E-commerce is declining after the pandemic. In Belgium and the Netherlands in particular, online sales have fallen sharply now that physical stores are open again without restrictions. Those who still shop online often give up.
Fewer visitors, less spending
Online stores had 2% fewer visitors on average in the second quarter of this year. Globally, online shopping was down 6% and shoppers also spent 4% less. This is according to a study by Salesforce of the online shopping behavior of 1 billion buyers in more than 60 countries.
This decline explains the health restrictions of recent years, which have pushed e-commerce to unprecedented levels. By comparison, the decline now is inevitable. Although consumer confidence has declined due to higher inflation and the resumption of normal life, “physical” life undoubtedly contributes.
Up to a quarter less
In the first quarter of 2022, the growth of e-commerce in the Netherlands decreased by 27% compared to the same period in 2021. At that time, the growth was still 25% compared to the previous year. In other words, the impact of Covid is once again being erased. Globally, there is a decrease of 2%, in Belgium a decrease of 11%.
And the second quarter showed the same: e-commerce decreased by 12% in the Netherlands, and a decrease of 15% in Belgium. In Belgium, traffic increased slightly, but orders decreased compared to the previous year. In the Netherlands, there was less traffic (-6%) and fewer requests.
9 out of 10 abandon their cart
It is also clear that the Internet is a place for digging and searching, not ordering. Only about 20% of requests are submitted after using the site’s search function – in other words, for a specific purpose. Nine out of ten digital shopping carts have simply been abandoned. The phenomenon of abandoned carts is strongest for interior decoration materials and weakest for food products. But even then, 75% of smartphone surfers don’t complete their order.
Remarkably, the Netherlands has the highest conversion rate of any country, even higher than the digitally mature countries of the UK and the US. About 3.3% of visitors buy something there. In general, the rate is 2.2%, in Belgium it is 2.1%. However, nearly 80% of Dutch people who buy via mobile abandon their cart, which is comparable to the situation of Belgians.
Only those who buy on the computer buy more emphatically: in this case, “only” 70% of orders are not honored. Today, however, 70% of visitors worldwide shop via smartphone, accounting for 60% of orders. In the Netherlands, the smartphone is becoming more and more established. Tablets, on the other hand, are negligible. In addition, 8% of online shoppers globally visit an online store through social media.