In 2020, sales generated by e-commerce exceeded the threshold of €1 billion in Luxembourg, that is, an annual growth of 20% according to Statista’s estimates presented on Tuesday evening by eCom, the Digital Federation of Luxembourg. , during a conference organized at the Chamber of Commerce.
It is no secret that the health restrictions induced by the Covid-19 pandemic have benefited digital businesses, as confirmed by Jacques Lorang of Luxcaddy.lu and Nicolas Gueuzurian of Auchan Retail Luxembourg.
Covid made networking possible between digital and physical sales channels.
“Covid has enabled the link between the digital and physical sales channels”, explains the e-commerce director of Auchan Retail Luxembourg, who, until then, had seen a separation of the two customer segments. With Covid, your company launched in the short term in the delivery of purchases at home and then, in 2021, in the sale of non-food goods through a dedicated platform: shop.auchan.lu. “Covid has clearly been an acceleration in the conversion capacity of customers who had accounts and did not order”, admits the manager.
However, many customers remained dissatisfied in the face of overloaded online platforms, unavailable delivery times, and products that were becoming scarce in the face of exploding demand. This is particularly the case with Luxcaddy.lu, a pioneer in online shopping in activity since 2007. Its co-founder, Jacques Lorang, admitted that despite doubling its turnover in 2020, it was not time to party for its SME.
Today, it faces many challenges, such as trying to win back loyal pre-Covid customers, converting the “death accounts” opened by prospects during the pandemic who – due to lack of slots – were unable to place orders, improving quality and innovating, but also relaunching marketing. which had been stopped for two years.
Physical commerce moves forward
And then another disruptive element appears at the beginning of 2022: inflation, which is causing consumers to buy less and put off certain purchases, as Brice Lecoustey, from the EY company, pointed out. From the two years of crisis, five consumer trends emerged, focusing on sustainability, cost-effectiveness, experience, health and society.
Having an inventory and allowing the customer to go directly with their purchases has real added value today.
The pandemic has also awakened new habits, such as “click & collect”, which, however, requires the preparation of an adequate customer experience, underlines the consultant’s partner. And so, the consumer is above all a human being: all interlocutors agree that physical commerce will continue. “Having a stock and allowing the customer to go out directly with their purchases today has a real added value”, comments Brice Lecoustey.
E-commerce accounted for 8% of its annual sales at Auchan Luxembourg in 2021, a dynamic that only needs to grow, but which faces some challenges: creating a much stronger capital of customer trust, improving the logistics infrastructure, but also stimulating competition. . “I need more merchants who digitize their offering to create customer feedback,” argues Nicolas Gueuzurian.
Currently, only the brands Cora, Colruyt and more recently Match are active in the drive-through segment dedicated to food shopping. Market leader Cactus has abandoned its delivery service [email protected]
while Delhaize Luxembourg recently dropped an online presence in favor of brick-and-mortar stores.
“We are not heading towards an e-commerce tidal wave, but towards consolidation”, admits Brice Lecoustey. Clearly, Luxembourg is falling behind with an online commerce weight of 1% compared to five times as much in the EU. Of the €870 million spent online in Luxembourg in 2019, 20% was spent on merchants based abroad. “If there are so many purchases on foreign sites, it is because there is a potentially inadequate response from traders in Luxembourg”, concludes Nicolas Gueuzurian.