27% of Europeans to Continue Increased Ecommerce Shopping 

A new survey has suggested that Covid-19 has changed consumer purchasing behaviour permanently, with 27% of Europeans saying they have been making more ecommerce purchases than ever during COVID-19, and will continue to do so post-pandemic.

The study, which interviewed 6,000 consumers across Europe, recorded that 56% have been buying at least three products online per month during the pandemic. It was also found that the percentage of shoppers who purchase between 6-10 items online every month has jumped from 10% to 17%. 

According to Capterra “About a quarter of e-shoppers will continue to make more digital purchases, despite the fact that the shops are now open again”.

This comes after various other reports have indicated that COVID-19 has accelerated the movement towards ecommerce. Back in June, Meepl published data indicating that 20% of UK Shoppers believe they will no longer buy their clothes in Brick and Mortar stores. The UK also saw a huge increase in the number of online stores, with 85,000 of them launching since March. 

Social distancing has broadened consumers’ views as to what they would contemplate buying online. 39% of UK shoppers say the COVID-19 situation has encouraged them to buy things online that they would never have considered before the pandemic hit. That number was even higher in the US, with 63% of consumers saying the same.

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COVID-19 has also accelerated structural changes in retail, according to the latest KPMG/Ipsos Retail Think Tank (RTT) white paper. The think tank, which featured a group of retail analysts, consultants, and long-term industry observers, said that a move towards “more immersive and experiential online shopping services” is expected.

Return rates have also been affected by Covid-19. According to the German based Otto Group, ecommerce return rates haven’t increased, despite the number of orders increasing dramatically. They have reported that German people are making more orders, but have returned less proportionally. The group recorded a 5% decrease in the return rates compared to the same period last year, while the Baur group, who fall under the Otto Group umbrella, saw a rate that fell 7% from last year. 

According to the group “Online shoppers now buy more items in product categories such as electronics, furniture, home and garden, home textiles and basic-oriented fashion. These are all items with lower returns rates. “And this shift in product purchases leads to a significantly lower return rate”.

Burberry Launch Pioneering ‘Social Store’

Burberry

Luxury fashion brand Burberry has unveiled a new store concept in Shenzhen, China, which aims to create a unique and futuristic shopping experience by integrating social media, gaming, and a new credit reward into the store. 

It has been described by Burberry as “Luxury’s first social store”,and revolves around the Chinese messaging app WeChat. Users can book appointments, fitting rooms and tables at the in-store cafe via Burberry’s new WeChat mini platform. Doing these things help build a shopper’s “social currency”, a reward system which allows them to gain perks. 

A new user of the platform is given an Avatar, based on the Burberry deer character seen in their promotional online game from 2019. Interactions may involve scanning QR codes on products to reveal further information about the item, or discover secret products that are exclusive to the store, as well as building up the users social currency. The cafe has been created to function as a “community space for activities including talks, workshops, exhibitions and live performances. One of the perks that can be unlocked with social currency is the ability to order secret items on the cafe menu. Another is gaining access to exclusive areas in the shop, like the velvet rope space known as the Trench Experience. The WeChat platform also has features that can be used from home, store tours can be taken virtually via the app. 

This comes as the latest of the many initiatives Burberry has undertaken to integrate tech innovations into the luxury clothing market. Last year, they created an AR experience in partnership with Google, where smartphone shoppers who searched for certain Burberry items could see the items as 3D renders overlayed on the users real life background. They have also created promotional video games, where users have the chance to win exclusive Burberry items.