E-commerce is continuing along its growth path in Europe: Eleven out of twelve categories grew in size in the past year, concludes delivery provider PostNord in its latest report based on surveys of 12.000 online consumers from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. But the growtyh in e-commerce also means a growing divergence in consumer preferences, from payment to delivery.
Solid growth in cross-border e-commerce
The report records a solid gwoth in cross-border e-commerce. Nordic buyers are the most likely to buyu abroad, followed by the brits and the Belgians. Form all surveyed countries, Poland made the largest leap compared to last year, with an increase in cross-border e-commerce of 12 percent points.
Cross-border drivers and preferred destinations
Price is a driver for shopping cross-border, but Polish shoppers stated they are looking for a broader offer, and British buyers were seeking out specific brands.
Within Europe, online shoppers prefer to buy from the United Kingdom and Germany when they shop from other countries. Only China is growing faster in popularity. E-commerce from Japan, India and other Asian countries is also growing.
A vast majority of product categories- 11 out of twelve- saw an increase in the online share of total retail. Only CD’s dropped in share, which is likely to be the result of more accessible streaming services available. Online purchases of clothing and footwear are becoming increasingly common in all surveyed markets. Also the sale of food online is growing, with the UK still on top. The preference when it comes to product categories shopped online seem stable compared tot he last year.
The key differentiators important to online consumers on the contrary seem to be shifting:
The lowest price decreases in significance throughout most of the markets, whereas delivery and last mile services are gaining importance. Local payment methods stay a key factor. Overall, consumer preferences vary heavily from country to country.
The delivery methods and preferences for speed vary across all surveyed countries. Demands for deliveries within 1–2 days are growing in most of the markets, whereas the Dutch are the most impatient online shoppers. The Nordics buyers are used to longer delivery times.
With the increase in online shopping per se, the number of returns is naturally going up as well. Germany is traditionally in the lead: 46% of all orders are returned. The UK and the Netherlands follow closely with respectively 41 and 39%. Other countries showing significantly lower rates.
Images: All graphics and images are from the report Ecommerce in Europe 2016 by PostNord