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adesso e-commerce study reveals the winners of the pandemic

Dortmund | 16. September 2021

According to adesso’s current e-commerce study entitled “What online shoppers want and companies offer”, 46 % more consumers bought food online during the pandemic, and 39 % more purchased household items as well as toiletries and cosmetics online. These areas are the e-commerce winners of the pandemic. When customers were asked what annoys them when shopping online, most of them (38 %) answered “having to set up a customer account”, with “complicated returns” (35 %) and “unclear delivery times” taking second and third place.

Food, household goods, toiletries and cosmetics, as well as click and collect record the highest growth

The boom in mail order and online shopping since the pandemic is clear for all to see. The adesso study takes a closer look at the impact on individual sectors and at the attitudes and behaviour of consumers. A representative sample of 1,000 online customers were surveyed on their shopping behaviour and 373 companies on their customer experience management activities. A comparison of the two surveys revealed fascinating results.

The new normal is here to stay: 60 % want to stick with their new purchasing habits

These results are all the more interesting given that almost 60 % of those surveyed believe that they will continue their new purchasing habits and will buy more food, household goods, or cosmetics and toiletries online even after the pandemic.

Click and collect welcomed with open arms and makes consumers happy

Click and collect services celebrated the most success during the pandemic. Over 40 % of those surveyed indicated that they had ordered products online and collected them in-store within the last three months. At 51 %, household goods, gardening and DIY items were the most popular click and collect products. A distant second at 16 % were electronic goods, such as computers and mobile phone products, with clothing and shoes taking third place at 10 %. Overall satisfaction was also rated particularly highly – 96 % of those surveyed indicated that they were at least satisfied to completely satisfied with click and collect services. There was good news for shops as well: hardly anyone (4 %) goes in-store to find out more about a product only to later buy it online. Instead, most (96 %) then make their purchase in the shop itself.

Ads on messaging apps particularly unpopular

By contrast, caution is advised for companies wanting to use messaging services for marketing campaigns. When asked how they want to receive information about discount promotions, 85 % of respondents stated that they dislike being contacted via text message or WhatsApp. What’s surprising here is that the younger the consumer, the more they dislike it. As many as 91 % of 18-to-29-year-olds rate advertising via text message or WhatsApp as negative. E-mail, on the other hand, is making a comeback – discount codes sent via e-mail are twice as popular as push notifications via smartphone.

Most companies underestimate social media as a sales channel

Only 12 % of all companies surveyed currently use social media as a relevant sales channel. Yet one-third of consumers often or at least occasionally buy products that are recommended to them via social media. The video platform YouTube has the biggest potential here, since only 44 % of companies use it as a marketing channel, whereas 88 % – in other words nearly all – consumers use it. “To sum up, companies need to tailor their online marketing activities more effectively to their target group. If companies address the target audience where they are and where they notice the advertised products and services, both sides will benefit,” says Guido Ahle, the manager of the study and head of Digital Experience at adesso.

The complete study (in german) will be available here from 16 September 2021

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