UK leads European online shopping

20 October 2014

LEEDS: British consumers are almost twice as likely to shop online as their French counterparts and they shop online nearly three times as much as consumers in Germany, a new study has revealed.

Now in its fifth year, the latest Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey from Hermes, the multinational consumer delivery company, found 27% of UK consumers shopped online over the past three months.

This compared with 14% of French consumers and just 10% of Germans, according to responses from 4,000 consumers in the three largest economies of the EU.

Furthermore, a full 42% of UK consumers said they plan to increase their online shopping spend over the next year compared to 30% of French respondents and 28% of Germans.

British consumers were also found to be more likely to increase the range of retailers they will shop from. Almost three-quarters (73%) expected to expand their retail horizons compared to the French (64%) and the Germans (58%), the survey found.

This growing willingness by European consumers, especially those in the UK, to put their trust in online retailers appeared to be underpinned by three main trends.

Consumers have responded to improvements in delivery services across all three countries, increased adoption of mobile devices has made the experience easier, and a free and reliable returns policy is important too.

Almost twice as many UK consumers (23%) said they shop regularly on a smartphone or tablet as do Germans (11%) or the French (9%), although a laptop was used more by all three nationalities.

Commenting on the findings, Hermes CEO Carole Woodhead said that online retail is continuing to grow "at a prolific pace" and welcomed the investment the sector has made in good delivery options, which has helped to boost consumer confidence.

"It presents online retailers with a huge opportunity to continue to expand their customer base and increase revenue," she said.

Almost coinciding with the release of the Hermes findings, Amazon revealed the launch of its first same-day delivery service in the UK, the Financial Times reported.

Branded "Pass My Parcel", the US ecommerce giant will use Connect Group, the newspaper distributor, to deliver packages to more than 6,000 locations, including 500 newsagents and convenience stores.

Data sourced from Hermes, Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff