The evolving buying habits of EU shoppers

Drapers and Amazon Pay team up to examine how shopping habits are evolving across channels and European countries.

Understanding global consumer behavior remains a challenge as shopping patterns continue to diverge by region and channel.1 The growth of the connected shopper brings new opportunities for fashion and footwear merchants to drive sales, but with that comes a variety of new complexities.

As retailers look for insights to better engage their European customers, Amazon Pay teamed up with Drapers to carry out a pan-European study of 4,000 shoppers across the UK, Germany, France and Italy. The purpose of the study was to gauge exactly how EU customers shop, what they expect from their shopping experience, and how it may change. It is clear from the report that customers have four key expectations:

  1. A buying experience that has a simpler purchase journey
  2. More connected and personalized experiences online and offline
  3. More augmented / virtual reality incorporated into the shopping experience
  4. An online shopping experience they trust, with a preferred payment method available at checkout

The first two chapters of the report analyze how, where and how much consumers from different regions are spending with fashion brands. Price is the biggest factor in persuading shoppers to purchase across all territories, followed by quality and fit, apart from in Germany, where consumers value design above those secondary and tertiary factors. There is a clear disparity in spending across the four territories: the highest proportion of UK shoppers are low spenders, whereas the greatest numbers of Italian, French, German shoppers spend between £50 and £100 a month.2

When it comes to devices, most respondents still shop on desktop and laptop computers, but a high proportion also use mobile and tablets. This is particularly the case in Italy, where 39.7% selected mobile as one of the devices they use to shop, compared with 24% in France, 22.4% in Germany and, somewhat surprisingly, only 16.8% in the UK.3 Sean McKee, ecommerce and customer experience director at Schuh, outlines an interesting takeaway from the report that may be a signal for where online shopping is headed. According to McKee, almost 70% of UK site traffic comes from mobile: “To some extent mobile is a mark of brand equity: people must feel comfortable with the brand to order via mobile.” He notes online shopping is more mature in the UK than much of the mainland European country. “This manifests itself in the devices people shop on: desktop is more ‘traditional’, while mobile requires more trust.”4

In chapter three, we see further signals of the importance of trust as the research explores the future of payments, including how inventive new payment systems emerge across Europe to mitigate cart abandonment – still a significant issue across all markets. Lack of trust remains a paramount reason customers may not buy from a business online.

More than 90% of consumers said trust was an important factor in their purchase decision process.5

In the final chapter, the report highlights how fashion retailers think shopping trends will progress and inform their strategies in the future. A few of the insights and lessons learned from fashion retailers:

  • The European customer has shifted her shopping behavior away from a country-specific focus to a more global view.
  • Europe has seen the same seismic shift to digital that we are seeing across global retail markets.
  • The European fashion sector has seen a raft of changes in recent years, both prompted by and resulting in significant consumer behavior developments.

Learn more about EU shopping habits and download the Drapers report on” The Future Consumer: Anticipating Tomorrow’s Demand” here.

1 2 3 4 5 Drapers, The Future Consumer: Anticipating Tomorrow’s Demand, 2017