More frequent e-commerce shopping is Poles’ strategy for tougher times

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More frequent e-commerce shopping is Poles’ strategy for tougher times

Despite recent drops, inflation in our country still remains high. How do Polish consumers respond to this situation? This was examined by the Chamber of Digital Economy in its report “(E)mergency Commerce 2023,” a follow-up to last year’s publication ” In the Crisis towards E-commerce.” As the report shows, Poles are more likely to shop online during periods of high inflation and economic slowdown.

E-commerce to the rescue

In the current economic situation, one in two Polish consumers (50%) is buying online more often than a year ago. Although in 2022 this behavior was the case for 79%, however, as the authors of the report note: “2023 is already another year of economic slowdown, so current changes in behavior are more about further, deeper optimization of purchases, rather than significant changes in shopping behavior.”

It is noteworthy that in the current year, Polish consumers are shifting their purchases to online for products, the cost of which is a large part of the expenses from the household budget. These include consumer electronics/appliances, clothing, cosmetics, children’s or automotive products. Last year, this behavior primarily concerned various entertainment and services, such as VOD services, digital games, courses and training, or food with home delivery.

40% of the respondents declare further intensification of online shopping, moreover, 24% want to make e-commerce their only shopping channel and buy everything they can there. Retailers should therefore keep in mind that in times of economic slowdown, Poles are even more eager to reach for e-commerce. And it doesn’t change the fact that this year, among the latter, the percentage of people who find online shopping more profitable than in traditional stores is declining.

Why is more frequent use of e-commerce the main shopping strategy of Poles for hard times?

In this year’s survey, Polish consumers indicate the advantage of e-commerce over traditional shopping even more strongly than last year. The most important advantages of online shopping are still: ease of comparing prices and offers (44% of indications, an increase of as much as 8% y/y), promotions and lower prices (37% and 34% of indications), as well as a wide selection of brands {34%).

The ability to buy cheaper from foreign online shops and the ease of returning a product are also important. They received 25% and 23% of indications, respectively. Compared to the 2022 survey, dedicated promotions for purchases under certain conditions lost the most in importance (down from 27% to 19%).

In times of crisis, Polish consumers are also turning to e-commerce because of the amenities it can offer them. As many as 93% of respondents want to use at least one of them. This is a huge increase – last year this percentage was “only” 57%.

In addition to shopping in a proven place (which guarantees good terms), issues related to returns and delivery definitely stand out – shopping with a free return option received 36% of indications (up as much as 31% y/y) and shopping with free delivery received 30% of indications (up 26% y/y).

As the authors of the study note: “this year, Polish consumers are much more conscious of using the internet and all the opportunities that the digital channel offers them when shopping.” Polish consumers, as they declare themselves, try to buy even more smartly (looking for shopping opportunities), and also based on planning (they know what they want and need) and trust (they usually buy the same brands that they like and trust when it comes to quality of products and service).

The study on which the “(E)mergency Commerce 2023” report is based (available for download here in Polish) was conducted from March 27 to April 7, 2023 by the Mobile Institute on behalf of the Chamber of Digital Economy. A representative group of more than 1,500 Polish internet users took part in it.

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