Next-day delivery, contactless handover and groceries with a click – with the onset of the pandemic, consumer expectations of online shopping increased. Often unproblematic within Germany, but what about across borders?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, people of all ages have been storming the online shops across Europe and putting toothbrushes, shower gel, the new microwave, bed linen, a new coffee machine, but also flour and yeast for homemade bread in the digital shopping cart. Many customers don’t even notice that the products they order don’t always come from home – some come from sellers in Great Britain, Spain, France and Germany.
Everyday products are valuable
It was above all the products of daily use that were in greater demand by buyers online in the past few months and were also bought across national borders – including furniture, decoration, products from the do-it-yourself (DIY) sector and garden – and sports products and even toilet paper and hand soap. This is good news for online retailers, but with the increased demand, competition is also growing and, for example, when buying a new shower head, French customers are spoiled for choice, having to choose between retailers from Germany, Spain or Italy.
Just like vice versa. Many sellers who previously operated local fulfillment and storage in their own country for their pan-European sales switched to a partner with a European network during the course of the corona crisis. As a result, you have benefited from both lower delivery costs and shorter delivery times. During the pandemic, the latter became much more of a focus for customers and has become a decisive purchasing criterion for them. German online retailers who store their products in France and send them directly from there have clear advantages over those who still store in Germany due to the shorter shipping routes.
A third of the French buy cross-border
Before the pandemic, 33 percent of French people made cross-border purchases at least once a month. According to the market research institute Kantar, they particularly like shopping for clothing (38 percent), shoes (23 percent) and sportswear (20 percent). Even if cross-border purchases in France fell somewhat during Corona, almost a third of French people still say they shop across national borders due to the desire for comparable offers.
Also marketplace CD discount supplies 27 countries in Europe and has experienced high demand for cross-border products in recent months. In order to provide foreign dealers with the best possible support, the company has set up new logistics centers throughout Europe. This makes cross-border trade easier for retailers: They no longer have to send individual goods independently across several national borders – which was often more time-consuming during the pandemic due to the intensive border controls – but can store entire inventories nearby and benefit from professional fulfillment and logistics solutions . For customers, trade is becoming increasingly borderless and it will soon be difficult to tell whether a product comes from Germany or from abroad.
Cross-border trade: Sustainable products and packaging
Almost all age groups have found their way into online trading. This has also given cross-border trade a boost. Because buyers, regardless of age and gender, hardly ever make their purchasing decisions based on the location of the products, but instead select them based on price or quality. The corona pandemic has also made consumers more concerned about protecting the environment and choosing more resource-efficient products and delivery.