Online Shopping: Convenient but Risky

Two-thirds (66%) of online Americans say they have purchased a product online, such as a book, toy, music, or clothing. Attitudes and perceptions play a key role in whether online users choose to purchase products online.

  • 78% of internet users either agree (53%) or agree strongly (25%) with the proposition that shopping online is convenient for them.
  • 68% of internet users either agree (47%) or agree strongly (21%) that online shopping saves them time.

While the number of e-shoppers continues to grow, there is still widespread concern in the internet population about the safety of financial and personal data online. And fully 58% of internet users say they have felt frustrated, confused or overwhelmed during online shopping.

  • 75% of internet users either agree (39%) or strongly agree (36%) with the proposition that they do not like giving out their credit card number or personal information online.
  • 43% of internet users have been frustrated by the lack of information they encounter while using the internet to find out about or buy goods or services.
  • 32% have been confused by information they have found online during their shopping or research.
  • 30% have felt overwhelmed by the amount of information they have found online while doing online shopping or research.

Internet users' attitudes about online shopping are not entirely consistent. They are willing to shop online because it is convenient and a time-saver, but they also do not like sending personal or credit card information over the internet. Our analysis suggests that if concerns about the safety of the online shopping environment were eased and if shoppers felt that online shopping saved them time and was convenient, the number of online shoppers would be higher.

Read the full report Online Shopping on the Pew Internet & American Life Project Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.