Online or offline shopping? – eCommerce magazine

“The enthusiasm for online shopping is not diminishing, although customers can shop again in brick-and-mortar stores, says Viveka Söderbäck, Klarnas Expert in consumer behavior.

“Consumers missed the social aspect of shopping in stores as well as the opportunity to touch and try products. At the same time, new online shopping habits have emerged that will persist and develop even after the end of the pandemic. ”

The “Klarna Shopping Pulse: Germany” is a recurring research report that continuously examines the shopping habits of consumers in 9 countries on 3 continents. Each survey includes at least 1,000 participants in each country and a total of more than 9,000 respondents worldwide. In May 1,006 German consumers took part, in March there were 1,016. The sample sizes are representative and were selected by the research agency Nepa.

Although German consumers are shopping in brick-and-mortar stores again, the proportion of people who shop at least once a week has increased more online than when shopping in physical stores – compared to March and May 2021.

Car products and jewelry & accessories are the categories with the greatest online growth

In eight of the twelve product categories examined, German consumers currently spend most of their money on online shopping. The only product categories in which consumers predominantly opt for stationary retail are food, pharmaceutical products, beauty and products for home and garden.

In May, consumers preferred to buy three product categories online rather than offline. In March, the respondents said they preferred to buy these products in stores: products for the car (accessories and spare parts), children’s products and jewelry & accessories.

If the preferences of German consumers continue to develop in this way over the next few months, another product category will follow suit and be preferred online: Home & Garden.

Clothing & shoes, the largest online shopping category in Germany, is currently more often bought online than in stores. In May, 57% of German consumers made purchases online, while 19% made purchases in a physical store.

Shopping behavior after Corona
The graphic shows how German consumers prefer to shop in the various product categories. Image: Klarna

Shopping behavior after Corona: further growth expected

“We expect most, if not all, product categories to see further growth online. For some products, consumers still prefer to shop in brick-and-mortar stores, but in the long term customers choose the shopping experience that best suits their needs. Technological innovations are advancing faster and faster and retailers are just beginning to recognize the potential of digital retail, ”says Viveka Söderbäck.

“In the near future, we can assume that retail space will increasingly be used as inspiring showrooms. Meanwhile, the process of shopping is increasingly taking place online. If we look further into the future, we can expect retailers to increasingly adopt digital tools and services to help customers make purchasing decisions. With the help of augmented reality, they can offer their customers the opportunity to try out products at home, try on clothes in virtual changing rooms or virtually furnish rooms with furniture. This is not just a question of convenience, but also a way of meeting the increasing demand for sustainable solutions, ”the expert continues.

Also read: Customer Experience after Corona – This is how the pandemic is driving online trade.