Posti’s survey: E-commerce is growing after the COVID-19 pandemic

E-commerce is growing after the COVID-19 pandemic – free delivery, print advertising and sales campaigns attract attention. The growth of e-commerce continues after the COVID-19 pandemic. Stores’ own sales campaigns are considered interesting, traditional advertising has a good visibility and free delivery encourages consumers to buy more. Buying online is not believed to burden the environment more than shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, but many find it difficult to assess the sustainability of deliveries. These results come from Kantar TNS’s 2022 online shopping survey commissioned by Posti, which was now conducted for the fifth time. This year, the target group for the survey was active online shoppers and online stores.

E-commerce is growing, familiar categories are still at the top

According to Tommi Kässi, Vice President at Posti, the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic has not reduced the popularity of e-commerce – quite the contrary.

“E-commerce continues to grow. 37% of buyers have increased their online purchases in the last six months. Stores welcome the growth, too: the share of e-commerce in net sales is expected to grow over the next six months. Already 44% of stores say that more than 70% of their net sales comes from online purchases,” Tommi Kässi says. 

Familiar product categories are still the most popular. Clothing, shoes and accessories (68%), home electronics (44%) and food (40%) are frequently bought online.

Stores use digital channels and own sales campaigns for marketing

The majority of online stores (92%) make use of digital advertising. The next most popular marketing channel is the newspaper (36%). 

“Stores invest in digital channels, but they also have the most competition. Using a traditional marketing channel may be a way to stand out from the crowd. 55% of online shoppers have at least searched for information about a product or considered a purchase due to print advertising,” Tommi Kässi says.

Online store apps have found their way onto consumers’ phones: almost half of buyers (41%) have installed at least one online store app on their phone, some more.

When it comes to sales seasons, buyers are more interested in stores’ own sales campaigns (66%) than in general seasons such as Black Friday (53%). Stores also give priority to their own campaigns.

Free delivery increases the number of purchases

Almost all online shoppers (90%) have added more items to their shopping cart to get free delivery. 60% of online stores state that they offer cheaper delivery when a certain purchase value is exceeded.

The most popular delivery method is still a parcel locker, which 90% of buyers have used. The popularity of home delivery increased during the pandemic and still continues to rise, and 24% say they have increased its use in the last six months.
55% of buyers want to choose the transport company at the checkout. Most online stores offer at least two options to choose from.

Transport companies still have work to do in sustainability reporting

Buyers do not believe that buying online is more burdensome for the environment than shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. Their main concern about the environmental impacts of purchasing is poor product quality or disposability (54%).
A little over one-third (39%) of buyers take environmental friendliness into account when choosing the delivery method. However, 62% do not know which transport company they consider to be the most environmentally friendly. Posti receives the most mentions.

Transport companies still have work to do in sustainability reporting. There are many different terms in use and they can be difficult to interpret. I recommend consulting third-party reviews. For example, EcoVadis, which carries out sustainability ratings for companies, ranked Posti among the top 1% in the world,” says Noomi Jägerhorn, Sustainability Director at Posti.

“International commitments are also important. In climate work, the Science Based Targets climate initiative is the most prestigious."

So far, artificial intelligence and automation are used little

71% of online stores consider artificial intelligence a future success factor. However, only a small number of stores is currently using it. 

Only 7% of online stores use warehouse automation. 13% have outsourced their own warehouse, and 10% are currently considering outsourcing. 

The data for the survey was collected by TNS Kantar in May–June 2022. The survey was carried out for the fifth time, and this time its content was revised. The target group consisted of consumers making online purchases at least once a month (2,083 respondents) and online retailers (300 respondents).

Download the results of the survey