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The Future Shopper 2020 report: 8 insights to bookmark

The Future Shopper report gives you the opportunity to insight into what is happening in the world of e-commerce. This year (not surprisingly) discusses what we all faced, i.e., COVID-19.

How consumers of the largest countries in the world behaved and how it will affect their future behavior. Here are some of the essential insights (not only about COVID-19) from this report.

Customers look for shopping inspiration

Before you start shopping, you need some inspiration. Most consumers do. More than half of consumers are then directed to the Amazon site. Next are search engines such as Google – they only have 1% fewer fans. Third place belongs to the sites of sellers. There are many fewer consumers looking for inspiration there- only 20%.

Interestingly, not much less goes to social media for this purpose. Does this suggest any conclusions?

Yes, we like to have a choice. By going to the website of a specific seller, we only see his offer. But, a huge selection of products is shown to our eyes by entering a given phrase in Google or Amazon.

Social media platforms often work on a similar principle, but we need to know where to look. Which influencer recommended the products we are looking for? Which store has its offer presented on Instagram?

To use social media effectively, you need to know them. Searching on Google or Amazon is much simpler.

Average waiting time matters

We know that we all, as humankind, are not patient. When we order something, we want it to be already with us. What is the average waiting time that we consider to be acceptable?

Less than three days to be exact, 2.89. How it looks in different countries – Spaniards and Americans have become more impatient than last year, while the Dutch or Germans understood that delivery takes time. How will COVID-19 affect this?

Many stores informed their customers about the extended lead time due to the high occupancy of the store. Perhaps this will affect consumers and learn patience?

Digital is getting bigger

Let’s face it. Over 30% of consumers prefer digital over physical products. We are not surprised that the number of fans is the largest among millennials (44%).

Statistics show that research has its support in reality. By asking what proportion of (annual) expenditure is physical shopping and what digital, proportions present in this way:  67% : 28%. Why is digital becoming so important?

The study, which included young people aged 6-16, showed that this 20% of this group of consumers would never order products from a seller who does not offer next day delivery. 32% would like to change the delivery time to max. 2 hours. 

In the pandemic time, where contact between people should be minimized, online shopping has become a necessity. Considering the popularity digital has gained among young consumers and the need to order online during the pandemic, we can assume that digital will also gain popularity among older ones in the future.

Social media or social commerce

Social media is used as a source of inspiration. Many consumers (42%) use them as referral sources by tagging friends or DM’s. Brands use social media to present and sell products to recipients.

The Netherlands has the highest sales via SM – 4.57%. Inequalities are also clearly visible in the age groups – almost 70% of people aged 55+ have never ordered online, while in the millennials group, they are only 32%. 

How does it look like in the time of COVID-19, and how will it be in the future? Many of us are looking for a breath of normality in social media. Now social media is more a place where we are looking for psychological comfort, not product advertising.

And brands understand that. How will it be? Probably social media will return to its social commerce role sooner or later. 

Let’s talk about Amazon

In 2019, 36% of expenditure was expenditure on Amazon, this year, it is 27%. Will this be a constant trend? We do not know, but we will watch it closely. Regardless of these results, Amazon continues to be at the forefront of e-commerce. Is that good?

Different countries have different answers. More than half of consumers are worried by such dominance of Amazon, while 66% are excited about the idea that they will buy everything from one retailer.

As you can see, some consumers are worried about Amazon’s monopoly, but they are excited about the idea of ​​settling all purchases in one place. How does it look like in different countries?

Amazon Prime builds Amazon image

In Spain, 71% of users have access to Amazon prime, followed by the United States – 55%. And it is in this country that during the year, Amazon Prime gained 2% of users.

Even more, growth was recorded in the UK – from 29% to 57%. Thanks to the Prime program, consumers perceive Amazon better, it offers next-day delivery, access to special promotional offers or marketing materials.

Amazon Prime customers who spend over 50% of their time make 26% while non-Prime 12%. As you can see, Amazon Prime greatly affects the position of Amazon on the market

Chinese digital market is here to grow

Chinese believe in digital. As many as 93% of them think that the popularity of digital will increase. Unsurprisingly, COVID-19 may increase this number because the Chinese, in line with the global trend, appreciated e-commerce at the time.

The Chinese market is a specific one. How does it look? Customers are looking for inspiration at Taobao and Tmall (67%), Baidu, Sougou, and Bing (42%), and the third-place belongs to brand websites.

Consumers order from above marketplaces around 13 times a month. Contrary to global behavior – consumers order from Amazon ( global number one) 6.5 times a month. 

Future after COVID-19

What happens after the pandemic is still a little bit mysterious to us. We may wonder what e-commerce will look like in a new reality, which we all should undoubtedly prepare for.

Consumers undoubtedly appreciated not only e-commerce but also new solutions introduced during a pandemic, such as more self-service cash registers or contactless delivery.

Perhaps entrepreneurs should think about permanently adding them to their offer. We do not know whether society will appreciate the comfort of digital solutions or whether in the pursuit of normality, it will return to stationery stores.

We know that we will face different times than those in which we lived before the pandemic. Close observation of the market is the basis here.