What can you only buy online

The 9 most important reasons for online and offline shopping

Shopping in the evening in sweatpants on the couch - thanks to the internet, no problem and, according to the results of a recent survey by Bitkom, the biggest advantage of online shopping. Why do Germans shop online? What do buyers appreciate about online trading? Why don't shoppers go to the nearest brick and mortar store to shop? What's stopping them? A current study by Bitkom sheds light on this.

Representative study on behalf of Bitkom

A study recently commissioned by the digital association Bitkom e.V. looked into these questions. Around 1,100 representative internet users were surveyed, including 1,050 online users and buyers. In addition to the questions listed above, the representative survey also dealt with the frequency of online shopping and questioned the most important advantages of online shopping.

Online shopping (Photo: StochSnap)

Why do Germans go shopping online. What are the main reasons for the respondents? The reasons for buying online are as follows:

1) 24/7 shopping

The top priority for buyers is independence from shop opening hours. Customers want 24 times 7, i.e. shopping at any time of the day or night. More than three out of four respondents (77 percent) name this as the most important advantage when buying online. In particular, those in work between the ages of 30 and 49 (78 percent) and between 50 and 64 years (83 percent) rate this advantage even higher than the average.

2) Home delivery and time savings

The first reason is closely followed by the fact that the goods and products are delivered straight to your home. Around three quarters of those surveyed vote for this (76 percent).

With some distance, but also mentioned by almost seventy percent, is the time saved by online shopping (67 percent).

3) Larger product selection and more extensive range

For many, the offer is also the decisive advantage. Two thirds (66 percent) say that they prefer the selection on the Internet to the limited selection in stationary retail.

Closely related to this is the statement shared by almost half of the respondents (53%) that they can buy products on the Internet that are almost impossible or very difficult to get in brick-and-mortar stores.

4) Cheaper prices when buying online

Around half of the buyers perceive the prices for the products and goods on the Internet as cheaper than in brick-and-mortar stores (52%). They also feel that they are adequately supplied with product information and also receive customer reviews and ratings. 50 percent see this as an advantage.

Almost every third buyer sees the additional discounts in online trading (31%) and the right to cancel the purchase (28%) within a few weeks as an advantage.

5) Missing stationary shopping alternative

Last but not least: every fourth online buyer (22%) cites the lack of stationary shopping alternatives near their place of residence, especially in rural regions. 44% of rural shoppers see this as a clear advantage for online shopping.

Finally, anonymity hardly plays a role when shopping online (13%).


Reasons for online shopping (source: Bitkom)

Online trading has an advantage when it comes to many purchasing criteria

The study shows that online shopping is valued by customers, in particular the convenience of being able to shop around the clock, home delivery, the wider range of goods and the perceived lower prices are emphasized.

Online trading is growing in importance. Further large increases are predicted for him.

Why will people still shop in stationary shops in the future?

Sooner or later everything will be bought online anyway! For internet buyers, only the price counts! Soon there will only be showrooms offline for products that can be bought online anyway! The young people are lost to the stationary trade! ... or?

Offline shopping (Photo: Unsplash)

No, there is no reason for stationary retailers to resign themselves to the online competition. Because the stationary business is still the most popular shopping place for most Germans. What are the reasons?

1) Trying on and trying out and advice

The price is not the decisive criterion for the choice of the shopping channel. The possibility of trying on / off or advice and information justify even higher prices offline. “Showrooming” is not a threat, but an opportunity to stay one step ahead - even for brands that have not yet been active offline in some cases, a presence in brick-and-mortar retail is becoming attractive.

We have already written about this in the article “Shopping instead of shipment or the shopping experience in stationary retail”.

2) Many stationary purchases are prepared online

Brick and mortar retail is far from being just the shop window for online retailers. On the contrary: purchases that are prepared online and then made in-store generate higher sales than the opposite.

3) “Digital natives” are looking for the stationary shopping experience

The high internet affinity of the next generation of “digital natives” is also not a major threat to brick-and-mortar retail. There is a large group of young and very internet-savvy consumers who shop almost exclusively offline.

This, and in particular shopping in the supermarket, has already been reported in the article "Millennials in the supermarket: What do they really want?"

4) Feel-good factor in stationary shopping

In addition, there is the important feel-good factor: customers always like to visit certain shops because they can find suitable offers there in a pleasant atmosphere with friendly and personal advice. This contributes to strong customer loyalty. But customers also expect a digital experience in brick-and-mortar retail.

Multichannel as a solution for stationary retailers

Today's customers are heterogeneous: multichannel retail can therefore be the solution for stationary retailers. But this only works with precise knowledge of the customer's needs. A targeted multichannel strategy that combines online and offline offers can not only produce better offers for customers, but also open up new future prospects for stationary retail. However, the retailer needs to better understand the customers' purchasing needs in order to present them with suitable offers and also to discover the possibilities of the digital world for themselves.

We have also reported on the connection between online and offline trade in earlier articles "Shopping atmosphere (3): Connection of offline with online" and "Shopping atmosphere (4): The right approach counts".

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