In Brief

The JPMorgan Chase Institute released a report that details where and how consumers are spending their money, highlighting key takeaways for local businesses in an age of ecommerce

Online shopping has changed the game, not only in terms of holiday expenditures, but also in how people move through their daily lives. It also means that small businesses have to compete with larger multinational companies like Amazon for business. In order to better understand where and how consumers are spending their money so that local businesses can benefit, the JPMorgan Chase Institute conducted a study that looks at how people are shopping on the Internet.

The report, “Shopping, Near and Far: Local Commerce in the Digital Age,” details how much consumers are spending in a local area, i.e. within the major metropolitan area that a person lives in. The report presented several key findings on how much Chase customers were spending at in their area and online, and where that money went.

One major takeaway was that spending in metropolitan areas averaged four% in year-over-year growth. Looking at the time period of April 2015 and March 2018, the researchers found that consumers only grew in how much they spent. Another finding was that online shopping was the driver of that growth in many cases, contributing to an increase of four% in both 2016 and 2017.

As one would expect from online sales, these purchases were not solely centered around the local areas of the consumers. Still, every major metropolitan area saw an increased rate of sales. Miami grew the most in the 2015-2018 period and San Francisco has the smallest rate of growth. This growth was powered by consumers ages 35 to 54, most likely due to them holding the largest market share for online shopping.

While the report indicates that people are not spending money in their own local communities, they are spending money in other communities thanks to the advent of online shopping. Additionally, the report found that in offline transactions, it was spending at local businesses that was driving the most growth. While the Institute did not draw any specific conclusions from its data, it points to online commerce being an important tool for businesses of any size going into 2019.

JPMorgan Chase


Lead image: using smart phone and computer stock photo from GaudiLab/Shutterstock

Online shopping has changed the game, not only in terms of holiday expenditures, but also in how people move through their daily lives. It also means that small businesses have to compete with larger multinational companies like Amazon for business. In order to better understand where and how consumers are spending their money so that local businesses can benefit, the JPMorgan Chase Institute conducted a study that looks at how people are shopping on the Internet.

The report, “Shopping, Near and Far: Local Commerce in the Digital Age,” details how much consumers are spending in a local area, i.e. within the major metropolitan area that a person lives in. The report presented several key findings on how much Chase customers were spending at in their area and online, and where that money went.