Half of consumers expect to make most online purchases via mobile by 2024

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A quarter of Facebook and Instagram users buy via the social media platform

Ede, November 13, 2019 – The share of mobile within online purchases will increase rapidly in the next five years. For example, about two thirds of online buyers now use their mobile to shop via the Internet and half of this group expects that they will make the majority of their online purchases via a smartphone in five years' time. This is apparent from the ShoppingTomorrow Consumer Survey, which GfK conducted in collaboration with the ShoppingTomorrow research platform.

The research shows that 94% of Dutch people aged fifteen and older made an online purchase in the past year.1 Of all these online buyers, 65% used their mobile phone when shopping online (compared to 55% in 2018). Consumers also expect that the role of the smartphone will only increase in the coming years: 47% of online buyers predict that they will make most of their online purchases via a mobile phone in five years (compared to 40% in 2018).

Growth of online purchases is leveling off

While the online share of total spending has grown from 25% in 2018 to 27% in 2019, consumers think it will increase to 38% in 2024. Consumers still expect online shopping to continue to grow over the next five years, although their online spending forecast is in line with last year's (37%).

If we look at the different product categories, we see that consumers expect a large growth in the online share within Telecom (from 43% in the first half of 2019 to 58% in 2024) and Food/nearfood (from 6% to 20%).

Download the image with the online share in different product categories

New ways of shopping online

With regard to new ways of shopping online, such as voice commerce, consumers appear to be divided: Just over half (53%) expect a large proportion of purchases to take place via the new technologies in 2024. This also poses a challenge for the e-commerce world, as paying via voice is currently not legally allowed.

Social media is an emerging sales channel. For both Facebook and Instagram, about a quarter of all members of the relevant platform already make purchases in this way. For example, 17% indicates that it has sometimes made a purchase via Facebook. This medium stands head and shoulders above the other social media; Instagram is used by only 6.6% for a purchase.

“Buying via Instagram is not yet very easy. Only when there is a seamless check-out will the sales through the platform grow. I think Instagram is perfect for impulse purchases, so I expect a lot from that," says Inge Demoed, program manager ShoppingTomorrow.

Consumer wants to be anonymous, but a personalized offergepersonaliseerd

Privacy remains a hot issue for consumers; 60% indicates that it does not want to be recognized. “Consumers' 77% always expects to get a personalized offer when they shop online, but 67% of consumers don't want collected data to be used to personalize an offer. That presents retailers with a challenge,” says Inge Demoed. For 27% of the respondents, it is not a problem if companies use data to show a personal offer.

Combination on- and offline growing

Half of consumers enjoy alternating physical and online store visits while shopping. However, when consumers want advice about certain products or services, they find a store visit the best method to get in touch with the seller (73% in 2019 versus 58% in 2018).

Consumers do expect that physical retail will do more with technologies, such as contactless payment via their smartphone and self-scan checkouts. “This is a trend that is really on the rise”, says Inge Demoed. “More and more brick-and-mortar stores are embracing technologies to make life as easy as possible for consumers. An advantage for both the consumer and the store.” Consumers find technology in stores more efficient (46.4%) than fun (20.2%). In other words, they see it as part of a frictionless shopping experience rather than a source of inspiration.

Download the full ShoppingTomorrow Consumer Survey here

[1] Source: GfK Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor, period January – June 20119, in accordance with definitions used in the Thuiswinkel Markt Monitor

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