Welcome to Klarna’s Shopping Pulse!

3 years after the pandemic, an event that accelerated the digital transformation with unprecedented pace, shoppers continue to turn online, having formed new habits that persisted beyond restrictions and lockdowns. Many retailers have pivoted to evolve their online presence to meet new shopper expectations. But does this mean physical stores are irrelevant? Not at all. Our research shows physical stores still play an essential role for shoppers. That said, many people anticipate they will shop online even more often in the future.

In this report, you’ll find a pulse check on shopping habits worldwide.

Happy exploring!


Insights from Klarna’s consumer research, conducted in cooperation with Nepa across 18 countries (the US, UK, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Sweden, Norway, Finland, New Zealand, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic, Greece).

The research is conducted quarterly and always includes a minimum of 1,000 respondents in each country. In total, 19,293 consumers participated during Q2 2023 (April-June). The sample sizes are nationally representative, naturally including both Klarna users and non-Klarna users, and have been selected by research agency, Nepa.

18 countries

19,293 consumers

150m consumers

500,000 retailers

Online shopping data.
Insights from Klarna’s shopping data. Klarna serves more than 150 million consumers and 500,000 retailers.

Digital transformation in retail.

Online shopping has accelerated with unprecedented pace over the past couple of years. And there are no signs of the digital transformation slowing down. Shoppers’ preferences for online shopping continue to increase.

Online shopping continues to rise.

Shoppers globally are growing increasingly fond of online shopping. Many retailers continue to step up their digital offerings and make their online offering more appealing. Younger generations prefer the online shopping experience while their older peers are trending in the same direction as they grow increasingly tech-savvy.

The chart illustrates consumers’ mindset regarding the extent they prefer to shop online and in physical stores.

Online shopping

is preferred over physical stores by the majority in the US, UK, Germany, Sweden and Italy.

Rapid online growth

All countries covered in this report have increased their online shopping preference since the tracking started, and the aggregated global value increases steadily quarter over quarter.

If the current trend continues, the global index will shift from mostly in-store to mostly online during 2023.

Where shoppers would do most of their shopping if they could choose freely.

The charts below show how shoppers in each country would choose to split their shopping between online and in-store. The remaining population has a neutral preference.

Where shoppers are currently shopping.

Physical stores are still the norm and consumers still visit them more frequently despite the growing preference for online shopping.

While some retail categories are shopped more often online, physical stores still see certain product types are bought more often in person. The biggest differences are found across some of the most commonly bought categories, indicating an opportunity for disruption, as online shopping’s main drivers are convenience and the ability to save time.

The charts below show the percentage of shoppers in each market who have shopped online and in physical stores respectively at least once a week – and what categories have been shopped on a monthly average.

Traditional offline categories ripe for disruption.

Online shopping means people can access offers from all over the world, regardless of whether they are in a major city or the countryside. Still, some products appear more available than others.

The chart illustrates consumers’ mindset with regards to the extent they prefer to shop online and in physical stores.

Rapid online growth

Children products and Clothing & Shoes have had the biggest increase in online shopping preference over the past two years.

Digital disruption

Groceries, Pharmaceutical products, and Home & Garden, which are the most preferred categories to shop in physical stores, have steadily increased their online shopping preference over the past 2 years.

Attitudes towards online and physical stores.

Shoppers’ choice heavily depends on whether they are looking to save time and money—or whether they are looking for better social interaction and customer service.

Younger generations think they get better social interaction online to a higher extent. This correlates with being more likely to purchase items seen on social media.

Saving time & money

are the two main perceived benefits of online shopping.

Better social interaction & service

are the two main perceived benefits of in-store shopping.

Bridging the gap between the digital and in-store shopping experience.

The vast majority of consumers would find it useful to be able to speak with store clerks or product experts when they shop online to get real-time assistance and guidance while making their purchase decisions. A bit like having your very own personal shopping assistant at your fingertips, providing the same level of service you would expect in-store.

Technology investments are a must.

Today’s shoppers are looking for innovative solutions that give them a better shopping experience. These are the main focus areas for online and physical stores, according to shoppers themselves.

Frictionless payments

is the most wanted improvement across all countries—both online and in-store.

Personalized service and product recommendations

are next on the wishlist, followed by a seamless transition between online and physical stores.

Virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR)

is more anticipated for online shopping than in-store.

Online shopping habits.

Online shopping has evolved into an integral part of retail; it has become a natural part of the everyday life of consumers. Data from Klarna shows when and where shoppers all over the world shop and how their favorite products shift across regions.

The online shopping map.

Select a country in the list below to see where people shop the most online per capita, where online shopping is growing the fastest, and how the most commonly bought products shift across regions. The data is from January 1 – March 31, 2023.

The index for “Favorite Products” is calculated in relation to the national average, and does not necessarily reflect the products that are most often bought overall—but most often in comparison with other regions in the same country.

An average online shopping day.

The most prominent perk of shopping online is how it can be done any time, from any corner of the world. It can be both a time saver and a convenient way of getting access to products not in stock in your local physical store. Most online purchases take place late in the evening, often in the comfort of shoppers’ own homes.

