As part of the e-commerce week, the annual Pan-Hellenic B-C e-Commerce Survey conducted by SELPE and the Electronic Commerce Laboratory (ELTRUN) of the Athens University of Economics with the support of GRECA (Hellenic E-Commerce Association).
The main conclusions are:
The top categories of online shopping are tourism / travel, ready-made food, clothing, PC equipment and electrical appliances.
When asked which product / service categories you made at least one purchase over the Internet in January – September 2018, “Accommodation” ranked first with 50% of the answers. The top ten were completed by:
- travel services (46%),
- ready-made food (43%),
- clothing / footwear (42%),
- computer equipment (41%),
- electronic devices (40%),
- event tickets (39%),
- books (37%),
- household goods (36%),
- pharmacy articles (30%),
- personal care (30%) and
- insurance (26%).
In these top categories there were no significant differences in rankings compared to 2017 with the exception of the significant increase in “ready-to-order food” due to the significant investments made in this field in digital services as well as distribution and service channels.
The corresponding question for at least one online purchase last month in the top choices found footwear / books and books, justified by the specific period of research (beginning of the school year).
The purchases are now mainly made by Greek online stores.
85% of respondents said that they make over 80% of their online purchases from Greek online stores. In 2016, only 60% of consumers had the same behavior. This is related to the number of Greek e-shops that operate and the integrated services they offer. According to GRECA estimates, 7,000 companies with digital sales channels operate in Greece, while the TrustMark certification mark provided by GRECA with ELTRUN’s scientific support has already been acquired by 160 online stores.
Of course, 43% continue to buy from foreign online stores, even occasionally, mainly due to cheap prices (47%) and product availability (39%)
Growth of 15-20% of the Greek online B-C market in 2018 despite the number of online shoppers remaining stable.
In 2018, there has been significant growth in the Greek online marketplace, which also determines the maturity of online shoppers. This is based on the following elements:
- 20% increase in the average number of online purchases in the nine months from 12.26 (2017) to 14.86 (2018)
- an increase of approximately 20% on the total average value of online shopping in the first nine months of 2018 compared to 2017
- 35% of online shoppers digitally make 1 out of their 2 total purchases (up from 31% in 2017)
- 85% of shoppers make over 80% of their online purchases from Greek online stores (up from 70% in 2017).
The only worrying element for future growth is the number of new online shoppers, who in the survey sample only 1% started online shopping in 2018. 41% of online shoppers started buying online before 2010 and 25% in the last three years mainly due to the impact of capital controls and the growth of digital payments.
Serious multichannel behavior.
Greek online shoppers continue their multi-channel behavior and even with increasing trends compared to 2017. Two-thirds of their total physical purchases were made by Greek online shoppers after searching or updating online (as of 1/2 in 2017). This determines the importance of digital marketing regardless of digital or physical sales channel.
Also 1/4 of the total online purchases by online shoppers was made after visiting a physical store. This justifies why large chains of physical stores have begun to invest in omnichannel commerce by digitally upgrading the consumer experience within the physical store.
The main reasons for online shopping are the best prices.
The main reasons for online shopping for online shoppers generally relate to the issue of prices / offers, with 75% reporting that they find better prices, 52% wanting to compare prices and 41% wanting to easily find new offers.
In the second place is the find / product range as 47% report finding products that are not available in physical stores, 38% that there is a greater variety of products and 37% that
easily find products from abroad.
In the last position we find process / time considerations as 33% cite non-availability of leisure and 24% as the best planning of markets.
Online shoppers are taking advantage of online banking and digital payments.
Online payments have continued the trend since 2017 where the debit card has been consolidated as the top payment method (64% of respondents cite it as their usual payment method). In
the second position is now the payment on delivery (54% from 57% in 2017) followed by credit card (37%) and PayPal (33%).
In general, e-banking is one of the main reasons that online shoppers are using the Internet, especially with a growing trend (66% in 2018 compared to 51% in 2017). This is also justified by the relative upgrades of these services by financial institutions.
The penetration of the mobile is important but the PC remains the main medium of online shopping.
Online shoppers can access the Internet:
- by mobile phone (93%),
- laptop (73%),
- PC (57%) and
- tablet (33%).
The use of Mobile devices by online shoppers is now universal as they are used for search quotes (by 93% of respondents), social networking applications (84%), price search while in-store (65%), and download of applications (64%).
However, in the question, what is the main device for making online purchases, 80% of online shoppers answer PCs, while only 15% mobile phones and 5% tablets. This is related
partly with the usability of the interfaces and the ability to navigate online stores on mobile devices.
The main problems relate to the delivery of products.
The main problems faced by online shoppers are mainly the delivery of products such as:
- high delivery charges (70%),
- the time of receipt of the products (31%) and
- receipt of defective products (15%).
The second category of problems relate to support such as:
- the difficulty of post – market information (19%) and
- difficulty in telephone communication (13%).
While problems with digital transactions are limited, such as difficulty navigating (14%) and difficulty paying (6%).
The survey was conducted with an online questionnaire in the period October – November 2018 with the participation of 1512 online consumers. It has been going on for the last 10 years during the week
of e-commerce. Scientific supervision was provided by Professor George Doukidis, Director of the ELTRUN / OPA Laboratory and Dr. Katerina Fraidaki (firstname.lastname@example.org) research director of
ELTRUN / OPA and Chairman of the Board of Directors of GRECA.