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Online Shopping 2015: who shops online today, and how

E-Commerce 2015 – how we really shop online’ is a new study by ECC Cologne and OTTO which sheds light on the buying behaviour of German shoppers on the Internet. Among other things, the results show that shopping clichés also apply online and that wholesale generalisations of target groups are no longer valid.

Online retail is now a regular part of consumers' day-to-day shopping. But who actually shops online, and how? Do the popular shopping clichés also apply on the Web, or is everything different online? The current ‘E-commerce 2015 – how we really shop online’ study by ECC Cologne and OTTO surveyed German online shoppers – with some surprising results.

Women spend more money per purchase on consumer electronics and men spend more on clothes.

Has the world turned upside down? Not really, as the study only disproves the cliché at first glance. Although women spend twelve euros less than men for each fashion order – twice as many women as men shop for fashion on the Web at least once a month. Men, on the other hand, more often prefer to buy a complete outfit rather than individual parts. The same applies to women with regard to consumer electronics. There are even differences in reasons for shopping. Significantly more women prefer to browse on the Internet, and they order twice as often as men, out of boredom. What’s more, women want to reward themselves, or cheer themselves up, with online shopping significantly more often than the average German male.

Researching via smartphone, shopping via PC.

More than one in four online shoppers turn to their PCs to order a product that they had found on their smartphones. But why the effort? Younger consumers often complain that smartphones are too difficult to manage – especially because the on-screen selection areas are too small, or keying in data is too cumbersome. Older shoppers are concerned about poor readability and reputed deficiencies in security. Yet for almost a quarter of online shoppers, it is already quite normal also to send off the order from a mobile device – and younger consumers above all are less inclined to change. "But essentially, online shoppers can no longer be generally divided into 'the young' and 'the old'. Even the majority of ‘silver surfers’ are now online several times a day to buy from their favourite shops on the Web. Differences in online shopping behaviour between the target groups only become apparent when you look more closely, in terms of mobile shopping, for example, or product groups", explains Dr Kai Hudetz, Managing Director of the Cologne Institute for Retail Research.

Online purchases are usually planned – but inspiration also works online.

Online shops as a source of inspiration? This is still rare on the whole, but the trend is definitely gathering pace. For a long time now, online purchases have no longer been made just to satisfy a specific need. Today, already almost every sixth online order is an impulse purchase. And it is especially online advertising and recommendations from friends that tempt consumers to make unplanned visits to an online shop.

Most consumers stay faithful to two or three online shops.

More than two thirds of online shoppers prefer to buy from the same providers again and again – in fact, from 2.4 retailers on average. From the consumer’s point of view, Amazon, eBay and OTTO are the top 3 Webshops. Only around 30 per cent of those surveyed buy regularly from different online shops.

When it comes to the crunch, telephone advice is still much in demand.

When advice is needed about a product, German online shoppers prefer being helped to help themselves – with product descriptions, reviews or videos, for example. But as soon as there is a problem, personal contact with the online shop is still a must. Consequently the majority of consumers want telephone contact for technical problems, complaints or grievances as well as for questions regarding price.

"For the 20th Anniversary of, we’re celebrating with our customers and treating ourselves to a look back in time. What’s even more important, however, is a look ahead to the permanently changing needs of our consumers. Only if we understand what they expect, need and miss can we continue to develop in a purposeful way – to become the best and most personal provider in digital retail", explains Dr Thomas Schnieders, Vice President E-Commerce Innovation and Platform OTTO. "The results of this study are both a confirmation and an incentive for us."“

About the study:

The ‘E-Commerce 2015 – how we really shop online’ study investigates the shopping behaviour of German consumers on the Internet. It focuses on the differences that emerge between individual customer groups and what tendencies are becoming apparent in online buying behaviour. To do this, in August 2015 1,016 consumers – representative of current purchase behaviour on the Internet – were surveyed online.

About ECC Cologne:

ECC Cologne is an expert in retail in the digital age. An integral part of the renowned Cologne Institute for Retail Research (IFH) and its extensive network, ECC experts have been guiding e-commerce since as far back as 1999. Retailers, manufacturers and service providers benefit from the considerable methodical expertise, extensive market data and strategic know-how of this committed team. EEC Cologne prepares research and studies on important issues that concern the future of retail, such as cross-channel management, mobile commerce and payment. It supports clients in company-specific projects on strategic questions covering all aspects of e-commerce and cross-channel strategies, as well as on the development of new markets and target groups and in questions of sales-channel excellence.


Infografik – Studie „E-Commerce 2015 – Wie wir wirklich online einkaufen“ Übersicht
Infografik – Studie „E-Commerce 2015 – Wie wir wirklich online einkaufen“ von OTTO und ECC Köln

Die neue internetrepräsentative Studie von ECC Köln und OTTO beleuchtet das Einkaufsverhalten deutscher Online-Shopper und zeigt: Shopping-Klischees gelten auch im Netz.

Infografik – Wer sind die deutschen Online-Shopper?

Zielgruppen können nicht mehr pauschal definiert werden. Quelle: Studie „E-Commerce 2015 – Wie wir wirklich online einkaufen“ von OTTO und ECC Köln

Infografik – Verkehrte Welt /2

Unterschiede zwischen Männern und Frauen beim Fashion und Elektronik Online-Kauf. Quelle: Studie „E-Commerce 2015 – Wie wir wirklich online einkaufen“ von OTTO und ECC Köln

Infografik – Verkehrte Welt?

Pro Kauf geben Frauen mehr Geld für Unterhaltungselektronik aus, Männer mehr Geld für Bekleidung. Quelle: Studie „E-Commerce 2015 – Wie wir wirklich online einkaufen“ von OTTO und ECC Köln

Infografik – Online-Käufe sind meist geplant

Online-Käufe sind meist geplant. Aber: Mehr als jeder sechste Online-Kauf ist ein Impulskauf. Quelle: Studie „E-Commerce 2015 – Wie wir wirklich online einkaufen“ von OTTO und ECC Köln

Infografik – Relevantes Set der Online-Shops

Großteil der Konsumenten bleibt zwei bis drei Online-Shops treu. Amazon, eBay und OTTO sind Top-Shops. Quelle: Studie „E-Commerce 2015 – Wie wir wirklich online einkaufen“ von OTTO und ECC Köln

Infografik – Die nützlichsten Services

Wenn es hart auf hart kommt, steht persönlicher Kundenkontakt über das Telefon beim Online-Kauf weiterhin hoch im Kurs. Quelle: Studie „E-Commerce 2015 – Wie wir wirklich online einkaufen“ von OTTO und ECC Köln

Infografik – Endgerätewechsel

Wenn es um den Kauf geht, wechseln Kunden noch häufig vom Smartphone zum PC oder Laptop – vor allem aufgrund der Bedienbarkeit. Quelle: Studie „E-Commerce 2015 – Wie wir wirklich online einkaufen“ von OTTO und ECC Köln

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