Study in 5 European markets on young generation e-shopping experience: from the first ‘click’ to ownership
Qualitative research conducted by ethnographers to better understand European local specificities.

In partnership with InProcess, a human-centred innovation agency specialised in carrying out ethnographic research, we built an ethnological study allowing us to draw a comprehensive panorama of the different usages, attitudes and expectations related to online shopping of 18-25 year olds in France, Germany, UK, Spain and Poland.

Our first observations lead us to illustrate the overall shopping experience by the emotion people feel at each stage, that’s what we called the “Emotional Roller Coaster”

While the major steps of the journey and the overall emotions experienced at each step were similar across all countries, we observed a few differences in each country based on the shoppers’ experience and the national industry offer available.

In Germany: A shopping culture marked by the invention of the discount category (e.g. Lidl) leading to a strong desire to find the best deal. As for in-store shopping, and thanks to the return service, young Germans are looking for independence and autonomy when shopping online. Also, a particular frustration is related to missed deliveries and the effort required to chase down these packages (a promise of convenience too easily compromised).

In Poland: A substantial cultural and economic shift in very recent times leading to more pragmatic and cautious online shopping strategies. Positive experiences with the locker system as a way of managing the time of delivery. Strong reassurance provided by the option of paying on delivery. A strong reluctance to making returns due to hassle and cost.

In Spain: A severe economic situation impacting young people’s spending power and habits. More young people living longer at home, with a desire to be independent (privacy of purchases) but with the advantage of more people at home (to receive deliveries). Especially looking for simplification of the browsing process, with better filters and options

In the UK: A culture of high-street shopping that coincides with the high prevalence of online shopping in daily life and the importance of the social link. An early adoption of mobile devices with better mobile experiences of shopping applications. A high rate of returns, even as a strategy of purchase.

In France: Young people lack motivation to manage administrative tasks related to online shopping. Therefore they are willing to give up the multiple services offered by merchant sites. They are looking for a fluid customer experience, from login to the delivery, simplified by all e-commerce stakeholders.

From these observations we have drawn five major insights:


  • A generation empowered by finding good deals

Our participants were shoppers armed with tools to look for the best price

However, more than just being pleased to have found a good price, these 18-25 year olds are shoppers persuaded by a good deal.

Our participants weigh many factors into considering whether they have a good deal, and they are aware that the best prices sometimes comes at a price, with a need to make compromises.

The frustration generated by hidden fees reveals a need for transparency to avoid pricing surprises


  • A “one-size-fits-all” browsing experience that limits the choice of online shopping

The main advantage of online shopping is the access it provided to an incredible selection of products. We observed a need for tools to help wade through the choices available online.

In particular, our participants had a desire for an experience customized to them. Shoppers wanted to be able to customize their preferences, for example

In contrast to the enormous choice available online, shoppers criticize the lack of choice where it matters. Our participants claim that they have little choice when it comes to delivery options and payment methods, etc.


  • An insecurity that requires tactics of reassurance

Although we saw that different countries had different levels of comfort with risk, in order to avoid that risk, certain products require offline confirmation.

When a product can’t be seen in person, advice and reviews are an important element of reassurance

In terms of financial risk, our participants had different views of payment modes, as a risk or as a line of defence.

To help deal with the insecurities of online shopping, easy, free returns are crucial for increased confidence.


  • From strong investment to delayed satisfaction after the click

In many cases, the “before” stages of online shopping represent a pleasurable experience and shoppers are invested in the process throughout the browsing steps.

However, after the strong emotion at the moment of purchase, we observed a let-down after the click, a feeling of abandonment and lack of control.

Satisfaction can be even further delayed when the product that arrives is not as expected. However, when at risk, good customer service easily overcomes these threats to satisfaction.


  • Chasing deliveries threatens the convenience of online shopping

Online shopping promises the convenience of ordering and receiving a product from the comfort of home. However, a current lack of transparency results in increased effort and missed deliveries and threatens this convenience.

By allowing users to choose a location that suits them and unlimited hours, the locker system is a solution that fits easier into participants’ lifestyles.

The ideal delivery experience is a product delivered to ME, when and where I want it.

Based on the insights into the motivations and behaviours of 18-25 year old shoppers, we offer our customers, the e-merchants, the opportunity to improve this journey to capitalize on the positive moments, alleviate pain points, and to re-enchant the entire journey of their customers.


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.

With 1497 delivery experts and a network of more than 3000 local Pickup points, geParcel delivers 1 million parcels to over 230 countries each year through its partners.


Press Contacts

geParcel press department