The 2017 E-shopper barometer report* highlights this year’s trends and opportunities

Key take-aways

Online experience: the vast majority of e-shoppers consider their most recent online purchasing experience as ‘very positive’, and found their experience ‘easy’.

Cross-border e-shopping: cross-border purchases are growing significantly, especially for products originating from China. There is still room for strong growth as one third of e-shoppers are willing to start purchasing abroad.

M-commerce: smartphones are increasingly used to make online purchases, especially among heavy buyers and millennials.

Delivery: the home is still by far the most used delivery location, but interest for alternatives is growing e.g. parcel shops, retailer stores, and lockers.

Local strategies: delivery and payment preferences vary widely from one country to the other. To meet customers’ expectations and further develop e-commerce activities, e-tailers must think local to maximise opportunities.

13 November 2017 – “This year’s report underlines the clear potential that cross-border shopping represents. One of three key features that can favour online cross-border purchases is related to local behaviours and requirements as well as shoppers’ specific needs in each market. Mobile-friendly platforms is the second to cater for the rise in m-commerce. Last but not least, ensure an impeccable first experience for new e-shoppers would secure their loyalty in the long term.” Jean-Claude Sonet, Marketing Director, geParcel.

Heavy buyers are still driving the e-commerce market

Heavy buyers, representing the top third of all European e-shoppers, account for 86% of all online purchases. In general, shoppers tend to buy from websites they know and trust, regardless of product category. As such, potential growth is likely to come from new shoppers, which will require e-tailers to ensure an impeccable first experience in order to secure loyalty.

A new addition to this year’s report is food, with around 14% of all e-shoppers, and 30% of heavy buyers, purchasing fresh food and beverages online.

More European e-shoppers are buying from cross-border websites

Over half of e-shoppers chose to purchase from cross-border websites this year: a 2% increase compared to last year. Purchases made on foreign websites account for almost one fifth (19.2%) of all goods bought by cross-border shoppers.

With around one third of e-shoppers saying they are interested in starting to buy abroad in the near future, cross-border e-shopping has large growth potential in Europe.

Among e-shoppers who purchased cross-border in 2017, around 67% chose websites located in Europe, and 67% chose websites located outside Europe. Of those purchasing within Europe, 39% bought from neighbouring countries. Of those purchasing outside Europe, 44% bought from China, while 31% bought from the USA.

The report showed that the vast majority of e-shoppers (81%) are satisfied with their cross-border experience.

European shoppers want flexibility and convenience

European e-shoppers are buying from a variety of devices. The use of smartphones to purchase online continues to grow, especially among heavy buyers and millennials, but laptop/desktop computers remain the main devices used to purchase online. Likewise, e-shoppers do not buy exclusively from one application, and 43% feel that having a mobile-friendly website is an important purchasing criterion.

Payment and delivery preferences vary widely from one European country to the other, and e-shoppers want to choose from a large range of options to find the most convenient solution. These include alternative locations to home, such as parcel shops and retailer stores, as well as new services, such as next-day delivery and real-time tracking.

For example, 58% of French e-shoppers regularly use parcel shops, compared with a European average of 17%. Estonia holds the record for locker use, with 80% regularly choosing this delivery option compared with 8% of Europeans as a whole. And 69% of Romanian e-shoppers prefer cash-on-delivery as a payment method, significantly higher than the European average of 13%.

The full report is available online, including a new results comparison tool that allows readers to better understand the way in which each country fares based on a number of different criteria.

The 2017 edition of the geParcel E-shopper barometer report was conducted Kantar TNS from 1 June to 3 July 2017. Blind interviews took place online among 24,871 participants across 21 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, UK) and Russia.

All participants, aged 18 or over, had placed and received at least one online order for physical goods since January 2017.

About geParcel

geParcel combines innovative technology and local knowledge to provide a flexible and user-friendly service for both shippers and shoppers. With its industry-leading Predict service, geParcel is setting a new standard for convenience by keeping customers closely in touch with their delivery.