Analysis

Brits lead the way in European online shopping habits

Almost one-in-three British consumers shopped online in the last three months, outpacing their French and German counterparts, according to research from Hermes.

With 27% of British shoppers placing orders online (compared to 14% in France and just 10% in Germany), the growing importance of multichannel offerings and better delivery services are cited by the research as key contributory factors.

Hermes’ 2014 Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey found that 42% of British consumers plan to shop online even more over the next year, compared to 30% of French and 28% of Germans.

Around two thirds of the survey’s respondents have had to change delivery details for goods ordered online, making flexible and responsive deliveries a key element.

The use of smartphones and tablets is doubling when it comes to placing orders. More than twice as many Brits are now buying regularly via these devices (23%), compared to Germany (11%) and France (9%). Although laptops are still the most popular way of buying across all three countries.

A free and reliable returns service was cited by shoppers in all three countries as the “most appealing feature” when it came to delivery services (around 25%). Almost half of British shoppers (44%) blamed retailers for unclear product information, leading to high levels of returns.