Europeans continue to shop online after brick-and-mortar stores reopen

A webshop on a laptop, with a hand with a payment card next to it.

Europeans continue to shop online after brick-and-mortar stores reopen

Amsterdam, September 22, 2020 – The easing of measures to control the coronavirus and the reopening of brick and mortar stores has had little impact on the online shopping behavior of consumers in Europe. This is shown by an Adobe research into the trends in online shopping during and after the (intelligent) lockdown among more than 3000* Europeans. 59 percent of those surveyed regularly shopped online during the lockdown. This is almost equal to the 60 percent who frequently make an online purchase after the relaxation of the measures.

The corona crisis has had an impact on the purchasing behavior of Europeans in particular during the second quarter of 2020. The survey shows that 93 percent of those surveyed made online purchases at least once during the (intelligent) lockdown period. More than half (59%) of the respondents regularly used e-commerce. It is striking that 69 percent of the respondents bought a product online for the first time that they previously only bought in the store. Food, clothing and health and personal care products make up the top three.

Online shopping remains popular
This growth in online shopping activity, a logical consequence of the measures against the corona virus, has subsequently stabilised. Nearly half of respondents (42%) say the closure of stores due to the pandemic has prompted them to spend more online. However, the survey shows that 60 percent of respondents still regularly shop online and almost all respondents (95%) have made at least one online purchase since the lockdown was eased.

Avoiding crowds (55%), finding the best price (49%) and saving time (45%) are the main reasons to shop more online. For the younger generation, the best price is an important factor (56% compared to 42% for the elderly), while avoiding crowds is the highest priority for the older generation (52% compared to 38% for the young).

Room for improvement
These developments in consumer online purchasing behavior offer opportunities for brands. To take full advantage of these, it is important to optimize the customer experience offered online. Of the respondents, 35 percent indicate that they have had a neutral or negative online shopping experience during or after the lockdown. The main reasons mentioned are the slowness and malfunctioning of the product pages (40%) or the payment pages (34%).

A negative online experience has a direct impact on brands because potential customers create a strong preference for the large online stores instead of the brands' own channels. For example, more than half of the respondents (54%) indicate that they prefer to make online purchases via a large online store site or application than directly via a brand site or application (5%).

“This study clearly shows that customers expect the entire retail industry to improve their online shopping experience,” said Christophe Marée, Marketing Director for Southern and Western Europe, Adobe. “The demand is there, and consumers expect a multi-channel supply. In this new digital age, companies need to provide their customers with a compelling shopping experience. To achieve this, they need to strike a balance between connecting online and in-store experiences.

Changing purchase criteria
The current health crisis has not only changed the way Europeans consume, it is also affecting their purchasing criteria. For example, the survey found that 48 percent of respondents are now more concerned about where the products come from and how they are made. The two main reasons for the respondents are support for local businesses during the lockdown (58%) and environmental protection (53%).

* This survey was conducted in collaboration with Advanis in July 2020. Survey was conducted among 1,001, 1,012 and 1,000 consumers in France, Germany and the UK respectively.

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