Retailers worldwide are going through a turbulent period. All offline activity was largely halted by the COVID-19 crisis, while online shopping skyrocketed. Over a quarter of European consumers will remain shopping more than they did before the COVID-19 outbreak. 56% have bought three or more products online per month during COVID-19 according to Capterra.
96% of European consumers say that they sometimes buy something online. However, the COVID-19 crisis has seen a lot of changes in the number of products purchased online each month in recent months. Shops were closed, leaving people with little choice but to buy online. If shops were already open, it was unwise for vulnerable groups and the elderly to physically go to the store. As a result, much more products were bought online than usual.
Clear growth of online purchases
In particular, the number of e-shoppers making between 6 and 10 digital purchases per month has risen sharply from 10% to 17%. The number of buyers who make between 11 and 20 digital purchases every month has even doubled. Therefore, there is a clear growth in the number of online purchases in the past period.
The digital sales channel was the salvation of many stores. Earlier research showed that 58% of the Dutch retail sector has made adjustments to make the product range available digitally.
Purchasing behavior has changed permanently
The purchasing behavior of more than half (59%) of the surveyed European consumers has changed permanently since the COVID-19 crisis. About a quarter of e-shoppers will continue to make more digital purchases, despite the fact that the shops are opening again. In addition, a small group (10%) indicate that they continue to avoid physical stores for the time being because of the risk of contamination. Furthermore, 22% will continue to buy products online that they always bought in brick-and-mortar stores before the pandemic.
3,243 (55%) of the 5,897 surveyed e-shoppers bought a product or service online during the crisis that they had never purchased digitally before. The most frequently mentioned new digital purchases consisted of clothing, food, games and household or electronic appliances.