E-commerce growth continues after the COVID-19 pandemic. Store campaigns create interest, traditional advertising grabs attention and free delivery encourages to buy more. These are results found in Posti’s Grand eCom Survey 2022, conducted by Kantar TNS. The study was done for the fifth time, this year focusing on active online shoppers and online stores in Finland.
E-commerce is growing, familiar categories remain at the top
According to Posti’s Vice President for eCommerce and Delivery Services Tommi Kässi, the slowdown of the COVID-19 pandemic has not decreased the popularity of e-commerce – quite the opposite.
”E-commerce is still growing. 37% of buyers have increased their online shopping in the past six months. Stores are also optimistic about growth: the share of online sales in total revenue is expected to grow within six months. Already, 44% of stores get over 70% of their revenue online,” Tommi Kässi says.
Familiar categories remain the most popular. Most repeated purchases are for clothes, shoes and accessories (68%), home electronics (44%) and food (40%).
Digital channels and store campaigns are popular in marketing
Most online stores (92%) are doing digital advertising. The second most popular marketing channel is newspaper (36%).
”A lot of emphasis is placed on digital channels, but they also have the most competition. A more traditional marketing channel can be a way to stand out. 55% of buyers have at least looked up information about a product or considered buying it based on print advertising,” Tommi Kässi says.
Online store applications have found their way to consumers’ phones: a little under half (41%) of buyers have downloaded at least one online store application, some have downloaded multiple.
In terms of sales campaigns, buyers are more interested in stores’ own campaigns (66%) than general seasonal campaigns, like Black Friday (53%). Stores also consider their own campaigns more important.
Free delivery increases the purchase amount
Almost all online shoppers (90%) have increased the size of their shopping cart to get free delivery. 60% of online stores say that they offer cheaper deliveries when a certain purchase amount is reached.
The most popular delivery method is still parcel locker, which has been used by 90% of buyers. Home delivery became more popular due to the pandemic, and its popularity is still growing: 24% say they have used it more in the past six months.
55% of buyers want to select the delivery method themselves at checkout. Most online stores offer at least two options.
Delivery companies still have work to do in sustainability communication
Buyers do not believe that online shopping is more environmentally harmful than shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. The most common environmental concern is the poor quality or dispensable nature of products (54%).
Over one third (39%) of buyers consider the environmental impact when selecting a delivery option. However, 62% cannot say, which delivery company they consider the most environmentally friendly. Posti gets the most mentions.
"Delivery companies still have work to do when it comes to communicating about sustainability. There are many different terms, and they can be difficult to interpret. I recommend using third-party evaluations. For example, a leading corporate sustainability evaluator EcoVadis just placed Posti’s sustainability work among the top one percent in the world,” Posti’s Director of Sustainability Noomi Jägerhorn says. “International commitments are also important. In climate work, the Science Based Targets initiative is the most respected.”
Artificial intelligence and automation are not yet used often
71% of online stores believe that artificial intelligence is a success factor in the future. However, only a small number of stores are currently using it.
Warehouse automation is only used by 7% of online stores. 13% have outsourced their warehousing and 10% are considering outsourcing at the moment.
The survey was conducted by TNS Kantar from May to June 2022. The survey was conducted for the fifth time, this year with renewed content. The target group includes consumers who make purchases online at least once a month (2083 respondents) and online stores (300 respondents).
Download the survey results here.