Geopost: in a challenging economic environment, online shopping is more than ever regarded as a way to save money

Geopost: in a challenging economic environment, online shopping is more than ever regarded as a way to save money

Geopost has released its e-shopper barometer 2023 amid context of constrained purchasing power.

In 2023, European e-shoppers are going back to basics. Their main purchase criteria are straightforward: price and clarity about a product’s features, ease of purchase and return, punctuality and flexibility of delivery. These criteria explain to a significant extent the growing success of out-of-home delivery and C2C platforms in 2023, continuing a development that has been observed for some years now. Despite this focus on eshopping fundamentals, new trends for inspiration and information are also confirmed, such as the increased use of social networks. Overall, 2023 dynamics point to a stabilization of the business developments seen in recent years, with the total number of e-shoppers slightly eroding and the proportion of regular e-shoppers remaining stable.

Carmen Cureu, Group Market Research Director at Geopost, reflects on these findings: “With a robust methodology that includes over 24,000 interviews across 22 countries, the 2023 edition of the Geopost eshopper barometer clearly points to a resounding sentiment: European regular e-shoppers remain deeply committed to e-commerce. In a challenging economic environment, online shopping is more than ever regarded as a way to save money, and e-shoppers tend to go back to the basics of what makes a purchase successful: price, clarity, ease of purchase and returns, punctuality and delivery. Based on these insights into consumer expectations and market trends, the Geopost e-shopper barometer is more than even designed to serve as a strategic compass for an industry that is both maturing and navigating an everevolving landscape.”

Key take-aways from the 2023 e-shopper barometer

  • E-commerce habits are deeply rooted among e-shoppers, even if they have to adapt to economic challenges. In recent years, consumers have embraced the convenience and affordability offered by ecommerce, making it an integral part of their shopping habits. The versatility of online shops has extended beyond non-essential goods, with e-shoppers now frequently turning to online platforms for everyday essential items, notably in the categories of food and health products. However, this evolution in consumer behaviour unfolds against a backdrop of economic trade-offs for households, exacerbated by uncertainties in several European countries and persistent inflation. The changing economic landscape has prompted eshoppers to navigate a complex web of choices, balancing convenience and price while ensuring accessibility to essential items.
  • E-commerce is slightly adjusting in 2023. After an accelerated growth the share of European e-shoppers has been slightly decreasing over the past two years (-1 point in 2022 and -1 point, in 2023), while the share of regular e-shoppers is remaining stable. The Geopost e-shopper barometer shows that they are still deeply committed to e-commerce, seeing it as a way to reduce the stress of offline shopping and save time.
  • Regular e-shoppers are price sensitive. Online shopping is seen as a means to save money by 65% of regular e-shoppers, even more than before. Of note, despite eco-friendly deliveries remain important, regular e-shoppers are less open in 2023 to paying a premium for green products.
  • Out-of-home delivery continues to gain momentum. While home delivery still has the largest total number of delivery points, it is used by fewer e-shoppers than in the past, to the benefit of parcel shops and parcel lockers, both of which are used more in 2023 than in the past.
  • E-shopping habits through C2C platforms and social media are ingrained. 7 out of 10 regular eshoppers buy or sell on C2C platforms, and a third say they have increased their purchases of second-hand products. In 2023, more regular e-shoppers sell on these platforms, mainly to free up space, because they have products they don’t use, and to earn extra money. Social media is widely used for shopping purposes (by 7 out of 10 regular e-shoppers), firstly to get inspiration or information, and to make a direct purchase for 48% of regular e-shoppers.
  • Perceptions of online shopping and delivery experience stabilize in 2023. After two years of decline in 2021 and 2022, regular e-shoppers’ perception of the delivery effort and last online purchase effort stabilized in 2023. However, the overall perception is not back to the levels observed in the past. Unsatisfied e-shoppers complain mainly about lack of product transparency, unavailability and delays in delivery. In this context, familiarity with the delivery company remains critical, with regular e-shoppers preferring to choose a company they know and trust.

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