June 20, 2019

Top 9 Trends in E-Commerce

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What’s troubling online shoppers? What do they wish they could change about buying on the net? Why are they abandoning carts and not leaving reviews?

We asked all these questions and more to 1,000 UK consumers* to get a snapshot of the current e-commerce environment. If you sell online, don’t miss these nine consumer insights that will help you drive and convert more traffic.

Want to read the full report?

*This survey was carried out to a nationally representative group of 1,000 working age UK consumers. The demographic breakdown is an equal split of Gen Z: aged 18-24, Millennials: aged 25-39, Gen X: aged 40-54 and Boomers: aged 55-64.

The single largest proportion of consumers start their shopping mission on a marketplace

More than a third of consumers (37%) start their online shopping trip by heading straight to a marketplace like Amazon. If you’re under 25 though, you’re more likely to seek out a retailer or brand website – only 21% of Gen Z begin shopping on a marketplace vs 38% that go direct. Meanwhile most Millennials use a search engine (39%).

Smartphones are the devices most often used for online shopping

Just over half of consumers (51%) now mostly shop on their phones. Bucking the trend are the Boomers (aged 55-64) who favour their laptops (35%) over mobiles (21%). A further 31% of the older generation prefer to use a desktop computer for shopping online – this is in comparison to just 7% of Gen Z who favour this device.

Nearly 45% of UK consumers have a smart speaker

Of those who own a smart speaker, 20.5% have used it to make a purchase. The demographic most likely to use smart speakers to shop is the Gen Zs – 28% say they have made a purchase with a device such as an Amazon Echo.

Security of personal and payment details is the number one concern for online shoppers

Worry about online security is universally high across all demographics. The second biggest concern is the inability to check out an item’s suitability, for example by trying it on. The third most pressing issue is how long the delivery will take to arrive. This is true for all except the Boomers, who show more concern about items ordered online not turning up.

The majority of consumers are willing to wait up to five days for delivery

57% of online shoppers are prepared to wait for between three to five days for their orders to arrive. The most impatient demographic is Gen X (aged 40-54) – 24% say they won’t wait longer than a couple of days and less than 1% will wait 12-14 days (that’s versus 3% of the other demographics).

Free delivery is the service that shoppers would most like to be available

After free delivery, people would most like next day delivery and free returns. The priorities do differ a little between the demographics – same day delivery comes in third for Gen Z, who would prefer that over free returns. But for Boomers, free returns are more important; it’s second on their wishlist, followed by next day delivery in third position.

Unexpectedly high delivery costs or long delivery times is the top reason shoppers abandon carts

45% of consumers will abort a shopping mission when confronted with unexpected shipping details. It’s the most off-putting factor for all demographics, but thrifty Gen X are equally likely to abandon their basket if they find the product they’re shopping for cheaper elsewhere (43%). Many Boomers, on the other hand, come unstuck when there are too many steps to checkout (31% abandon for this reason).

Fewer than a quarter of consumers habitually leave reviews for products they buy online

22% of shoppers say they leave product reviews most or all of the time. Your likeness to leave reviews goes down with age – 25% of Gen Z habitually leave reviews, 24% of Millennials, 22% of Gen X and 19% of Boomers.

Payment authentication will deter 12% of consumers from shopping online

The vast majority of shoppers don’t think the EU’s Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) initiative (coming into force in September) will present a problem, with 61% actively welcoming the added layer of security. Most in favour are Gen X (65%), while Boomers think they will face the most difficulty with the new authentication process (15%).

For a full picture of what’s happening on the web, click below to download our E-Commerce Consumer Trends Report 2019: