Connected customer: what are the consumer practices in 2022?
Published on 27 January 2022
Faced with multiple confinements and the forced closure of physical stores, more and more customers have turned to e-commerce. In the wake of the health crisis, the digitization of consumer habits continues at a steady pace. All indications are that 2022 will be another record year for online shopping.
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42 million: that's the number of French Internet users who made purchases on the web in the second quarter of 2021. This represents 1 million more online shoppers than the previous year, according to Médiamétrie1.
Not only are there more and more cyber-buyers, but they also buy more frequently. More than 70% of them made at least one online purchase in Q2 2021, up 12% in one year.
The same is true on a European scale, where e-commerce sales reached 757 billion euros2 in 2020, a 10% jump compared to 2019. The number of European online shoppers has also grown very strongly: Fevad (Federation of e-commerce and distance selling) reports faster growth in 2020 than in the previous four years. As for the share of e-commerce in the GDP, it is also experiencing a notable increase, of 4.8% in France and 3.6% in Europe.
The sectors that benefit from e-commerce
Online sales are carving out an ever-increasing share of retail in France, rising from 9.8% in 2019 to 13.4% in 2020. This represents "three or four years of growth in one year," said Marc Lolivier,3 Fevad's general delegate.
Covid has profoundly changed the overall purchasing habits of the French. Sales of hygiene products4, basic foodstuffs (flour, sugar, pasta, etc.), printer cartridges5, hair clippers and board games have notably exploded.
But the panorama of e-commerce is different. When it comes to online sales, the product categories most favored by the French are fashion (including clothing, shoes and accessories), beauty and health, and toys and leisure, according to a survey conducted in August 20216. 76% of respondents said they had made at least one fashion purchase online in the past 12 months, 53% had purchased a beauty/health product, and 46% a toy/leisure. In comparison, only 4% of respondents ordered a car, motorcycle or boat product online.
Products purchased online are found... online
When it comes to how consumers find out about products they want to buy online, word of mouth continues to play a dominant role (37% of respondents7), but it is not far behind. Many online shoppers find out about their future purchases by browsing marketplaces such as Amazon or Cdiscount (34% of respondents) or by browsing branded/merchant sites (also 34%). Increasingly, customers are looking directly online for the products they will order.
Furthermore, advertising is not equally effective across all media. Social networks have the greatest impact (20%), followed closely by TV and streaming sites (19%) and Google ads (18%). Print and radio lag behind, at 13% and 8% respectively. Note that 18-25 year olds swear by recommendations or advertising via social networks.
More and more connected customers
The digitalization of society, a trend that has been underway for several years, has accelerated dramatically with the health crisis. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, estimated already on April 30, 2020 that "the equivalent of two years of digital transformation had taken place in the last two months".
Moreover, most of the services that have appeared or been widely developed during the pandemic (such as click and collect, videoconferencing, digital payment, etc.) are destined to become "the new normal "8 . There is no turning back; these practices will become a permanent part of people's daily lives.
In 2022, lifestyles and consumption patterns will undoubtedly continue to be digitized as global trade recovers from its pre-pandemic peak. The WTO expected growth of 10.8% in 2021 and is forecasting a 4% increase in 2022. However, there is a problem: the inequity of vaccination coverage, which raises fears of the emergence of variants that could penalize the global economy.
Adapt your strategy and tools to these new behaviors
Faced with these new practices, deploying an omnichannel strategy becomes essential. Indeed, this strategy transcends the different channels and enables you to refine your knowledge of the customer. Thanks to Generix Omnichannel Sales' offer, you can obtain information about the customer's various contacts with your brand, but also about his buying habits or his behavior on social networks. Knowing their actions, behaviors and preferences, you are thus able to deploy targeted and personalized marketing actions. The assurance of hitting the bull's eye.
In addition, managing a single omnichannel shopping cart makes your strategy a reality. By centralizing in real time all the information of the customer's journey on all the channels he uses, you are able to offer him an experience that meets his new expectations.
Finally, you can better manage your loyalty programs: with a sharpened visibility of its actions, you are able to reward a regular customer more accurately.
1Quarterly barometer of the e-commerce audience in France / Online purchases and payment methods, Médiamétrie and Fevad, 28 September 2021. To be consulted here. (FR)
22021 E-commerce report in Europe / Ecommerce Europe and EuroCommerce study, Fevad, October 5, 2021. To be consulted here. (FR)
3Interview by Capital.fr (FR)
4According to Emily Mayer, expert in consumer products at IRI (Information Resources Incorporated). See here. (FR)
5According to UFC-Que Choisir (FR)
6 and 7 French e-commerce buyers' behavior, Channel Advisor & Dynata report, October 2021. Available here. (FR)
82022 forecast, Forrester (FR)