Eight trends spotted from five years of e-commerce research (part 2)

Eight trends spotted from five years of e-commerce research (part 2)

The very first PostNord/Direct Link report “E-commerce in Europe” was published in 2014. Since then, the entire concept of online shopping has developed at a remarkable speed. Here are the remaining four of eight trends that have emerged during this period (see the previous post for the first four trends).

Higher demands for freedom of choice

Consumers’ demands for freedom of choice regarding delivery has steadily increased, and e-retailers have listened. In-store pick-up is becoming increasingly popular in chain stores. Partner outlets have made strong progress in countries that have otherwise preferred home delivery. In the Nordic region, where partner outlets are standard for pick-up, home delivery has instead increased.

Mobile online shopping is growing

In a historical perspective, the use of smartphones has shown incredible growth. In 2014, 28 percent of online consumers had shopped using their phone, while this year the figure was an impressive 63 percent. One reason smartphone usage has increased is that the digital infrastructure continues to grow, providing more people with convenient Internet access. Another reason is that the phone is always available, making online shopping possible anytime and anywhere.

Internet changes the purchase journey

The Internet continues to develop at a record speed, which has had great impact on how e-tailers reach consumers and how the purchase experience is designed. Some of the recent developments are influencers whom e-tailers can use to market themselves, and consumers being able to make purchases directly inside of social media platforms. 

Free is no longer sustainable

A growing number of e-commerce companies appear to be considering whether free shipping and returns really are sustainable, from both an environmental and financial perspective. For example, some fashion retailers, who previously promoted free shipping as one of their major selling points, have begun to charge for orders under a certain amount.

Interested in the latest report from 2019? The “E-commerce in Europe” report can be ordered free of charge.

Olof Källgren, Market Information Manager, Direct Link