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The different e-commerce customers: here's an overview from those who know them close up

There are several e-commerce customers that companies that mainly deal with delivery have begun to study more closely, to optimize their services.

Knowing their purchasing methods is important because it allows you to closely explore strategies for those who want to combine the online sales activity with that of their physical point of sale or want to launch into a totally digital activity, considering that almost 15.5% of total purchases is now done online.

The DPD Group study

The E-shoppers Barometer 2021 analysis refers to the main purchase categories currently available through e-commerce in 33 countries, of which 22 are European. As for pet food, as highlighted bythe Assalco-Zoomark 2022 report , the e-commerce share of the total is lower than the average of other product categories but has a very rapid double-digit growth. In Europe, an average of 43 online purchases are made during the year, while in China and other Asian countries an average of 90 purchases were made.

The first three parameters considered by those who buy online remain the same, we rely on them more assiduously on the basis of the platform's reputation, ease and shopping experience.

What drives the experience of an e-commerce

55% of the e-commerce customers interviewed said they were satisfied with the return service (in Italy it rises up to 75%, a sign of a very high level of attention to customer care). Expectations for improvement of the delivery service remain high, with 84% preferring home and the ability to choose the date and time of delivery, with the option of being able to track the package in real time.

E-commerce analysis Price and convenience remain a very important parameter, but the very strong growth in the sustainability of the e-commerce experience and the products handled should be noted. 78% of Europeans made at least one online purchase in 2021 and even the older population groups, usually more in difficulty with this type of shopping experience, now demonstrate greater competence, probably thanks to the support of at least one component of the family.

The food category is the one that has led the growth of e-commerce worldwide. Pet food purchases also fall into this category.

Variety of choice and cost of delivery are significant barriers. Even among regular buyers of fresh food and drink, delivery is subject to high expectations; services such as real-time delivery information and the ability to choose the hourly delivery window are very important. 68% of buyers consider it important to know the company that handles the delivery.

The "aficionados" of e-commerce

The "aficionados", or enthusiasts, are the most experienced and fervent buyers. They especially appreciate the convenience and stress-free that characterizes the entire e-shopping experience from start to finish, with 82% finding delivery easy and 65% feeling they can find almost any product and services they need online. Smartphones in hand, they love a good deal but don't hesitate to seek reviews and advice before making a purchase. Very loyal to their favorite websites, 46% join at least one loyalty program.

Many of them are exhibiting more and more behavior characterized by FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), in which shoppers are so eager to be the first to find deals and bargains to the point of frequently checking their phones for notifications at all hours of the day and night.

In the face of this commitment, it is not surprising how the average enthusiast has received 10 packages in the last month, with German online shoppers reaching a maximum of 13.

The senior e-shopper

About 1/10 of online purchases are made by people over 55, a figure that reaches 2/10 in China. Last year's e-shopper barometer report explored the sudden growth of the "senior e-shopper" in response to the pandemic. Aged 55 and over, this group generally uses ecommerce more out of necessity and tends to exhibit many of the behaviors associated with novice e-shoppers, such as placing great emphasis on trust when choosing websites and taking a relatively relaxed upon delivery.

Senior e-shoppers continue to prefer desktops / laptops when completing a purchase and use social media less than younger digital shoppers. They are also more cautious when shopping (e.g., they use price comparison tools, read product descriptions, prefer credit cards to digital wallets, etc.).

The "epicurean" customer

There are two distinct trends with respect to the focus on sustainability, linked to two different types of online customers.

The "epicurean online customer" makes 3.6 purchases per month and corresponds to 13% of all European e-shoppers, they differ from other profiles not in the quantity or type of purchases they make, but rather in ease, they seek simplicity and personal enjoyment from the e-shopping experience. Perpetually on the move, Epicureans see themselves as much busier than ever before and therefore are looking for more ways to make their daily lives easier, even if it means paying more.

The quality of service in general is very important for Epicureans, which is why they prefer to buy well-known brands (78%) and consider it particularly important to know the delivery company (81%). Often conscientious in their shopping habits, Epicureans make decisions that reflect their personal beliefs about health and the environment.

Therefore, 82% of epicureans actively seek products and services that help them lead a healthy lifestyle, while 76% make sure they buy more sustainable products whenever possible. Similarly, compared to the total number of e-shoppers, epicureans are more willing to go to another site if it offers a more sustainable delivery option (79% versus 65%).

The eco-selective shopper

Another important niche of sustainability-conscious shoppers is that of the eco-selective shopper, also with 3.6 purchases per month and who has been shopping online for more than 10 years. Representing 14% of all European e-shoppers, eco-selective shoppers are relatively casual but shrewd e-shoppers. They only turn to ecommerce as a means of finding the occasional good deal, even if it means buying from e-tailers as far away as China.

Like the epicureans, eco-selective e-shoppers show a certain contradiction between their beliefs and their behaviors: they expect companies and brands to be eco-responsible but personally buy fewer green products than in the past and are even less willing to pay more for a green product than in 2019.

No more and not just home delivery

As the pandemic emerges, Out-of-Home delivery solutions are becoming increasingly popular, excellent opportunities for e-commerce customers for a slight saving in the delivery service and greater flexibility in managing courier schedules.

Dedicated boxes or tobacconists, different points of sale, take advantage of their warehouses with the opportunity of dedicated offers for people who enter the physical point of sale anyway and could be attracted by targeted offers made available, an opportunity that is increasingly appreciated especially in the European and American market.


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