Sunday, August 14

The consumer shuns the costs associated with sustainability

The consumers are not willing to pay more for their online shopping’ and assume the costs derived from the shipment. A study of the ‘flash’ sales firm Veepee and business school out finds that, despite the fact that sustainability It is a growing concern, only 36% of online buyers in Spain are willing to bear the associated costs and recognize that they will never pay more than 30% for the convenience of electronic commerce. The study confirms that one in four digital consumers in Spain already buys once a week and 40% do so at least once a month. Six out of ten ‘online’ consumers confirm that they have increased their purchases in the last year. Consumers assure that they increasingly value being able to make sustainable purchases by having ethical, social and environmental information on production and purchase options that promote circularity such as second hand, renting or sustainable packaging. But this position is not supported with the pocket in practice. Only two out of three conscientious consumers would pay more than 10% of the market price for complying with its ethical principles.

Multi-brand platforms (‘marketplaces’), flexible deliveries and simplified payments are the three relevant axes for the development of electronic commerce in Spain, according to the study, presented this Wednesday by the IESE professor of commercial management, Íñigo Gallo, and Albert serrano, CEO of Vepee. Two other elements highlighted by consumers is the agility of the purchase process and the protection of data by the seller.

In Serrano’s opinion, “in electronic commerce there is no going back” but with a clear trend towards “multi-channel”, with more and more electronic commerce firms that have been born as digital firms and that have started to open physical stores. In times of a saturated online market, the future is omnichannel after the implementation of online shopping has accelerated. In the opinion of the director of Vepee, the sectors that have benefited the most from the boom in electronic commerce are those related to restaurants, food (in high-margin products), books and cosmetics. In any case, clothing and accessories products or travel are the most relevant in terms of volume.

79% of online consumers in Spain value multi-brand ecommerce over other alternatives, such as specific online stores or physical channels. The greater variety of products (58%) and the most competitive prices (51%) are the main reasons. They also consider it important to be able to buy products from different categories at the same time (49%), as well as the ease of comparison (48%). These preferences show the relevance that they are going to take, and to a great extent the already current importance, of the large general trade platforms such as Amazon, Aliexpress or El Corte Inglés.

The price and flexibility of delivery are conditions for a purchase to be made on one website or another, or with an app or that of a competitor. Half of online buyers do not purchase a product if it has shipping costs and 40% abandon the purchase before payment if the delivery time is not specified. In this sense, 1 in 5 online consumers considers it a priority to be able to choose the delivery date and time slot, while 1 in 4 prefers to travel to a physical point to save costs, ensure the delivery of the order and be more sustainable.

The payment method most used by digital consumers in Spain is the credit or debit card (83%), followed by digital wallets (39%) such as Google Pay, Apple Pay, Bizum or PayPal. This second option is used especially by those under 34 years of age and by buyers who purchase products and services online weekly. Both payment systems are chosen for the convenience and speed they offer. In fact, having simplified payments is the third most useful trend, for 71% of Spanish online shoppers.

Consumers in Spain use various devices for their purchases with mobile phones (75%) as their preferred channel, followed by computers (40%). Therefore, 65% prefer to buy through apps instead of websites and 7 out of 10 value being able to resume incomplete purchases at different times and / or devices.

The security and protection of personal data is one of the most important aspects of the online shopping experience. Up to 62% say they would like to have more tools to control their personal information. Something that they value more than other more disruptive technologies such as virtual reality stores (29%), delivery with drones (23%) or personal assistants with Artificial Intelligence (21%). Other tools to improve the digital shopping experience are the visualization of products through video in addition to photos (70%), the use of augmented reality to test products (48%), ‘chatbots’ (42%) or personalized ads in function of previous purchases (37%). Eight out of 10 ‘online’ consumers feel influenced by the media in their purchase decision, with social networks being the channel with the most impact for half of the population (50%), especially women and children under 34 years, followed by television (32%) and online press (17%). This influence is related to the consumer profile since the most frequent online buyers are the ones most influenced by online channels (social networks, online press and podcasts).

Instagram is the social network with the greatest impact (37%), well above Facebook (22%) WhatsApp (13%) and YouTube (11%). By sex and age, while Instagram has a greater impact on women and young people, Facebook has more influence on men and consumers of older ages.

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Regarding recommendations, 73% of consumers look at the opinions of other users before buying, while only 10% trust the opinions of influencers more than their environment. Only in the case of young people does it slightly increase the reliability they give to influencers who recommend products to them.

The preparation of the study, which has had the collaboration of the IESE business school, has consisted of the analysis of more than 130 articles, studies and conversations on social networks to detect which topics are a priority for the online consumer and, from there , launch a study of more than 1,600 online buyers in Spain between the ages of 16 and 65. All this has allowed us to know the current profile of the consumer ‘online’, the most useful ‘ecommerce’ trends and its growth potential.

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