The chart below illustrates how purchases are distributed during an average day. The data is from January 1 – March 31, 2023.


are the most popular time to buy for older generations. It’s also the peak hours for desktop computers.


are the most popular time to shop online in most countries. And this is when mobile shopping increases the most.

Night time

is when the share of mobile phones increases further and consumers, to a higher extent, opt for payment methods that don’t require them to type in physical card credentials.

An average online shopping week.

While the way shoppers distribute purchases during the day is universal, the most common day to shop varies much more clearly across countries.

The chart below illustrates how purchases are distributed during an average week. The data is from January 1 – March 31, 2023.

The pandemic outbreak

immediately caused a shift in consumption patterns all over the world, temporarily making the share of purchases during weekdays. This effect was short lived, and shopping patterns soon returned to normal with most purchases taking place late evenings.


The most preferred day to shop in the US is Friday.

Evolving payment preferences.

Payments are a fundamental part of the shopping experience that continues to evolve with emerging preferences driven by technological innovation.

The rise of Buy Now, Pay Later.

Shoppers all over the world are turning to Buy Now, Pay Later to an increasingly higher extent. In fact, there is only one country featured in this report in which shoppers prefer credit cards over Buy Now, Pay Later.

17 out of 18

The preference for Buy Now, Pay Later is higher than credit cards in 17 out of 18 countries. The only country in which most shoppers would opt for a credit card over BNPL is the US, and it’s close.

Try before you buy.

Shoppers think that being able to check the goods and pay after they have decided if and what to keep is the main benefit with BNPL. No physical store would require shoppers to deposit a payment before they touch, feel, and try the goods, and only reimburse their shoppers a few bank days later if they didn’t end up buying it. With that in mind, it’s not surprising that shoppers turn to retailers that bridge that gap in the online shopping experience—and enable them to turn their living rooms into fitting rooms.

Almost 1 in 2

of global shoppers prefer to pay for physical goods after the delivery has arrived.


would be more positive towards buying from an online store that offers the possibility to get the products delivered before having to pay.

Paying later as a security measure

Feeling safe is one of the most important things for online shoppers. When asking people what makes them feel safe when shopping online, known retailers and payment services top the list – however, almost every other person also considers the possibility to pay efter receiving the goods an important security measure. Something both authorities and fraud experts agree with.


feel safer when the online store offers the possibility to pay after the delivery arrives.


choose to pay after they have received the goods to feel safer when shopping at a new online store.

Sustainability-minded shoppers.

A significant share of shoppers are looking for brands and retailers to act in a more sustainable way. Adhering to this calling can boost businesses from compliance to competitive advantage.

Sustainability-minded shoppers actively seek out brands and retailers that share their values.

The importance for brands and retailers to act in an environmentally sustainable way is deemed as important across generations. Millennials are however over-represented when it comes to everything from taking the environmental impact of delivery options into consideration when shopping online, to seeking out brands that are ethical and sustainable to a higher extent.

1 in 3

consider it important that brands act in an environmentally sustainable way.

1 in 4

actively seek out brands that are ethical and sustainable.

Top priorities.

The majority of shoppers that take environmental impact into consideration are looking for information that helps guide their purchase decision, including both environmental and social impact of the business.

2 in 5

want retailers to have fair labor conditions across their supply chains and use recycled or sustainable material in their production.

The product categories where we look for sustainable options.

It’s apparent that sustainable options is of different importance depending on what we are buying. Most people think it’s most important to consider sustainable options when shopping for clothes and shoes, electronics and groceries – but not as important when looking for jewelery or erotic products.


of greek shoppers are looking for sustainable options when shopping for beauty products, that is almost twice as many compared to the global average (16%).

1 in 2

Finns look for sustainable options when shopping for electronics, to compare with the global average of 39%.

Social shopping on the rise.

Social media, influencers and social shopping solutions have increased engagement, discovery, and more informed purchasing decisions—particularly among younger generations.

Digitalization of shopping.

The shopping discovery path is shaped in different patterns across countries and generations but one common unifying factor is the tendency to rely on digital channels to an increasing extent.

Followers become buyers.

On average, 39% of shoppers have purchased a product after seeing it on social media. And more than half of them did it directly from the platform.

Social channels to shopping discovery.

After discovering it on social media, purchasing a product is becoming common in all consumer groups—and especially among younger generations. These are the type of accounts that have the highest chance of inspiring shoppers.


have a bigger impact than retailers on Gen Z, and the opposite is true for older generations.


have a higher impact than influencers in most countries. The Netherlands, Belgium and Poland being the only exceptions.


have the highest following on a global average.

Social media climbers.

Social media has made it easier than ever to discover new trends and items. Shoppers find both inspiration and shopping opportunities.


is more popular than Facebook for Gen Z in every country, with the Czech Republic being the only exception.

Facebook, Instagram and Youtube

are the most popular platforms for Millennials with some local differences.


is the overall most popular platform for Gen X’ers and Baby Boomers.

Static images > video content.

