PayPal research reveals consumer shopping habits and attitudes to emerging commerce trends

16 November 2022, London, UK – PayPal’s e-Commerce Index explores Brit’s relationship with online shopping and payments during mid-2022. Based on research of over 2,000 consumers, the report reveals that Brits spend on average £348 online per month, and a quarter (27%) spend £500 or more each month1 shopping for goods and services online, including payments for in-app purchases, bills or services and other online shopping.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) shop online weekly making an average of four purchases a week (3.9) and one in 10 (12%) make daily online purchases. This is led by younger generations, with Gen Z and Millennials making on average five to six purchases a week (6.4 Gen Z and 5.4 Millennials) and over 80 per cent shopping online weekly (87% Gen Z and 84% Millennials).

With most people transacting online, here are the key trends and takeaways from the e-Commerce Index, which highlight how digital shopping and commerce is changing and what businesses can do to keep pace with consumer habits and attitudes.

Social commerce: the new retail gold rush 

As smartphones have become part of our daily routines, the research reveals that social commerce is gaining ground among consumers with 8 in 10 (82%) making online purchases or payments through their smartphone and almost half (43%) purchasing through a social media platform.

Which platform will win the social commerce race? The most popular platforms for social shoppers were Facebook (55%, Instagram (46%) and YouTube (44%). As TikTok becomes the search engine of choice for Gen Z2 it’s also rising in popularity for purchasing with 18–25-year-old social shoppers, with nearly half (48%) making a purchase through the platform.

Social media can be a great resource for sales generation. With one-in-six consumers (18%) shopping through social media each week and social shoppers spending on average £104 per month buying on social media—businesses need to be ready to meet their customers across all sales channels, whether online, mobile and social. In fact, businesses that promote and post their products, services and stories on social are reporting nearly a fifth (19%) of their sales are now through social media platforms.

Even if consumers don’t make a purchase directly through social media, it plays a critical role in providing shopping information as one-in-five (20%) search social for products or services they’re interested in buying and 22 per cent purchasing something after seeing it on social media or a streaming platform.

The power of the payment process

While the report reveals consumers’ inclination to spend online, it also demonstrates how it’s all too easy to lose a sale with nearly two-thirds (60%) abandoning a sale at checkout. The top reasons for doing so were because the payment process took too long (24%), security concerns (24%), and simply the site didn’t offer their preferred payment method (22%). In fact, 39 per cent of shoppers are less likely to make an online purchase if the checkout process is too long and confusing, yet 43 per cent are more likely if the site offers their preferred payment type. Some savvy shoppers are even testing the payment process to get the best prices, with one in five (20%) adding something to their cart and waiting for the site to send an offer or voucher before completing the purchase. 

Vincent Belloc, Managing Director at PayPal UK, said “The last few years have made consumers much more comfortable with online shopping and PayPal’s e-Commerce Index reveals that consumers are only going to continue broadening their searches to get the best product or service for their needs. But no matter how shopping habits change, people will continue to look for trusted brands that offer a streamlined, secure and simple payment process. In fact, security or trust issues at checkout is one of the top reasons that 47percent of shoppers abandoned a purchase. As nearly two thirds of consumers (62%) trust PayPal to keep their payments secure and protect them, businesses need to partner with providers that offer choice and convenience while ensuring security and fraud protection.”

Cross border shopping very attractive

The economic impact from the pandemic and a sharp, sudden wave of inflation are contributing factors that drive international shopping – with access to better prices (35%) and products they can’t find locally (31%) being cited by international shoppers as the main reasons for shopping outside of the country where they live.

The research shows that almost a third of people (62%) today shop internationally and one-fifth (21%) of consumers online shopping is from retailers based outside their own country.

Vincent Belloc comments:Shoppers everywhere are feeling the strain of the current economic climate, from inflation to supply chain issues. In times like this it is critical for businesses to understand what their customers value and ensure every step of the commerce experience is optimised - from the moment someone discovers a product they want to when they have it in their possession.”

Enter the metaverse: a new digital shopping paradigm

While social commerce gains in popularity, in the future, the ability to shop in the metaverse is an exciting possibility for consumers and brands that are looking for ways to get involved in the metaverse vision to offer real-time, more immersive and interactive experiences.

PayPal’s e-Commerce Index 2022 explored consumer attitudes towards emerging technology, revealing that nearly a quarter (24%) have already participated in the metaverse and a further 24 per cent are considering doing so. When it comes to shopping, more than a quarter (26%) would be open to shopping in the metaverse and 55 per cent of metaverse users have already bought, sold or exchanged digital goods or services. What’s more, over half (57%) of metaverse users have visited a virtual store and 22 per cent would like their favourite stores to exist within virtual spaces/the metaverse.

Click here to read the full report. 

1 PayPal e-Commerce Index 2022
2 Google internal research surveying U.S. users aged 18 to 24 (reported by TechCrunch in July 2022)

About the PayPal e-Commerce Index 2022
This research report was produced by PayPal, based on a study conducted by ACA Research with 2,012 UK consumers and over 505 UK businesses in June – July 2022. It contains general observations about trends in e-Commerce, social commerce and cross boarder as well as technology trends such as NFTs and the metaverse. The study does not take into account the objectives, situation or needs of any specific business or individual.

About PayPal
PayPal has remained at the forefront of the digital payment revolution for more than 20 years. By leveraging technology to make financial services and commerce more convenient, affordable, and secure, the PayPal platform is empowering more than 429 million consumers and businesses in more than 200 markets to join and thrive in the global economy. For more information, visit

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