There are many challenges that European online retailers have to deal with. According to new research presented in DynamicAction's Retail Index: Spring 2019, €11 billion of online consumer transactions to 15 April 2019 were analyzed.
8 percent more returns are finding their way back to the online shops where they came from, as well as more goods being shipped for free. Ecommercenews report that short term promotions also helped to push sales by 29 percent. Consumers are also exhibiting some peculiar ways of ordering.
Buy 10, Return 9
Consumers have every intention of sending goods back to the online shops from whom they ordered. According to DynamicAction's research, there is a growing trend of consumers ordering multiple products online with the intent of returning some of the items. In this way, they can find out, for example, which colour shoes look best by ordering all the colours and trying them on.
Free Shipping Up
The research was done over the first 4 months of 2019, with free shipping being used as a sales tactic up 3 percent. Researchers explained that many online retailers want to attract customers, and use this method to remain competitive. Still, many major online retailers such as Zalando are stepping away from free shipping as a viable marketing solution.
29 percent of products purchased were due to short-term promotions, including strategies like one-day sales or site-wide promos on seasonal items. This is increasingly seen during small holidays like Valentine's Day.
Marketing Costs Are Up
In Europe, online retailers saw marketing costs increased quite a lot, up 74 percent from the same time period last year. New customer acquisition was found to decrease by 10 percent. Prioritizing customer lifetime profitability with immediate sales can help to ensure efforts to match ever increasing consumer expectations do not hinder overall profits.