[onderzoek] Online shopping preference continues to grow

This is twice as much as in March of this year. The categories “jewelry and accessories” and “automotive products” have shown the largest shift in preference in recent months. Thus, digital transformation is not slowing down, despite the relaxation of many measures. This is evident from the latest issue of Klarna’s Shopping Pulse.

The graph shows where the Dutch prefer to make purchases for each product category

Klarna’s Shopping Pulse is a frequent report that continually examines the changing shopping habits of consumers in 9 countries across three continents. The repeated survey was conducted on more than 9,000 consumers in Klarna’s core markets across three continents: the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Norway, Finland and Sweden. In the Netherlands, 1010 respondents participated.

The new report “The Shopping Pulse of Klarna: The Netherlands” can be found here.

Although stores are open, more online purchases

Since stores reopened without restrictions, there has been a clear growth in the number of people visiting a physical store each week. At the same time, the number of people shopping online is also increasing every week. The study examined 12 different categories of products, with people from eight indicating they prefer buying online. Favorite categories that have grown the most since March are ‘Jewelry & Accessories’ and ‘Automotive Products’*. In March, most people preferred to shop for these products in physical stores, and now they prefer to shop online. The only product categories for which consumers still prefer physical stores are “Grocery,” “Pharmaceutical,” “Beauty,” and “Home and Garden.”

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While the Dutch have returned to physical stores, the share of weekly online shoppers has increased. The months of May 2021 and March 2021 were compared.

Online vs. physical stores

The largest shopping category in the Netherlands is “clothing and shoes”. Compared to March, more purchases in this category are made online than in physical stores. This is surprising, given the opening of the physical stores from the end of April. In May, 51% of Dutch shoppers bought clothes or shoes online, compared to 39% in-store. If people had to choose between buying only online or in brick-and-mortar stores, 64% of shoppers in the survey still preferred “only at brick-and-mortar stores”. Young people are the most preferred on the Internet.

The role of technology

Digital transformation has accelerated in the past year. As shoppers now return to physical stores, we expect the share of online shopping to continue to grow across all product categories. Some in-store purchases are preferred, but more and more products are preferred online. This will grow rapidly because retailers are still at the beginning of the possibilities that e-commerce can offer. “Technological capabilities are developing by leaps and bounds,” says Vivica Soderback, Klarna’s expert in consumer behavior.

She continues: “In the near future, stores will increasingly take on the role of inspirational showroom, where actual purchases are often made digitally. A little later in the future, retailers will increasingly offer digital solutions that can remove the uncertainty of online purchases. For example, experience products through augmented reality. Consider experimenting with dressing in a virtual fitting room or placing furniture at home on a mobile or tablet screen. There are more and more technological solutions to make this possible on a larger scale. Not only does this provide convenience to consumers, but it is also a way to satisfy consumers’ desire for more sustainable solutions.

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