DPD reveals insights on young European shoppers
Are their differences between shoppers in let’s say France or Spain? Yes, of course. The major steps of the customer journey may look similar across all countries, there are certainly a few differences in each country. DPD studied the behavior and expectations of 18-25 year olds in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain and Poland.
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In partnership with ethnographers from InProcess it conducted a study where it held in-home interviews in the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Germany and Poland. It interviewed 40 people between 18 and 25 year old. The goal was not to have a representative study, but to reveal a variety of practices. DPD wanted to observe real life experiences and understand the emotions of the participants.
Four kinds of behavioral profiles
According to the parcel delivery company there are four kinds of behavioral profiles with regards to online shopping. The ‘pioneer’ finds information online without a specific need, while the ‘look out’ type uses the internet to help him find inspiration, but prefers to make his purchases in familiar places. The ‘easy-going’ type knows which products he needs and doesn’t look for advice in order to make his purchases. And then there’s the ‘security’ type, who makes purchases online only on sites he knows well or that are well-known.
In Germany, as a result of the discount culture and in-store independence, customers seems to shop autonomously to find the best deal, while in Poland young shoppers use pragmatic and highly secured online shopping strategies. In Spain, shoppers are strongly inspired by good deals but with secured online shopping habits, which is an impact of the current economic situation. In the UK, there is a high prevalence of online shopping, confident shoppers and early adapters of new consumer trends, DPD found out. And in France, there are pragmatic online behaviors to avoid dealing with heavy bureaucratic procedures.
Insights on young online shoppers in Europe
Based on these observations, DPD has drawn five major insights. For example, the young European generation is empowered by finding good deals. “More than just being pleased to have found a good price, these 18-25 year olds are shoppers persuaded by a good deal”, the postal delivery company says. Also, a so called one-size-fits-all browsing experience limits the choice of online shopping. “Our participants had a desire for an experience customized to them. Shoppers wanted to be able to customize their preferences, for example.”
Also, there is an insecurity that requires tactics of reassurance. “Certain products require offline confirmation”, DPD states. “When a product can’t be seen in person, advice and reviews are an important element of reassurance. And to help deal with the insecurities of online shopping, easy, free returns are crucial for increased confidence.”
It also found that while the “before” stages of online shopping represent a pleasurable experience, many shoppers felt let down after the click. Dissatisfaction could be even bigger, when the product that arrives is not as expected. The last major insight DPD got from the study, is that chasing deliveries threatens the convenience of online shopping. When there’s a lack of transparency, customers need to increase their effort while their convenience is threatened. “The ideal delivery experience is a product delivered to the customer, when and where he wants it.”