022

Woman wearing sunglasses holding shopping bags

With lockdowns leaving a lasting impact on shopping habits, there's never been a greater time of upheaval in omnichannel shopping. Now, more than half of consumers are willing to buy directly from YouTube, Facebook or Instagram.

In this piece, we'll give you the rundown of the most important statistics for online and in-person retail in 2022. We'll look at how, where, and why shoppers are making purchasing choices. As merchants, marketeers and store managers, you need to know what it takes to support customers' buying habits.

We'll go into the latest research on shopping habits among particular age groups, their preferences for online buying, and which product lines are enjoying growth in these uncertain times.

From certain angles, the picture seems gloomy because Statista reports that the stock prices of Shopify, Etsy and Amazon are down an average of 55.2% between July 2021 and July 2022. Yet a growing preference for peer-to-peer selling sets the stage for greater democratization of retail overall. This year has seen an explosion in the potential of social media platforms as retail channels, with TikTok being the most remarkable of all.

Five Key Omnichannel Shopping Stats

How is the cocktail of rising energy prices, supply chain disruption and job market uncertainty affecting shopping choices? Let's take a look at the main findings from Jungle Scout's quarterly study of 1,000 US consumers in Q3 2022:

  • 76% of shoppers are “making fewer fun or impulse purchases”
  • 84% of consumers say inflation has impacted their spending
  • 75% of respondents shop online at Amazon
  • 62% of consumers are likely to purchase directly from YouTube
  • 5% of customers shop in-store at specialty, independent, local or boutique bricks-and-mortar stores

What Is Omnichannel Shopping and Why Does It Matter in Retail?

Omnichannel shopping refers to combining technologies for an all-round immersive retail experience. Just as “omnivores” eat a variety of food groups, “omnichannel” shoppers buy products using many different methods. It's a very similar concept to “multichannel” shopping, except that “omni” means “all”, whereas “multi” means “many”. The idea is to dominate as much online and offline retail space as possible. After all, you never hear someone claim to be a “multivore”, now, do you?

When Melanie is browsing her favourite electronics brand's website during a sale, she'll add products to a cart then select “Pick up in store”. This uses the dual channels of brand website and brick-and-mortar premises. In fact, Melanie only opened the website because her favorite influencer mentioned the sale on TikTok. Before she clicked “Purchase”, she added a discount code she found buried in her email inbox from the last time she shopped there. That's two more channels that led to the purchase.

omnichannel shopping for wireless headphones via TikTok
Shoppers go through a variety of channels during the buying process, including TikTok for product reviews.

Later, Melanie takes her new bluetooth speakers home but can't work out where the charging port is. She'll send a tweet to the brand, asking how to charge it. Within the hour, she'll have read the customer service rep's response on Twitter, which lets her know it's a wireless charging product. Melanie is so excited about this new technology, she'll go on to search videos on YouTube for tips and tricks on how to use all of the settings.

What do we learn from the above example? Omnichannel retail means supporting the customer's buying journey using all the methods the customer wants to use.

Disney shop guest services screenshot
Disney's website offers a wide range of digital, postal, and in-person purchasing services.

Major retailers, such as Disney, aim to meet the customers across as many different channels as necessary. Disney has sizing charts providing detailed apparel measurements online, plus a range of digital tracking options for physical items in the process of delivery. Disney also offers returns info, gift cards, and an online chat service for extra assistance as needed.

As I'm sure you've gathered by now, customer service and purchase aftercare are just as important to the omnichannel shopping experience as taking payment. After all, an unhappy customer now has more channels than ever before to vent frustration over subpar customer care.

How are shoppers using omnichannel retail?

Let's look at a few more examples of omnichannel shopping:

  • Self-service purchase (on a website)
  • Asking questions about products (through a chatbot)
  • Researching discount codes (on social media)
  • Buy online, pick-up in-store (known as “BOPIS”)
  • Comparing in-store prices to similar items online (on a phone)
  • Looking for new styles of products (using a brand's Android app)
  • Searching for products by size, color, and type (on Google, using a tablet at home)

Now you've got an understanding of its definition and use cases, let's look into the standout statistics on omnichannel shopping this year:

Key Trend #1: Consumer Uncertainty Relating to Economic Pressures

No global event has had a greater impact on consumer behavior in recent years than the COVID-19 pandemic. A major reason is market changes leading to job losses, supply chain disruption, and increasing production costs that lead to higher prices. US inflation continued to climb in 2022 after hitting a 40-year high in January. Sanctions on Russia were issued in response to the invasion of Ukraine, which has contributed to sharp energy price rises.

How have these seismic shifts in prices affected omnichannel shopping habits? Let's look at the latest research.

infographic on consumer uncertainty relating to economic pressures
Statistics reveal consumer caution in light of post-Pandemic inflation.
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  • A massive 84% of respondents said inflation has impacted their spending (up 9% from Q2).
  • 90% of shoppers have noticed higher prices on day-to-day product purchases.
  • Around 55% say rising inflation has altered gift spending plans for 2022.
  • One in two (52%) consumers say their household income is unstable (that’s a 36% increase from Q2).
  • 76% say they’re making “fewer fun or impulse purchases”.

