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Retail & E-Commerce

The State of Retail & E-Commerce Report: H1 2023

February 2023

Report summary

For more recent data and analysis, see The State of Retail & E-Commerce Report: H2 2023.

Going into 2023, declining purchasing consideration means retail and e-commerce brands must retain new customers found amid inflation’s disruption while working to bring back those who have churned. It’s critical for brands to dial in on what’s truly important to shoppers across channels and fulfillment.

Key Takeaways

  • With purchasing consideration down, e-commerce brands need to dial up consumer trust: An alarming drop in purchasing consideration, coinciding with months of inflationary strain, means brands should refocus on retaining the customers they gained during the disruption and bringing back those who left.
  • Inflation sucks the fun out of shopping, but brands can still lean into what really matters to consumers: If online shopping’s main benefit is avoiding stores, the draw of in-person retail is more fun than functional. Brands should keep foot traffic flowing by investing in what makes stores enjoyable.
  • If shipping can be free, it can also be slower: Free shipping has universal appeal, but brands tend to overestimate consumers’ speed preferences. Conversely, charging for shipping means shoppers pay more attention to secondary shipping attributes, which are also likely to be more budget-friendly for brands.


Morning Consult Research Intelligence data draws from monthly surveys conducted from October 2021 to January 2023 among roughly 2,200 U.S. adults per month. Inflation data on page 6 draws from a survey conducted Jan. 5-8, 2023, among 2,203 U.S. adults. Purchasing consideration data on page 6 draws from Morning Consult Brand Intelligence. The shipping conjoint study was conducted Dec. 20-23, 2022, among 2,221 U.S. adults. This survey assumes that products in question weigh less than 20 pounds, so heavy items that require special handling were excluded. In-bundle feature importance data on page 22 is unweighted. The rankings of trust and enjoyment drivers on pages 8 and 12 were determined by using a dual-model regression-based method, which quantifies the importance of a series of predictor variables in predicting an outcome variable.

All survey interviews were conducted online, and the data was weighted to approximate respective populations of adults based on age, gender, race, educational attainment, region, gender by age and race by educational attainment. Topline results from the surveys have a margin of error of up to +/-2 percentage points.

About the author

Claire Tassin is a retail and e-commerce analyst. She conducts research on shifting consumer behaviors and expectations, as well as trends relevant to marketing leaders in the retail sector.