During the pandemic, our free time was consumed with online shopping, where our buying behaviors changed – some for good, it seems. Based on studies, we tend to choose more wisely and much more slowly than pre-Covid due to the unpredictable restrictions and the numerous plans that were canceled.
While leisure and sports products were the most popular items shopped online, consumers changed their preferences radically in the service and travel industry. In general most of the European countries have a positive prediction regarding the growth of e-commerce, but let’s see how they changed their preferences over the last two years.
Online shopping tendencies in Europe
According to Postnord’s E-commerce Study from 2021 Germany and the UK are Europe’s strongest e-commerce markets. 62 million consumers in Germany have shopped online in the last year, while 49 million people have spent their time online shopping in the UK. On a global level, 18% of the total retail sales were made by online shopping which is worth almost 24 trillion USD. The most popular product categories were clothing, house electronics, and books. The reason behind these top 3 categories could be that consumers spent way more time at home and they focused on indoor activities.
1. What about booking trips online?
This wise tendency shows itself the most in this industry. Consumers don’t like to buy any trip far in advance, they prefer last-minute offers more likely. This can come from the pain of canceled trips and tickets and also the bad experiences of refunds and postponed flight tickets. When it comes to booking online or through an agency, studies show that 63 % of bookings come from online sources which are worth $756 billion on a global level.
Speaking of traveling abroad or to domestic destinations, the study by Eurostat showed that European customers prefer domestic trips better than traveling abroad, meaning that seven out of ten trips were made inside of the country. On the other hand, outbound trips were also popular, especially in Germany with 100 million trips.
2. How do we support small business during an online shopping era?
According to Eurostat’s study European Consumers prefer to order from local sellers, rather than buying a product from an international distributor. Local sellers are most popular to the 25-55 years old people, while International sellers are the least popular to older, 55-74 years old consumers. The reason behind this online shopping behavior is that older people are not that familiar with international webhops like Wish, therefore they prefer to order their goods from a familiar website.
Also the younger generation is willing to wait longer for the product to arrive from China, if it is much cheaper there than at the local websites. Even though fast delivery is still one of the most important aspects of online shopping, the shipment fees can still modify this priority in consumers’ heads and make them wait longer if the price is more reasonable.
3. Is it attractive to choose sustainable options during online shopping?
Fortunately the answer is yes, there is a varied interest in paying for sustainable alternatives. Especially in Italy and Germany, where 30-35 % of the consumers are willing to pay more for eco-friendly delivery. Moreover in Italy and Spain customers have a strong focus on purchasing from a domestic seller not only economically but for sustainable reasons as well.
Almost 50% of the customers think that they will reduce the environmental impact of deliveries if they are actively choosing domestic sellers over cross-border opportunities.
How does your business perform in the world of online shopping?
Following the changing online shopping trends and keeping our business up to date can generate more business opportunities and a faster way to reach our annual business goal. But the sad truth is that no innovative trend will move us forward without a strong customer experience-focused base.
Fortunately, our company is here to help and with our assistance, you can test if your business checks every box on the success list! We offer several services such as e-commerce mystery visits and analysis. We also have an online inquiry analysis option, where our evaluators give you information on every aspect of the customer interaction with your business online and, if you wish, perform a detailed analysis between your business’ performance and that of your competition.