On the whole, consumers are buying less or the same amount of products across all categories of goods in Q3.

On the flip side, a few categories have seen consumers say they’re “buying more” when compared with Q2:

  1. Beauty and personal care (increased from 14% to 21%)
  2. Pet supplies (increased from 15% to 21%)
  3. Vitamins and dietary supplements (from 16% to 21%)

(Source: Consumer Trends Report August 2022, Jungle Scout).

So, if you're running an online store and worrying about which products to sell, pay attention to where the demand has increased. As summer turns to fall and the evenings draw in earlier, folks are keen to purchase health supplements. Those lockdown pooches haven't gone away, and pet owners are increasingly looking to stock up on food and accessories for furry, feathered, and scaly friends.

When money is tight, essential purchases take priority over luxury buys. It's clear that days shoppers still consider personal care products (such as deodorant, shaving supplies and shower caps) essential, and we continue to see a steady increase in cosmetics purchasing among consumers. As the holiday season draws near, there are more social occasions on the calendar, which provides plenty of reasons to get dolled up. Or, at least, take a shower.

What Strategies Are Shoppers Using To Save Money?

Everybody loves a good deal. Discounts make us feel happy, and there's never going to be a better time to go bargain-hunting than during an economic downturn. For business leaders selling products and services online, it's vital to know which types of deals to offer. Sell yours products at a cheap price, and consumers may just assume the quality of your offering is poor. However, failing to offer any discounts at all could drive your customers directly into the arms of your competitors.

Certain product types are most popular among certain age groups. You may not get as much interest in life insurance among the under 25s as you will with those over 45, for example. You should also target your brand's tone of voice, price points, and channel availability according to the expectations of your target market.

For the purposes of these statistics, age ranges are as follows:

  • Boomers: born between 1946-1964
  • Gen X: born between 1965-1980
  • Millennials: born between 1981-1996
  • Gen Z: born between 1997-2012
Did You Know?

Those born in 2013-2025 are known as Generation Alpha, but they are barely 10 years old and are too young to feature in shopping statistics!

Retailers will relish the latest research findings on the types of deals preferred by different adult age groups:

money-saving strategies for different age groups infographic
Different age groups prefer different money-saving strategies.
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Here are some of the most popular money-saving strategies among specific age groups:

  • 74% of Boomers buy items on sale
  • 49% of Gen X buy a generic or less expensive brand
  • 37% of Boomers are choosing to buy in store to avoid shipping costs
  • 32% of Millennials buy in bulk
  • 29% of Gen Z use a browser plug-in to find discounts and deals
  • 27% of Gen X are buying used products

(Source: Jungle Scout, as above).

It should come as no surprise that shopping habits vary depending on the generation you belong to. Yet, it's curious to see the types of sacrifices certain age groups are willing to make.

With almost a third of Gen Z shoppers in the habit of using a browser plug-in to save money, merchants and service providers targeting this group would be wise to invest in machine-readable discounts. If your online store doesn't offer discount codes expected by such a large proportion of this age group, who's to say your ideal customer won't close your site and browse elsewhere?

Key Trend #2: Shoppers Prefer Purchasing via Social Media

If you thought Instagram and Facebook were simply the means to share cat videos and stalk your ex, think again. Locked at home during the Pandemic, we sat scrolling on our phones. Over time, we began to look at social media as a trusted platform for buying products and services. Jungle Scout finds, “The number of consumers likely or somewhat likely to make a purchase directly from social media increased across the board compared to Q2.”

With its glitzy influencers, slick product reviews, and thinly-veiled advertorials, social media is the modern-day equivalent of hanging out at the mall with friends. But which platform appeals most to each generation? Let's look at the research:

infographic depicting social media platform preferences of each generation
You should choose to target certain social media platforms based on the age of your target market.
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Social media channel preference for purchase decision-making varies by generation:

  • Boomers and Millennials are most likely to buy from: YouTube
  • Gen Z is most likely to buy from: Instagram
  • Gex X is most likely to buy from: Facebook

Overall, TikTok has seen the most growth in potential shoppers. The vertical video-based platform was founded in 2016 and continues to gain followers from adults of various ages – not just teenagers.

A staggering 89% of shoppers believe YouTube creators give the best information about products and brands.

What Are the Most Popular Online Retail Outlets?

While selling on social media is a perfect fit for many online retailers, it's not the ideal outlet for all business models. After all, consumers expect a combination of “bricks-and-clicks”. That means it's no longer enough to have a brick-and-mortar presence, or a social media channel, or a website. Ideally, shoppers should find you across all three.

It's also become more important than ever to diversify your sales channels. For the first time in its history, ecommerce is actually set to shrink by the end of 2022. Factors fuelling this change include unemployment, wobbly consumer confidence, and supply chain issues.

