Metavers, bitcoins, NFTs, online concerts and fashion shows… in an ever-changing digital world, the possibilities are endless for users. So much so that sometimes we forget to address the question of what they want. This is exactly the subject of PayPal’s E-Commerce Index study.
Online consumption has become the norm in just a few years. Whether shopping, buying train tickets or paying bills, our lives are gradually being exported to a digital world and new habits are constantly being created. PayPal therefore looked at consumers’ online habits. For this study, almost 16,000 participants from 11 European countries aged 18 to 75 answered a questionnaire about their opinion and use of e-commerce. From means of payment to new virtual worlds like metaverse, traversing online consumption habits, immersing yourself in consumers’ concerns and desires.
Respect and ethics, strong values
Despite being in last place when it comes to online purchases, the French spend an average of €270 per month. Vice versa, Sweden ranks first with a monthly budget of €486. Whatever the budget, these purchases are increasingly driven by a desire to shop better and more responsibly. In fact, 46% of European consumers say that the brand’s values and ethical approach drive their purchase.
This approach is even more pronounced among Gen Z, as 71% of them base their purchasing decisions on the brand philosophy. But what are these famous ethical values? Above all, the working conditions of employees, which are questioned by 29% of consumers. Next comes respect for the environment for 27%, defending social concerns for 23% and finally diversity and employee inclusion for 18%. These criteria are part of the collective consciousness of a broader view of purchasing behavior.
Security at the heart of requests
50% of respondents prefer to shop and pay online using a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. It is therefore of paramount importance to ensure that online payment is as secure as possible. It is an essential concept of digital life, the limits of which are being tested on a daily basis. As the number of online transactions continues to grow, transaction security is being put to the test. While 48% of French say trust issues related to security make them less inclined to use an online site, it is becoming increasingly important for brands to offer a safe shopping experience. The study shows that PayPal is perceived as the most trusted payment solution by consumers for almost a quarter.
Security can be a criterion for canceling an order, but it is not the only one. A poor customer experience can also lead to a buyer abandoning the transaction. And that’s not all: 28% of consumers admit to abandoning their shopping cart when they can’t pay for it the way they want. Whether by credit card or through a third party, this criterion is at the top of the list. The way the products are shipped is also very important for the purchase decision. If the shipping costs are too high or the delays are too long, the customer can cancel his order. Vice versaif they are free and the return is free, this can encourage the customer to buy.
Combine business with pleasure
Beyond its lessons, the study also points to the emergence of a new trend, that of social commerce. Buying via social networks is a practice that is becoming more widespread: 43% of Europeans say they have shopped on social networks in the last six months. It is therefore a channel to be preferred, but which networks to choose? In France, 18% of consumers consume on Facebook, 16% on YouTube and 15% on Instagram.
What purchases are made on these social platforms? Clothing and accessories (29%) take the lion’s share ahead of beauty products (20%), online tickets (20%) and finally online games (18%) for an average shopping cart of €127 per month. And even though more than a third of consumers prefer to go directly to the website to make a purchase, social networks play an important role in the purchase decision, especially since the daily average of The time spent on social networks is 2h28.
The future of e-commerce
When the bank card appeared, merchants had to adapt to this novelty in order to suit their customers. In the digital sector, too, new channels mean new means of payment. BNPL (Buy Now Pay Later) is an example of customization. PayPal’s e-commerce study shows that despite their ranking in online shopping, the French are the first to use this payment method. But it’s mainly Gen Z who use it the most. 42% of French use it and spend an average of €200 a month thanks to this method.
Additionally, the advent of Web3 and its multiple variations are helping to shape the new contours of online commerce. The study showed that 13% of consumers surveyed believe virtual spaces will be important future channels for e-commerce. And they don’t hesitate to take the plunge! 15% of French people have visited a metaverse, and Gen Z share rises to 40%.
The shift from digital to virtual worlds will undoubtedly allow brands to further innovate in online shopping. To do this, they need to build on the three pillars identified by the study: ethics, safety and the increased importance of social networks.
To download all of the Paypal E-Commerce Index study results, click here : https://www.paypal.com/fr/enterprise/campaigns/ecommerce-index