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Shoppers spending more but buying less in 2021

shoppers spending

Voyado, the Nordics’ leading customer experience platform, has published the findings of its 2021 Shopping Index, highlighting that consumers across Europe are spending more, but buying less when compared to 2020.

The Index, based on 16 million purchase occasions, shows that in the first three months of 2021, consumers spent an average of 28 percent more per transaction, but purchased 15 percent fewer items per transaction when compared to the same period in 2020.

Women were responsible for the larger portion of the increase in average transaction price, spending an average of 38 percent more than they did in 2020, while men accounted for an increase of 17 percent. The frequency of shopping also increased slightly in 2021, from an average of 1.82 to 1.88 purchase occasions, dominated unsurprisingly by online shopping.

E-commerce leads the way

Online, the average shopper’s spend per receipt jumped from £86 in 2020 to £128 in 2021, a 49 percent increase. Every age group, among both men and women, is spending more online in 2021. The highest increases were in the 18-25 and 26-35 groups, where consumers spent 55 percent more in 2021 than the year before.

In addition, the frequency of e-commerce purchases increased by 35 percent in 2021, reinforcing the importance of being online. In terms of gender habits, women shop online 74 percent more frequently than men. There is also a distinct age difference, with the 25-35-year-old bracket shopping online at around double the rate of people aged 65 or older.

Across Europe, in-store spending also increased, although less significantly. The average per-receipt spend on store-bought items increased from £54 to £65, with women increasing their spending by 28 percent compared with a 9 percent increase among men. The most significant additional spending came from women aged 18-25, who spent an average of 43 percent more in-store than they did in 2020.

Johan Bäckarlin, CEO of Voyado said: “The pandemic has upended the way we shop – and in ways more than just a simple shift to online. Our research shows that while people are shopping more and spending more, they are purchasing fewer items. There are likely several factors behind this trend: customers have become increasingly value-conscious, they are interested in minimising waste and maximising sustainability, and consumers may also have more disposable income due to global travel restrictions. Similarly, many could be treating themselves to a few more expensive items as a well-deserved treat after an incredibly challenging year.”

Email engagement increases significantly

Although most brands were unable to engage with shoppers in person at the start of this year, they have done so online with great success.  

Voyado’s data shows that between 2020 and 2021, the average open rate increased by 8 percent across all age groups and genders, and the click rate jumped by an incredible 13 percent. Women aged 65 and above accounted for the highest open rate in 2021 at 44 percent, while men accounted for the lowest at 21 percent – although this is still significantly above the industry average.

In 2021, Voyado found that the average click rate was 4 percent, a 13 percent increase over last year’s figure. Older people are more likely to click through on branded emails, with the 65 and over demographic clicking 7 percent of the time.

The Voyado Shopping Index also highlighted a huge increase in the use of personalisation fields this year compared to 2020, which was likely a major factor behind the increase in open and click-through rates. Retailers increased the personalisation in their email marketing by 76 percent, focusing primarily on women.

Johan Bäckarlin, CEO of Voyado said: “In marketing, ‘personalisation’ once meant simply starting the email with the person’s name – but that is no longer enough. These days, just as a human marketer might learn about a person from observing their behaviour, software can review a person’s past behaviour and predict what products, offers and opportunities they might be most interested in. Advanced personalisation is more than just a competitive advantage, it’s an essential part of doing business.”

Other notable findings include:

·         Despite lower open and click rates than other age groups, the 18-25-year-old group did see an overall increase in both metrics when compared to 2020. Additionally, marketers have the most data on this group, meaning that they have the highest segmentation and personalisation rates.

·         People aged between 26 and 35 made purchases the least often but had the highest e-commerce rate. Similarly, those aged 36 to 45 bought the fewest items, but spent the most on them.

·         The 46-55-year-old group had the highest receipt value of any demographic.

·         Women receive 15 percent more emails than men. The emails they receive are also 17 percent more segmented and 260 percent more personalised.

·         Women open emails less frequently than men but click through more often. They also purchase more often but spend slightly less.

·         Men, on the other hand, spend much more per receipt online, but at a lower online purchase rate.

·         Men also have a higher value per receipt in-store and a higher in-store purchase rate.

First launched in 2019, the Voyado Shopping Index highlights trends on the omnichannel shopping habits of European customers, by leveraging anonymised data from the millions of end-customers that the Voyado platform reaches on a daily basis.

The next index will be released in Autumn, 2021, revealing more about the retail sector’s recovery.

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