Nowadays buying anything you want is easier than ever before: just go online and order it with a few clicks. Today, more and more sellers want to reach their customers online. It is expected that e-commerce businesses will anticipate a 265% growth rate — from $1.3 trillion in 2014 to $4.9 trillion in 2021. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic which has led to a spike in global demand for grocery shopping and home delivery.
Consumers have been relying even more heavily on e-shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic, although this trend was detectable before the crisis. The biggest barriers to online grocery are the lack of visual quality checks followed by food waste concerns, while the convenience factor proved the biggest attraction. The added convenience of e-commerce encourages consumers to buy higher volumes and heavier produce in each transaction. This may explain why across Europe, online shoppers buy more dry food on e-commerce than fresh or frozen. Respondents in a survey also indicated that e-commerce helps them avoid impulse buying and manage their spending.
Here are the 6 trends in e-commerce in Europe for 2020:
- Mobile shopping – Since the advent of smartphones, mobile shopping has continuously been on the rise. It is estimated that more than 70% of Europeans shop online. 30% of all online grocery orders are currently influenced by mobile; 43% of Millennials use mobile to shop for groceries online. And by 2025 it is projected that 20% of all grocery sales will be online.
- Personalization – Personalization is not only about Artificial Intelligence and algorithms. It requires changing a mindset of decision-makers that need to make sure that all the important elements of the customer journey, including browsing the website, comparing products and prices, ads, email, and social media engagement need to be based on individual preferences and past behavior of customers. According to SearchNode, 76% of e-commerce owners in Europe would like to improve personalization on their webshops in 2020. 60% of them said they would also like to improve their site search.
- Faster deliveries – Clearly everyone wants to get their parcel as soon as possible. Normally, three to five days from the day of order is treated as an acceptable time of delivery. But delivery expectations extremely vary in European countries. The strictest consumers are in Poland as they wish the shortest possible delivery time, while Scandinavians are less demanding. Numerous research shows that a distinct correlation exists between population density and delivery expectations: a high population density makes it easier to develop logistics network and people in these areas get used to fast delivery, while Nordic, for example, are somehow more distant geographically and consumers here are ready to wait for 1–2 days longer. It is not surprising that same-day-delivery remains a strong trend in 2020. Meaning that one of the things online retailers would like to improve in 2020 is offer faster deliveries to their customers whenever possible.
- Dynamic pricing – Another innovative and emerging technology can be found in dynamic pricing. Dynamic pricing provides you with the ability to alter the prices of your products or services on the fly, responding both to competitor pressure and the shape of the market at any time. This can be incredibly helpful to avoid bringing your prices too low for a profit margin or raising them too high for consumer acceptance.
- Environmentally friendly e-commerce – As consumers focus more on the environment and the challenges and dangers that businesses and our way of life present to it, e-commerce companies must also become conscious of these aspects. This is especially relevant if companies want to capture younger demographics, most of whom are much more invested in environmentally conscious products, processes, or business models. Most of the companies that responded to a SearchNode survey are taking at least a single action to become greener (72%). The two most common responses were either plastic-free packaging, with 42%, or efficient transportation to lower overall emissions, with 32%. Increasing locally made products was also a popular choice, with 15% choosing it.
- Product subscription model – Product subscription has become more comprehensive over the past few years. This includes services such as Dollar Shave Club or Blue Apron meal kits. Currently, about 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions, usually in the form of monthly boxes that are placed at their doors. Most of these consumers tend to be younger, affluent, and urbanite. Profits are increasing with these subscription services, reaching about $2.6 billion in sales in 2016. In addition, a sizable proportion of subscription service customers hold three or more subscriptions at a time, indicating that there may be a market desire for a “subscription focused” lifestyle. BrandHouse, for instance, offers a weekly basket to its customers which includes all the necessary packaged food and beverage products needed for a family of four for a week.