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Online consumer behavior: key figures to remember in 2021


Published on: Jan 9, 2022

Consumer behaviour

Between Black Friday and Christmas, the end of the year has become a key period for e-commerce. In collaboration with YouGov, we decided to investigate the online shopping behavior of French consumers during the “peak season”. Post-purchase experience, online consumer behavior, new customer expectations on the Internet: here are the key figures to remember for 2021!

Post-purchase experiences still fraught with pitfalls

In the last few months, 57% of online consumers say they received one of their packages on time. This figure may seem positive at first glance. However, it is clear that the customer experience is far from perfect. Indeed, there are still many inconveniences related to the reception of packages:

    • 35% of those surveyed received a package at least one day late.
    • 28% noted damaged packaging or item upon arrival.
    • Almost 20% received inaccurate notification about their package delivery.
    • 17% received their package after multiple delivery attempts.

Even worse:

    • 22% of those surveyed say they have never been delivered.
    • And 10% even had their packages stolen.

These incidents are often beyond the control of brands because very often they delegate this stage of the customer journey to third parties such as carriers. By taking back control of this operational phase as well as the communication with their customers, they have the opportunity to regain control of the entire buying journey and ensure their customers a worthy experience.

Online consumers increasingly sensitive to the environment

French consumers are increasingly sensitive to issues related to the environment and sustainable development. As a result, they are also looking to be more responsible when making purchases on the Web. And deliveries are no exception to the rule:

    • 50% of those surveyed received an item in a box they felt was larger than necessary.
    • Almost 30% of respondents received an item with many extra pieces of packaging and excess paper that they had to throw away.

Similarly, online consumers are seeking information from merchants to limit their ecological impact. Indeed, following their purchase on the Internet, 20% of those surveyed would find it useful to receive information on recycling or sustainable development programs. An interesting avenue for brands to explore!

The human touch at the heart of the post-purchase experience for online retailers

Our consumer research shows that 38% of respondents have contacted customer service to remedy a problem related to online delivery. Similarly, 51% of respondents say they would like to receive clear contact information in the event of problems with the order. This helps to see that the human remains at the heart of consumer needs. And this is all the more true when they make purchases on the Internet.

In fact, we must not forget that when a customer makes an order on the Web, he is very often alone in front of his screen. However, the behavior of the online consumer is similar to that of the one who goes to a store: he needs to be reassured and to feel listened to by an interlocutor in case of problem. Hence the interest for brands to make each step of their post-purchase experience as clear, fluid and human as possible!

The impact of shipping and delivery on online consumer behavior

Online consumers are becoming more and more demanding about the quality of their post-purchase experience. To disappoint a customer is to risk never seeing them again. In fact, 36% of consumers say a poor shipping and/or delivery experience would prevent them from shopping online with a merchant again.

Similarly, 43% of respondents said they would choose a merchant with better shipping options if the merchant met their needs. Delivery quality is becoming a real buying criterion for the online consumer. Therefore, it is in the best interest of brands to strengthen their post-purchase experience to stand out from competitors and build customer loyalty.

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