Faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a considerable impact around the world and particularly in the e-commerce sector, consumers and businesses have had to adapt to new rules and a new way of life. What are the current expectations of customers in terms of e-commerce and in particular in the export transport sector? ship station
the order and delivery management platform dedicated to e-merchants around the world, explains it to us thanks to a study carried out with BigCommerce.
The pandemic has drastically changed consumer behavior and online shopping is now increasingly common. However, resellers and companies had to react quickly to meet their customers’ demand.
This third study, commissioned by ShipStation and BigCommerce, conducted earlier this year on more than 600 consumers in France, allows us to measure the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on e-commerce and changing expectations. purchase, shipping and delivery.
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What spending trends?
While 38% of French consumers surveyed said they spent roughly the same amount in 2020 as they did in 2019, 24% said they spent more in 2021 than they did in 2020.
For the current year, 35% do not foresee any change in their consumption habits, but French consumers underlined that the pandemic has made them more aware of the local and independent brands they want to support.
Another important trend: About half of French consumers said they would be willing to pay more for postage (55%) and return costs (45%) to support small retailers or local/independent retailers.
Consumers often compare small businesses to large retailers, which influences their perceptions and behaviors. Thus, 2 out of 3 French consumers surveyed believe that small businesses better respect delivery times because, according to them, they face fewer challenges in terms of supply chain and/or shipping than large retailers.
Rise in online shopping
In the absence of being able to go to physical stores during the confinement, online shopping has become increasingly common. The rapid adoption of the online shopping process was probably one of the most drastic changes in shopper behavior.
Note that more than half (54%) of consumers also say they will definitely continue to do most of their shopping online for the foreseeable future.
Adaptation to new purchasing methods
To make it easier for consumers to adapt to new purchasing methods, resellers have simplified their processes.
67% of respondents said shopping online is now easier than it was before the pandemic, largely thanks to the simplification of e-commerce sites that offer more varied product categories.
Additionally, during and after the pandemic, social media has been a powerful tool to drive consumer engagement and boost the reputation of small businesses.
What do customers expect in terms of delivery?
Free delivery and streamlined returns have been essential during the pandemic for retailers to satisfy and retain their customers. Today, these two factors continue to have an impact on consumer confidence.
However, the study shows that 72% of respondents agree that they expected retailers to offer free shipping during the COVID-19 pandemic to compensate for longer shipping times.
Furthermore, approximately 2 out of 3 French consumers now expect retailers to offer free delivery (62%), extended return times (61%) and free return costs (68%) on an ongoing basis.
Providing clear and consistent shipping and delivery information is critical to developing and retaining customers, ensuring customer satisfaction. In fact, 79% of French consumers say that real-time monitoring of the progress of shipments is more important to them today than it was before the pandemic.
Transparency in terms of shipping and delivery is even more important for consumers when it comes at a cost and 86% of French consumers expect full transparency on shipping times and costs if the retailer does not offer non-delivery.
ShipStation offers continuous delivery tracking
Small businesses and local/independent businesses still do not fully meet customer requirements. Consumers demand visibility into the status of their orders and say they are no longer prepared to be patient with small retailers. As a result, 87% of French consumers say visibility of shipment status is important when shopping with small independent businesses. And if shipping or returns status is not indicated, 69% of surveyed consumers prefer to buy from large retailers over small businesses.
Despite this, 86% of respondents agree that, in general, small businesses or local/independent businesses meet their expectations in terms of communication about the status of orders. Also, while the pandemic has hit small businesses hard, many consumers have decided to shop at small businesses to support the local economy and 55% of them were willing to pay more and save money. pay shipping costs (55%).
What strategies to adapt to new e-commerce trends?
A number of new methods of selling in e-commerce have emerged.
Social Selling, according to online sales on social networks, has already established itself as an essential promotional tool, since it is possible to buy directly from a publication.
On the other hand, video support is a format that, on the internet, allows you to highlight your products and create an atmosphere and draw attention at a sensory or even emotional level, far beyond simple photography.
Platforms such as “Amazon” or “Rue du Commerce”, also called “marketplaces”, make it possible to increase the visibility of products with millions of potential customers, providing sales areas for all types of merchants.
Click & Collect persists as a means of maintaining a hard link while eliminating the expectation of delivery. An advantageous system, as it saves delivery costs and builds customer loyalty.
Finally, personalized, fast and ecologically responsible delivery plays an important role in purchasing decisions.
ShipStation makes it easy to adapt to these trends
As shoppers are increasingly demanding with e-commerce delivery, ShipStation helps tens of thousands of e-merchants deliver a memorable delivery experience every day. It offers an order management platform to automate and synchronize the processes of each delivery.
To understand all customer expectations about delivery, ShipStation & BigCommerce Ebook
offers an in-depth analysis of online shopping habits by bringing together all the new trends in e-commerce.