Mobile phone use and sustainable purchasing: the new practices of online shoppers

Press release
Fourth quarter 2019
To coincide with the publication of the review of e-commerce in France during Q4 of 2019, Médiamétrie, in partnership with FEVAD, asked online shoppers how they had made their online purchases in the previous 12 months.
 
Jamila Yahia-Messaoud, Director of Médiamétrie’s Consumer Insights Department sought to emphasise: “Although e-commerce is already well-established in France with over 40.1 million online shoppers, there are two emerging trends of note that are going to radically alter online buying practices: the increasing use of mobile phones and more sustainable buying.”
 
 According to Marc Lolivier, Executive Director of FEVAD: “Online shoppers are moving through an ecological transition. They are carefully choosing what to purchase and which websites to buy from. 53% of them said that they consider the environment when buying online and 45% had already bought a circular economy* product online.”
 

Mobile phone: before, during and after shopping online

By Q4 of 2019, 4 out of 10 online shoppers had made purchases on the internet via their mobile phone during the year. This practice was rooted in all stages of the purchasing process: 81% of online shoppers who own a mobile said they used it regularly to plan their purchase, whether they went on to buy on the web or in store (e.g. for product price comparison, research, point of sale information, etc.).

Similarly, 8 out of 10 of these shoppers had already tracked the delivery of their order via their smartphone and 64% did so frequently.

Which online shoppers are using mobile?

Using a mobile phone for online shopping is more widespread among the youngest age groups in the population. Online shoppers aged 25 to 34 were the leading age group with almost two-thirds of them (63%) using their mobile for this purpose. Women were more likely to shop via mobile than men: 46% of women who shop online (compared to 35% of men).

Lastly, almost everyone who shopped via their mobile (97%) stated that they made their online purchases whilst they were at a fixed location (at home or at work).

More than half of online shoppers are influenced by sustainability concerns

In addition to the increasing use of mobile phones by online shoppers, another trend was confirmed in Q4 of 2019. In a reflection of current affairs, sustainability concerns are indeed beginning to permeate through to the online shopping habits of internet citizens. Accordingly, 53% of online shoppers who had made a purchase online during the previous 12 months stated that they took environmental, sustainability or ethical issues into consideration as part of their online consumer behaviour. Consolidating orders so as to minimise the number of deliveries; purchasing primarily from French websites; choosing a delivery option to a collection point: these were some of the ethical practices employed by online shoppers. This was even truer for younger people aged 18-34 years old: 6 out of 10 of them asserted that they were influenced by these considerations.

Finally, almost all online shoppers (94%) stated that they were prepared to sort or reuse the packaging from their orders so as to reduce the environmental footprint of e-commerce.

Spotlight on circular economy goods

In 2019, 45% of online shoppers had already purchased a product online that was from the circular economy. This buyer enthusiasm was mainly conveyed through three types of purchase: second-hand goods (66%), refurbished goods (38%) and recycled goods (22%). Although online shoppers often cited budget as their motivation for making a consumer purchase from the circular economy, the environment was the predominant factor for recycled goods.

Jamila Yahia Messaoud concluded: “Even though sustainable online shopping already appeals to many web users, there is still significant room for growth given that social trends are increasingly moving in that direction.”

*Circular economy: economic system based on frugality, reduced consumption, and the recycling of materials or services.

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