Online sales in Europe are expected to grow 4 percent in 2023 due to inflation, while sales volumes are set to decrease by up to 5 percent during the same period.
In recent years, inflation has been a hot topic, affecting everything from the cost of goods to the purchasing power of consumers. While many may see inflation as a hindrance to the economy, there is one surprising area where it is actually driving growth – online sales.
That’s right, the trend of online sales has been on the rise, and this growth is being driven, in part, by inflation. Inflation has pushed up the prices of goods, making it more difficult for consumers to purchase items they need and want. As a result, more and more consumers are turning to the convenience and affordability of online shopping.
One of the biggest benefits of online shopping is the ability to compare prices and find the best deals. With the rise in inflation, this is becoming increasingly important, as consumers look for ways to stretch their purchasing power. Online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay offer a wide range of products at competitive prices, making it easier for consumers to find what they need at a price they can afford.
A new research conducted by delivery software Metapack, payment provider Shipstation and economics research consultant Retail Economics shows that the growth of non-food online sales in the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain is expected to reach 4% but it is primarily driven by inflation causing a rise in prices. The study surveyed over 730 retail businesses in 8 countries including the previously mentioned ones.
According to the report, European non-food retail sales are expected to grow between 2.3% and 4%. The highest growth is visible in Italy where sales are expected to reach over 200 billion euros in 2023. However, this increase is mainly due to inflation leading to a rise in consumer prices, and sales volumes are predicted to decline between 1.2% in Italy to almost 5% in the UK.
The report also indicates that over 30% of shoppers in the UK and Germany will only buy products if necessary due to inflation. This number is even higher in France, Italy, and Spain with nearly 60% of customers only making purchases if necessary. The product categories most at risk are furniture and homeware, with 68% of consumers planning to delay or cancel their orders, followed closely by electronics with 66%. However, the health & beauty category has the most customers continuing their spending with 32% of shoppers.
On the other hand, there is a rising demand for second-hand marketplaces, with one in four consumers saying they plan to use these platforms more this year, particularly 39% of those who only want to buy necessary items.
In 2023, shoppers are more concerned about the cost of delivery, with 5% more consumers prioritizing this over delivery speed, which has decreased to 22% compared to 27% in 2022. The convenience of shipping, such as choosing a time slot, has also declined by 5%. The report also shows that online shoppers are less willing to pay for online returns, with the number of consumers who don’t mind paying dropping from 27% last year to 24% in 2023.
In conclusion, the rise in inflation is driving growth in the online sales industry. As the cost of goods continues to increase, consumers are looking for more affordable and convenient ways to purchase what they need. The convenience and affordability of online shopping, combined with the increasing use of technology, make it clear that e-Commerce will play an increasingly important role in the future of retail.
Read further: News, e-commerce, ecommerce, inflation, news, online shopping, Sales
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