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Internet shopping: it really depends on the product

2015-08-15 15:19 by Nathalie Kantorowicz (comments: 0)

Interacting in the past couple of months with members in our UK & France communities, we noticed some changes in their shopping habits from the earlier periods of 2013 and 2014.

In 2015, an increasing number of people used their Smartphone to buy something else than those items that don't require delivery - so not only to get the news, and buy books, music, theatre tickets and travel. Yet the majority are still reluctant to buy their food or clothes via a Smartphone, concerned notably by the not so comfortable buying experience, and the smaller screen size.

Many more than a year ago say they buy their food from the Internet, using for example click-and-collect facilities ('Le Drive' in France); the 10% most connected ones even declare buying their food shopping more often from the Internet than at the supermarket. They love the convenience of buying whenever they want, while not having to queue at the till; yet, there are items such as meat they still want to be able to choose in real-life. They find the choice in brick-and-mortar supermarkets better, which can be beneficial, as it gives them fewer temptations; brick-and-mortar will also offer them more promotions than their digital counterparts.

With regards to clothes, split is about 50/50 between Internet and traditional channels; they still prefer to shop using their PC/tablet/iPad, to be able to zoom on products. Some women will appreciate to buy their clothes in store on impulse. Parents will trust Internet to shop for kids' clothes, as they know the sizes and have seen the products in-store first.

But for those who like their Internet shopping, categories like consumer electronics and IT, homeware, books and music, travel, live performances tickets are now widely e-shopped. Internet is then privileged to take advantage of discounts and promotional offers, for items that need to be delivered anyway (homeware, white goods), and dematerialised services and content (travel, digital content, and banking).

Ultimately, in spite of the increased importance of internet shopping overall, and the development of Smartphones, consumers' shopping habits still vary according to the type of product they buy, and brick-and-mortar channels can play a key role for some categories.

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