E-Commerce | 28. July 2021

The generational question – how consumer shopping preferences are constantly changing

A growing number of younger consumers believe that goods should come to the customer – and not the other way round. How merchants should react to this now. by

Image Beitrag Generationenfrage

According to a recent online shopping study (Online-Shopping-Studie: Wer kauft was, wann, wie?, April 2021) conducted by management consultancy KPMG, “Online shopping is on the rise in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. This trend is being driven by the coronavirus pandemic, which has led many people to try online ordering for the first time or to integrate more and more product categories into their online buying behavior.” Study respondents said they spend the most money in online marketplaces, followed in order by manufacturers’ shops and online shops operated by brick-and-mortar retailers.

Younger people frequently buy online: “The young generations, especially Generation Z, are active both online and offline. The de-localization of consumption is a reality for younger consumers. In their world, goods should come to the customer – and not the other way round.”

Young shoppers are online

The busiest online shoppers are in the 18 to 24 age group (Generation Z). Some 56% of them said they buy at least 60% of their goods online. In the baby boomer generation (age 56-89), only 38% of respondents shop to the same extent online.

It’s only logical for retailers to position themselves online if they want to reach the growing target group of young shoppers. A study conducted by ibi research in 2020 shows that retailers are already on their way. Four out of five merchants cited the development of new customer groups as a reason to pursue multichannel sales (high to very high relevance). Strengthening customer loyalty is another important reason cited by two-thirds of the retailers.

Reasons for a multichannel distribution
Vgl: 2020 ibi research: Study “Der deutsche Einzelhandel 2020”, Slide 36

The main obstacles – and how to overcome them

The study also asked retailers about the obstacles that kept them from operating their own online shops. Many said that they simply didn’t have enough time. The second most important obstacle mentioned was the complicated legal requirements.

eClear supports merchants by helping them to eliminate both obstacles. The automated ClearVAT solution handles complex VAT and customs issues in cross-border trade – including everything from registration, to reporting and liability. This solution takes the burden off merchants by relieving them of potentially time-consuming processes and providing legal certainty when it comes to the notoriously complex topic of VAT.

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