The European Ecommerce Report 2023: 5 key takeaways

Want to know exactly what ecommerce in Europe looks like in 2023? And how you can attract, convert, and drive repurchases with online shoppers?

We surveyed 5,000 consumers across Europe to help you understand precisely what they think, want, and need now and in the future.

We reveal our findings in the European Ecommerce Report 2023. It explains how consumers shop online and spend, and uncovers some key things you can do to increase conversions, maximise sales, and build loyalty. It also takes a deep dive into several of the biggest European ecommerce markets.

Download the full report, or read on to discover some of the key things we learned.

European Ecommerce Report 2023 content block

1. Almost every consumer has changed how they shop online

If we needed a stat to back up why we created the report, this is it: more than 99% of consumers have changed how they shop online in the last 12 months. Or to put it another way, only 41 consumers out of 5,000 told us they haven’t changed how they shop in the last year.

This is a stark reminder of how quickly things change in ecommerce. Especially at a time when we’re experiencing the impact of inflation, the cost of living crisis, and even global unrest.

But our research also reveals how things are stabilising: the economy is adjusting to a newer normal, and consumers are adapting with it. The report can help you understand this new landscape and precisely what consumers want from retailers in 2023 and beyond.

2. Consumers aren’t positive about the current economy (but plan to spend more in the future)

As part of the research, we asked consumers about their economic outlook and current and future shopping behaviours. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, consumers aren’t very positive about their country’s current economic situation: just over half (51%) feel negative about it, with 17% feeling very negative. 

But, consumers are generally optimistic about the economic future. In fact, Just under half of the consumers (47%) we surveyed think their country’s economic situation will improve in the next 6 to 12 months, with 1 in 5 (20%) saying they believe it will improve significantly. 

Only 18% of consumers think the economic situation will get worse. Just 1% believe it will decline significantly. 

European Ecommerce Report 2023 – Economic situation question

This optimism also translates into consumers’ planned spending. Almost half (47%) say they'll spend more in the next 12 months, with 10% saying they'll spend a lot more. And only 1 in 5 (20%) say they'll spend less.

European Ecommerce Report 2023 – Consumer spending question

3. Consumers are becoming more price-conscious

When looking at shopping habits and behaviours, one thing is clear: consumers are becoming more selective – and price-conscious. 

In fact, when we asked how their shopping behaviour had changed in the last 12 months, more than half (54%) said they now always buy something for the lowest price possible. And just under half (47%) said they do more research before buying a product.

European Ecommerce Report 2023 – Buying behaviour question

Consumers’ price-conscious attitude is also evident in how they choose who to shop with and the triggers that inspire them to purchase. When selecting a retailer, consumers are most driven by finding the lowest price and getting free shipping and free returns.

And the main driver that inspires shoppers to purchase something is being offered a discount when leaving a retailer’s site, with almost half of our surveyed consumers (47%) choosing that as the factor most likely to stop them scrolling (or surfing) and buy a product.

4. Customers don’t like paid returns

For retailers, returns can be costly, especially when dealing with high volumes of products.

The data shows us that free returns are among the most critical factors consumers assess when choosing which brand to buy from. But, recently, some high-profile retailers, including Zara and Uniqlo, have implemented paid returns.

So, how do consumers actually feel about them?

European Ecommerce Report 2023 – Paid returns questions

Just under 2 in 5 consumers (39%) are only a little less likely to buy from a retailer if they have to pay for returns. However, 27% of consumers are a lot less likely to buy from a retailer who charges for returns, and 21% definitely wouldn’t. 

The economics of paid returns vary by business. But not offering free returns could lose your business almost half of your potential sales.

5. The importance of payments

Another key theme that we see throughout the report is payments. Or the importance of payments.

We found that offering a quick and efficient payment method is the main factor that convinces consumers to buy from a retailer, and offering a customer's favoured payment method is the most significant factor driving repurchases.

Elsewhere, worries about payment security and shoppers not being offered their preferred payment method are two of the main drivers of checkout abandonments.

Then, we explored the importance of payments in even more detail. 

First, we asked consumers to choose the part of their online shopping journey they want to work as efficiently as possible. Here, payments stood out, with most shoppers (29%) choosing the payment process and checkout.

European Ecommerce Report 2023 – Payment methods question

Next, we asked consumers how important it was that retailers offer their preferred payment method when shopping online. In total, 92% of consumers said it’s important – with more than half (51%) citing it as ‘very important’.

Delight shoppers, increase sales

If you’re running an ecommerce business, the European Ecommerce Report shows the key things you need to do to delight shoppers across the continent.

Download it to discover:

  • How consumers plan to shop and spend
  • How consumers find products and brands
  • How to attract shoppers to your site
  • How to drive browsers to checkout
  • How to prevent checkout abandonments
  • How to build loyalty and drive repurchases
  • An in-depth analysis of key European markets

Want to access all the insights and learn how to increase conversions, maximise sales, and build loyalty? Download the European Ecommerce Report.

Get better payments now.