At first glance, online trade appears to be stable. According to PWC’s Global Consumer Insights Survey 2019, 31 percent of consumers worldwide shop online weekly or more often. Globally, retail e-commerce sales are on the rise, but the growth rate varies heavily depending on the region. In Western Europe, the e-commerce industry is very saturated and its growth – reaching 10.2 percent in 2019 – slows down year-over-year. Half a decade ago, the same European statistics were fixed at 14.8 percent. To understand how the e-commerce market will develop in the future, it’s necessary to look beyond these figures.
One thing is certain: The dynamic shift in sales from web page to mobile continues to break all records. The mobile revolution is in full swing. When it comes to online shopping, in 2019 smartphones overtook PCs for the first time, reaching 24 percent of e-purchases in PWC’s global sample. Europe leads the way, with 67 percent of retail traffic coming from the mobile channel.
According to eMarketer, by 2021 as much as 72.9 percent of all retail e-commerce will come from mobile shopping. Product categories that are particularly popular among m-shoppers are fashion, books, groceries, and event tickets.
Smartphones have become the starting point of a shopping experience that doesn’t end with product purchase. Today, customers expect much more than just the lowest price and the widest product range. They want shopping recommendations, smart support with product search, experience reports, customer ratings and reviews. They’d like to be able to compare prices, create wish lists, inquire about their purchase, rate all products and pay securely. In short: They seek full support along the entire Shopping Journey and the smartphone is their best companion.
User expectations have grown significantly over time. Nowadays, mobile shoppers have very little patience for providers who don’t cater to their needs. Surveys have shown that customers are increasingly convinced it’s worth changing providers for those who catch up with the latest industry trends. With a lack of a user-centered approach on the side of retailers, brand loyalty has seen a drastic decline. Customers choose to shop with the retailer who best identifies their needs and offers comfortable, user-friendly solutions. Such a retailer understands them and their world much better than others.