Online buyers don’t want to go back to the pre-Corona times – eCommerce Magazin

  • UPS investigates in an annual study evolving trends in online trading as well as preferences and expectations of online shoppers.
  • In the new study “UPS Smart E-Commerce Report 2021” it is about the effects of the corona pandemic and Brexit as well as important factors in the purchase decision.
  • 15 percent of those surveyed would like to do their shopping complete or mostly online even after the pandemic, before that it was ten percent and during the pandemic 33 percent ..

In an annual series of studies, UPS examines developing trends in online retail as well as the preferences and expectations of online shoppers for retail. The current study is devoted to evolving trends in Online shopping in the corona pandemic and important factors in the purchase decision. “The pandemic has accelerated the existing trend towards e-commerce in an unprecedented way. As the market for online retailers is becoming more and more competitive, personalized customer service offers the opportunity to stand out from the competition. Understanding consumer priorities and their expectations of online shopping is an important part of our mission to deliver what is important to retailers and consumers alike, ”explains Thomas Zeller, Marketing and Strategy Director at UPS Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

Purchase decision: an overview of the most important results of the study

  • 15 percent of those surveyed across Europe want to do all or most of their purchases, including groceries, online, even after the pandemic; before that it was 10 percent, and 33 percent during the pandemic.
  • 48 percent of those surveyed see in the main drivershopping online, even after the pandemic, the convenience of having the goods delivered to your home.
  • 54 percent want sustainable packaging for deliveries from large national and multi-national dealers, 50 percent also for small companies.
  • 48 percent would like to offset CO2 emissions for deliveries from large dealers, 30 percent also for smaller companies.
  • 67 percent would like the logistics service provider their retailer offers sustainable delivery options.
  • 85 percent consider this when making a purchase decision the reliability of the delivery partner as a large or very large role.
  • 47 percent would like alternative delivery options like parcel stations from large online retailers, 32 percent also from smaller companies.
UPS purchase decision
UPS Smart E-Commerce Report: The Change in Shopping Behavior Before and After the Pandemic. (Image: United Parcel Service of America)

Online spending has come to stay: As soon as the corona restrictions on retail are lifted, 15 percent of consumers want to do “all” or “most” of their purchases, including groceries, online. Before the corona pandemic, it was ten percent, while it was 33 percent. At over 20 percent, the preference for post-pandemic online purchases is particularly represented among those over 45 years of age. At the same time, 40 percent state that they will shop “entirely” or “predominantly” in stores after the restrictions are lifted – a decrease of 26 percent compared to the time before the pandemic (54 percent of purchases “entirely” or “predominantly” in the shops).

Advantages of online shopping compared to stationary retail

Respective benefits of online purchases and stores: The joy of shopping in the store (41 percent) and the more personal experience (38 percent) are still the main reasons for shopping in person, while convenience (48 percent) and lower prices (38 percent) are the main reasons for online shopping.

Large Retailers vs. Independent Stores Current Preferences: Large retailers across all product categories are preferred by the majority of consumers over smaller, independent retailers and online marketplaces. However, 50 percent of consumers said they “want to help small businesses”. Grocery (25 percent) and clothing / shoes (24 percent) were the most popular items when shopping at these smaller, independent retailers.

UPS purchase decision
UPS Smart E-Commerce Report: Top Reasons to Shop Online. (Image: United Parcel Service of America)

Nine important factors for the purchase decision

There are nine factors for the purchase decision beyond the type of purchase: A retailer’s delivery partner is the top decision factor for 85 percent of consumers, with 41 percent saying it will be an important factor in future purchases. The retailer’s sustainability is important for 75 percent of those surveyed, making it the second most important factor for consumers. Other important factors are dealing with Corona (70 percent), sustainable delivery options (67 percent), equal opportunities (66 percent) and dealing with Brexit (34 percent), with the latter primarily motivating the British, who prefer retailers to deal with Brexit 44 percent find it important.

A look at sustainability: The majority of consumers expect retailers to use sustainable packaging, with 54 percent expecting this from big brands and 50 percent from smaller brands. The demand for sustainable packaging is highest in Spain (64 percent) and Great Britain (63 percent). 48 percent of respondents would like large retailers to reduce their ecological footprint.

UPS purchase decision
UPS Smart E-Commerce Report: Key Sustainability Expectations. (Image: United Parcel Service of America)

Consumer behavior towards social media

Consumer attitudes towards social media: Three in five respondents (60 percent) think brands communicated too much during the pandemic. 57 percent of consumers believe that smaller, independent brands have done a better job when it comes to communicating on social media. The number of consumers who intend to buy through social e-commerce channels could increase by 15 percent in 2021.

Attitudes of the generations to online shopping: Unsurprisingly, 25 to 34-year-olds, who are often seen as the first generation of digital natives, are more willing to continue shopping “all” or “mostly” online after the restrictions have been lifted than those who shop online (22 percent) 55-year-olds (10 percent). Those over 55 years of age (56 percent) are also much more likely to buy clothes and / or shoes in shops than the group of 18-24 year olds (34 percent). Consumers over the age of 55 are also more likely to expect free returns when shopping at larger retailers (62 percent), compared with 54 percent of 18-24 year olds. For independent and local stores, that expectation fell to 36 percent and 39 percent, respectively.

External factors will affect e-commerce in 2021: When asked about Brexit, 66 percent of UK consumers surveyed believe products and goods bought from the EU will be more expensive and 64 percent believe that new customs requirements will take them longer to arrive. 72 percent of EU consumers surveyed said it would be more expensive to buy goods from the UK and 69 percent believe it would take longer to ship goods from the UK. Across Europe, 57 percent of consumers believe they will reduce their total spending in 2021 in response to the effects of the pandemic.

About the methodology of the study: The annual study by UPS on the behavior, attitudes and expectations of European online shoppers was published in 2021 together with the market and opinion research institute YouGov under the title “UPS Smart E-Commerce Report 2021”. In January 2021, 10,699 consumers over the age of 18 in Germany, Belgium, France, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain were surveyed, 2,173 of them in Germany.
UPS is one of the world’s largest parcel delivery companies with sales of US $ 84.6 billion in 2020. The company offers a wide range of integrated logistics solutions for customers in more than 220 countries and regions. The more than 540,000 employees of the company’s strategy: Customer First. People Led. Innovation Driven. (sg)

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