Across Europe, two in five people (40%) now shop online – and it is men not women that are driving the charge into internet purchases – according to a new study by CB Richard Ellis (CBRE).
At a time when there is an unprecedented level of consumer access to the internet across Europe, CBRE’s study explored: The relationship between online and in-store shopping; take-up rates and popularity of shopping online across various sectors; similarity or diversity in attitudes to online shopping across 10 European countries, and the impact of mobile technology and social media.
Launched at the World Retail Congress in Berlin, CBRE revealed highlights from the report – which has canvassed the opinions of more than 10,000 shoppers – including:
• While women have driven in-store shopping, men shop nearly twice as often online as women (once every 2.5 weeks versus once a month);
• In western Europe the propensity to shop online correlates with wealth – 61% of higher earners shop online compared to 44% of lower earners;
• Following established high levels of online sales for books, music and computer games, consumers are becoming increasingly confident when purchasing Clothing and footwear online. Consumers in Germany, Sweden and the UK are leading the move into purchasing clothing and footwear online (16%, 14%, 12% respectively);
• Western Europeans shop online the most, Russians the least. Regionally, differences are driven by broadband access levels and cultural differences;
• Young people are deterred by delivery charges and difficulties in returning items when buying online;
• Despite technological developments, fears over security remain the biggest barrier to online shopping;
• Connection speed and the retail website experience itself are no longer barriers to online shopping;
• Social media currently has little impact in the decision making process when shopping online, while purchasing via mobile phones has yet to take off.
“CBRE research shows that the physical store and the internet are not adversaries but complementary. Customers research price and availability online before making a purchase, which can be through any channel. Retailers use online shopping to test out new markets and direct browsers to their stores. Across Europe, consumers are most comfortable blending the best of both worlds – the speed and convenience of an online purchase with the more broadly satisfying and social experience of a trip to the shops. In challenging economic times it is the multi-channel proposition that improves customer choice and also provides the most dynamic solution for retailers.”, commented Peter Gold, Head of Cross Border Retail EMEA, CB Richard Ellis.