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The Internet has taken on three major roles in consumer culture: research, direct sales, and customer service.

How We Shop in 2010: Habits and Motivations of Consumers is split into two separate documents for the US and the UK, examining e-commerce consumer behavior in both countries.

The reports focus on how consumers interact with e-commerce brands, conduct product research, and the relative importance of different factors in the buying decision-making process. Both reports are based on surveys of more than 1,000 nationally representative respondents.

How We Shop in 2010 includes the following sections in both the US and UK reports:

  • Communicating and selling to the social consumer
  • Understanding how advertising can be communicated to consumers
  • Preferred channels for communication and marketing
  • Vouchers, discounts and special offers
  • Email Programs
  • E-commerce web sites and related issues
  • The impact of e-commerce site features on consumer likelihood to purchase
  • The impact of social media 
  • Consumers’ accuracy when providing personal information
  • Factors in product research and purchase
  • Motivations, attitudes and lifestyle factors
  • Mobile sophistication
  • User-generated comments and reviews 
  • Impact of corporate responsibility factors

The report findings of How We Shop in 2010 (US) include:

  • More than half (55%) of consumers report that a product with a high rating will increase their likelihood of purchasing.
  • 68% of consumers aged 18-26 use emailed coupons online.
  • The purchase process for women tends to involve a greater range of media than men, and to take longer.
  • The age range most reliant on e-commerce is the 27 to 38 year-old demographic.
  • Location is a more powerful factor in the buying equation than many of the other variables that are used to target products.
  • People over the age of 38 are significantly less likely to use social networks to pursue product information or seek recommendations.

The report findings of How We Shop in 2010 (UK) include:

  • More than half of consumers (57%) appreciate receiving advertising messages if they are directly beneficial, such as receiving a discount on a product or service.
  • Over a third of consumers (36%) say that receiving an email prompts them to make an online purchase.
  • More than a third of consumers (38%) do not use a social profile site.
  • Nearly two-thirds of consumers (61%) use search engines to help them in their product research decisions leading up to purchase.
  • Three-quarters (75%) of young people (18-26) use recommendations on social sites to help them research products prior to purchase
  • Two thirds (61%) of consumers expect to receive delivery notification via email.
  • The lowest priority for consumers when considering purchasing a product is the price.
  • Electronics and computing (23%) is the category most likely to be researched online by consumers.

Download a copy of the report to learn more.

A free sample is available for those who want more detail about what is in the report.


  • Pdf SAMPLE: How We Shop UK: Habits and motivations of consumers (410 KB PDF)
  • Pdf SAMPLE: How We Shop USA: Habits and motivations of consumers (370 KB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled How We Shop UK: Habits and motivations of consumers (2 MB PDF)
  • Pdf Disabled How We Shop USA: Habits and motivations of consumers (2.1 MB PDF)

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