E-retail before, during and after the lockdown

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E-commerce in Greece is in its most mature and critical phase as online purchases were made by 60% of consumers in the first quarter of 2021 (ELSTAT data) with an increase of 22% compared to the corresponding period last year. More light on the new shopping habit that seems to have come to stay “throws” the new quantitative research of Plushost in collaboration with Focus Bari, which studies the relationship of consumers with e-Commerce before, during and after restrictive measures in 24 different sectors of the Market.

More specifically, the categories that were launched during the quarantine period are Cosmetics / Perfumes (+ 17%), Clothes & Shoes (+ 12%), Underwear / Pajamas (+ 12%), Toys (+ 10%), Medicines / Supplements (+ 8%), Gift Items (+ 8%), Sports Equipment (+ 8%), Books (+ 7%) and Sportswear / Shoes (+ 6%).

What kind of store did they prefer for online shopping?

It is obvious that depending on the product category, the type of store from which consumers make their online purchases also differs. The importance of the Skroutz platform is clearly documented, which by aggregator is now installed in the role of market place, horizontally in all categories and the consumer, regardless of its demographic characteristics.

In all online shopping, orders from Skroutz / Best Price precede with a percentage of 28%, followed by the brand chains with e-shop and of course stores that offer many different brands.

The battle of the sexes

Men are dominated by purchases from Skroutz / BestPrice as 30% state that they “prefer to buy from the big platforms” while 29% are preceded by the brand chains with e-shop and of course stores that offer many different brands. The residents of the Region, shop from Skroutz / BestPrice to a greater extent, compared to the residents of Attica who show a greater preference for branded chains.

E-shop selection criteria

As expected, the final price of the product is the determining factor, on the basis of which consumers choose one online store over another.

In fact, the difference is overwhelming compared to all other criteria with 1 in 3 consumers citing it as their main reason for e-market, while 65% mention it in the top 5 most important criteria. Almost 1 in 2 buyers places in the top 5 most important e-shop selection criteria, free shipping and immediate product availability.

With a small difference follows the security of the e-shop platform (2nd highest percentage of top criteria after the final price with 12%, 4th in order of importance at the top-5 level).

Positive comments and evaluations from third parties also play a role as they are equal to the Experience, while the shipping time of the product is also a significant reason to buy. Of less importance are the possibility of using a card and the Great Variety, the possibility of free return and replacement, the ease of use of the e-shop, the name of the online store, its speed and the existence of a physical store. The possibility of same-day delivery at an additional cost is a criterion for the smaller number of respondents.

Price is the most important criterion

The final price of the product remains the most important criterion regardless of the audience.

Ø For the male public the immediate availability of the product is the 2nd most important criterion, while the most “impatient” are the older age groups, 55-64 and 65+ years old.

Ø The security of the platform is something that concerns Women to a much greater degree than Men

/ Evaluations / positive feedback from third parties is a particularly important criterion for young people aged 16-34

Δυνατότητα The possibility of payment without a card is a much more important criterion for residents outside Attica and Thessaloniki

The payment method

The findings on the method of payment are also very interesting. All the alternatives (debit, credit, e-wallet, cash on delivery, deposit, etc.) were explored and linked to all the basic demographic characteristics (gender, age, urbanity). The main conclusion is that “Cash on Delivery” remains the “king” of payment methods (63% before the pandemic, 56% in quarantine, 57% in the click in shop system and 59% today). Debit card payment was widespread before the pandemic, but during the pandemic, card payment seemed to be part of the “repertoire” of consumers who until then preferred cash on delivery. Overall card use increased significantly during the pandemic period.

The Last Mile and shipping costs

In general, shipping costs seem to be something that does not sit well with consumers, who try to avoid it either by filling in the minimum order amount (something that they take for granted that all online stores should offer a level of purchase value and above ), or by choosing stores that offer free shipping regardless of the amount of the order, even if they have to wait a few more days (especially Women and consumers 35-54 years old).

Men and older people 55+ are more strict with e-shops in terms of meeting the shipping times of their order. 75% believe that in high value orders, shipping should be free regardless of the volume / weight of the order. 45% would not choose a store that does not meet the delivery times while 1 in 3 would prefer to buy a product from a store with free shipping even if they wait more days for receipt.

E-shops Vs physical stores

The main reasons for making online purchases instead of visiting the physical store are for about 3 in 4 e-shoppers:

Ø The time

Ø Comfort

Τιμές Best prices in e-shops

Omni-channel is a requirement of the time and this is shown by the fact that the majority of consumers want to be able to do things like:

· Return their online order to the physical store

· To be able to electronically control the availability of physical stores

· Locate electronically the location of physical stores

Online ads: elements that engage consumers

The need for the product itself depending on whether it comes from a known / trusted store and the offer / discount provided at that time are what determine whether someone will “click” on an ad and whether they will eventually make purchase directly.

Attitudes towards online shopping

E-shopping allows you to compare many different stores for the same product and this is something that consumers, regardless of demographic profile, certainly take full advantage of. Younger consumers aged 16-34 are more likely to sign up and make an account at an online store to make a purchase. Despite the fact that online shopping is more widespread than ever, 1 in 2 consumers believe that in physical stores they will be better informed about the product than in the online store.

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