11 August 2020

European consumer survey: Permanent increase in online shopping expected

Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, a sharp rise in online purchases has been reported from virtually all European countries. For example, sales in German B2C internet trade in June 2020 were a good 30% higher compared to the same month last year. However, it remains to be seen if these trends will lead to a permanent change in consumer behavior.

A recent study conducted by Dutch software review provider Capterra gives some indication on future developments. The survey was carried out in July 2020 among nearly 6,000 European consumers from France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain. 96% of them are regular online shoppers. However, while only 43% of them have purchased three or more items per month online in the past, this number has increased to 56% over the last few months. Furthermore, in this period 55% of the European e-shoppers surveyed purchased a certain product or service online that they had never acquired digitally before.

According to the survey, European consumers enjoy their e-commerce experience and a clear majority intend to maintain a higher extent of online shopping.  27% will continue to make more online purchases, 10% still prefer webstores due to health concerns and 22% will continue to buy products that they traditionally obtained in “brick-and-mortar” stores.

Many stationary stores are open for business again but the findings of the survey indicate that the current increase in online shopping will presumably result in a permanent shift of shopping habits.