Yet, online shopping is not going to melt away overnight. For the following data set, respondents were asked where they shop online, and they were able to select multiple options. Let's look at the most popular online retail outlets:

omnichannel shopping infographic showing most popular online retail outlets
Amazon was the most popular place for shopping online, followed by Walmart.
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Here are the top 15 most popular online shopping outlets, according to the percentage of respondents who said they shop at each one:

  1. Amazon: 75%
  2. Walmart.com: 43%
  3. eBay.com: 19%
  4. Target.com: 16%
  5. Apple.com: 10%
  6. BestBuy.com: 8%
  7. Etsy.com: 8%
  8. Kohls.com: 7%
  9. Macys.com: 7%
  10. Instacart: 6%
  11. Facebook shops: 6%
  12. HomeDepot.com: 6%
  13. Walgreens.com: 6%
  14. Lowes.com: 5%
  15. Instagram Shop: 4%

Despite the tumble in its stock prices this year, Amazon remains the king of online retail in 2022. Three quarters of consumers see the third-party marketplace as a go-to destination for internet shopping. That's a gargantuan market share – no other single platform is anywhere near as popular. For this reason, we decided to take a closer look at Amazon's selling statistics.

What Are the Top Amazon Product Categories for SMB Sellers?

Savvy third-party Amazon sellers look for high-demand products without too much competition on the market. Strong, sturdy products that can withstand storage and shipping are also likely to fare better. That means steering clear of perishable or fragile goods. Finally, items with minimal restrictions that can be manufactured at a low cost overseas are ideal.

For this portion of our research, we decided to focus on small to medium-sized business (SMB) sellers.

infographic on Amazon products popularity for omnichannel shopping
Homeware is the most popular category of goods sold by third-party sellers on Amazon.
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Here are the most popular categories of products, including the percentage of sellers that sell products under each one:

  1. Home and kitchen: 32%
  2. Beauty and personal care: 23%
  3. Toys and games: 20%
  4. Clothing, shoes and jewelry: 18%
  5. Health, household and baby care: 17%
  6. Sports and outdoors: 16%
  7. Arts, crafts and sewing: 15%

It’s worth bearing in mind that popularity isn't everything when it comes to making money on product sales; indeed profit margins range between 15-26% per item depending on the category.

(Source: State of the Amazon Seller Report 2022 Jungle Scout).

How Are Online Sellers Changing Their Strategies in Late 2022?

The shifting sands of consumer purchasing power calls for a shake-up in seller strategy. Let's look at how Amazon retailers will pivot their focus at the end of 2022:

Amazon retailer strategy changes omnichannel shopping 2022
Omnichannel strategy is crucial to Amazon retailers to grow their businesses this year.
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Almost one in five (18%) Amazon sellers also sell products in brick-and-mortar stores, while a further 28% would consider doing so in future. Where else do Amazon retailers sell? 58% of Amazon sellers also list products on at least one another platform online.

Let’s take a closer look at the breakdown of online outlets that merchants run alongside their Amazon businesses:

  • 28% of Amazon sellers also sell on eBay.
  • 15% of Amazon sellers also sell on Shopify
  • 13% also sell on Etsy
  • 12% also sell on Facebook Marketplace
  • 12% also on Walmart.com

A whopping 95% of Amazon sellers plan to expand their Amazon businesses in 2022. How will they do this?

  • 45% plan to launch new products (unrelated to current products or brands)
  • 43% will optimize their current product listing
  • 43% will expand existing brand lines with new products
  • 39% aim to get more ratings and reviews for products
  • 39% will grow a brand through social media, influencer marketing, or other off-Amazon marketing

(Source: State of the Amazon Seller Report, as above).

Diversify Your Retail Channels For Success in 2023

If there's one thing we've learned from scouring all this research, it's that spreading your online retail business over multiple channels is key.

Ambitious Amazon retailers are set on expanding their sales through 2023 with increased marketing across retail platforms. With marketplace platforms experiencing heavy financial woes this year, we can see the wisdom in diversifying your retail channels. Amazon is already notorious for high seller fees – not to mention increased fulfilment costs over the festive period.

While social media platforms are not seeing the same volumes of sales as Amazon, Walmart and eBay, their popularity continues to grow. We see the trend for increased peer-to-peer selling strengthening in 2023.

Now, more than ever, consumers are looking for sales journeys they can trust. Hence the appeal of personalized, human shopping experiences. So, before you brush off TikTok as something that's “just for silly school kids”, remember that 71.2% of users said they shopped when they stumbled across something in their feed, stories etc.

Sabrina Dougall

Sabrina writes about tech for business as well as consumer software. She covers topics ranging from digital marketing to ecommerce fulfilment, security systems, franking machines, and more. Having run her own successful small business, Sabrina knows first-hand how much there is to keep on top of. Writing with your company’s needs in mind, she distils truly useful product information (without the sales pitch).