Consumers first and foremost do their research online, choose retailers primarily because of attractive prices and free delivery, place their order via computer, pay with their credit card, and want their purchases delivered fast. Those are the key global findings of ‘Shop the World’, a consumer survey on international distance selling across 20 countries carried out by DHL eCommerce. The study however also identifies significant differences between individual countries, for example in the acceptance of payment options. The survey sketches the customer journey and provides a better understanding of specific market characteristics.
“Over the next five years, the global distance selling sector is expected to grow by more than 10 percent per annum. This development affects almost every industry sector,” said Jürgen Gerdes, CEO Post – eCommerce – Parcel at Deutsche Post DHL.
Although the annual U.S. online shopping growth rate of 7.3 percent is below the global average, the motherland of e-commerce remains the biggest market for distance selling. Eighty-six percent of all respondents use distance selling and approximately every third of the consumers surveyed plan to shop more online in the future. U.S. consumers expect their (free) shipments to arrive within six days and want to be informed about lead times, delivery date and the current status of the shipments.
“A key result of this study is that enterprises have to understand consumers’ decision making process and align their business accordingly. Being aware of cultural and structural differences is a key success factor, particularly for cross-border commerce,” said Thomas Kipp, CEO DHL eCommerce.
The consistent comparison of 20 markets reveals local characteristics: It shows, for example, that British and German consumers use distance selling (94 percent) the most, while consumers in India or Mexico are more reluctant to order online. European consumers also place more orders per year (29 in UK, 18 in Germany) than their counterparts in emerging markets (e.g. six in Brazil or five in Mexico). However, the survey shows that emerging markets offer the highest growth potential as consumers intend to shop less from stationary retailers in the future.
Following Deutsche Post DHL’s recently issued scenario study “Global E-Tailing 2025,” this report provides current empirical data on consumers’ online shopping habits across 20 countries. Each of the country profiles offers insights on media use, an overview on the domestic distance selling market as well as the customer journey including advertising, ordering, payment process, delivery and returns.
Additionally, drivers and barriers for distance selling, cross-border commerce and dialog marketing are presented. The study covers countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. More than 11,000 people completed the online panel survey; every country is represented by five percent of the sample size.
In its recently launched “Strategy 2020: Focus.Connect.Grow.” Deutsche Post DHL outlined its growth aspirations in the e-commerce sector. Building on a leading position in e-commerce logistics in Germany, Europe and beyond, the Group’s new Post – eCommerce – Parcel division will increasingly focus on expanding the products and services offered for the dynamic e-commerce market. Deutsche Post DHL wants to establish itself as the No. 1 provider of cross-border e-commerce services on the most important international trade lanes and in selected countries.
The results of the new survey confirm the huge growth potential of e-commerce and confirm the future direction of the company.