With the rise of social media and the content development that has followed, people have become more and more accustomed to consuming and shopping video content, yet static images are still the preference.


of global shoppers prefer to shop static images over video content.

Benefits of video content.

Those shoppers who prefer video content think that the main benefit of shopping from video content compared to static images is that they get a better understanding of how the product fits and/or functions and helps them make a more informed purchase decision.

1 in 2

think that video content gives them a better understanding of the product than static images.

Shop smarter with price comparisons.

The thrill of finding a great deal is a feeling that transcends cultures and borders. With the rise of digital retail, bargain hunting has been revolutionized, giving consumers unprecedented access to price comparison tools that allow them to find the best possible deals.

The power of price comparison.

Price comparison is a widely adopted practice by consumers globally. The rise of online shopping and smart shopping services has made it even more accessible to compare prices across retailers. It’s a crucial tactic for making informed purchasing decisions and getting the most value out of every dollar spent.


of consumers compare prices, and the majority (55%) do it often.

The modern way to hunt for bargains.

Gone are the days of physically searching for bargains. The digitalization of retail has revolutionized the way consumers hunt for deals, making it easier and more convenient to compare prices across different retailers. By leveraging technology, consumers can save both time and money when shopping, all from the comfort of their own homes.


is the most popular way to compare prices across stores across all markets.


is the only country where consumers use price comparison services more often, instead of browsing online stores to compare prices.

One app to compare them all.

In today’s world of online shopping, consumers are looking for ways to save both time and money. These are the features that consumers would want in an app that allows them to compare products and prices across multiple online stores, all from the convenience of their own device.


want to compare prices across retailers.

A scattered delivery experience.

Along with the evolution of online shopping, the delivery experience has evolved with it and the number of delivery options have increased. However, across almost all markets, many shoppers still consider the delivery experience to be somewhat scattered with room for improvement. The need to gather information about all deliveries in one place is the biggest pain according to consumers.

Home delivery is preferred.

When asked about preferred delivery options, the majority of global shoppers agree that delivery to the home or workplace is their number one choice. But preferences between different countries differ which is probably due to local delivery infrastructure and the availaibilty of delivery options in the different countries.


want their online purchase to be delivered directly to their home or workplace.


Twice as many in the Nordic countries prefer to get their purchases delivered to a grocery store or postal office compared to the global average.

1 in 2

polish shoppers prefer to pick-up their deliveries from a unmanned parcel box, that is five times as many as the global average (10%).

The delivery experience is scattered.

Shoppers express a desire for a more streamlined delivery experience when shopping online. Many find it a hassle to manually having to search for information about their deliveries in different places.

1 in 4

think that the biggest pain point when it comes to online deliveries is that they have to manually search their email inbox for confirmation and tracking numbers.

A smoother delivery experience.

To solve for some of the main pain points that shoppers currently experience with their deliveries when shopping online, a majority would like to gather all their deliveries in one place.


would like to be able to track all their deliveries in one place.

Mobile shopping online and in-store.

As smartphones and tablets continue to take screen time from computers, mobile devices are expected to play a central role in the continued digitalization of retail.

Mobile shopping is now the most popular way to shop online.

Preference for mobile has now overtaken shopping on other devices and is now the most preferred device for online shopping, before computor and tablets.

Increasing mobile preference

All countries that had a recorded preference below 30% in 2021 have shown a clear trend for increasing mobile preference at the expense of computers. Today, no country has a mobile shopping preference lower than 30%.

Majority of mobile shoppers

Only 6 out of 18 countries have a majority of shoppers with a higher preference for computers than mobile devices.

The in-store shopping journey begins online.

The digital shopping revolution doesn’t only mean that people are shopping more online. Online research, also called “webrooming,” plays an important role throughout the in-store shopping journey. For the majority of people, a trip to the mall starts before they arrive.

The chart below illustrates the percentage of in-store shoppers who usually research online before shopping in physical stores.


are sometimes (or often) researching online before they go in-store, out of which:


do it often.

Smartphones have forever changed the in-store shopping experience.

Even when shoppers are physically in-store, they are also online, using their phones to compare competitive prices and offers and to check product reviews and testimonials to make sure they have found the right product.

The chart below illustrates the share of in-store shoppers who say they use their smartphones to research products when shopping in physical stores.


are sometimes (or often) using their smartphones in-store, out of which:


do it often.

A year from now.

Over the past 2 decades, online shopping has pivoted from something for early adopters and enthusiasts to the preferred way to shop for people all over the world. Technological innovation will continue to marvel and excite, retailers will continue to improve their digital offering, and the digitalization of retail will continue to shape the future of shopping.

Predictions for the future.

There’s still a general belief that the majority of shopping will be done in physical stores in a year’s time—but preferences are quickly shifting.

This chart illustrates the share of shoppers believing they will make the majority of their shopping online or in physical stores respectively.

And that’s that.

Klarna’s Shopping Pulse insights are updated quarterly, so stay tuned for future updates.

Thirsty for more knowledge?

Make sure to check out the other reports available at Klarna Insights.