May Outlook / European shoppers all plan to buy something different in May: The Dutch get ready for Summer, Germans dine, Norwegians travel and UK plans BBQ’s and picnics.

AfterPay Insights’ monthly forecasts are back with this May outlook for e-commerce in the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and the UK. Do Dutch, German, Norwegian and British consumers intend to increase or decrease their shopping in May? What does this mean for e-commerce growth in May? And which categories can we expect to grow or decline from both the online and offline perspectives?

Our results show not the same increase in April’s volumes as previous years, and so it looks like consumers intend to decrease their overall purchases in May. And compared to our earlier monthly projections, consumers’ intentions to do so less sunny in May.

However, we do have a positive take out. We see no to little fluctuations, as the numbers regarding the product categories are stable. That means both behavior and attitude are not changing drastically throughout the months, which confirms the tracker provides good data. Go us!

Ready to find out about country specifics? Trust us, there are a few this month. So, keep reading.

It’s Fashion forward for the Dutch shoppers

Similar to last month: it is Fashion o’clock for shoppers in the Netherlands. This category is the absolute biggest in the lower country. We expect an increase for the month of May. We can expect 40% increase in the online realm and 60% offline for this dominant category.
Fashion is a big category on its own already. But when we add the Cosmetics category to it, then it is an even bigger share in purchases. Fashion (28%) and Cosmetics (11%) make up for a total of 38%.

Another positive prediction is for Travel/Tickets/Transport. This category reaps the rewards of springtime, sunshine, and the end of a health crisis. Our best guess? The Dutch are getting ready for fun in the sun, while wearing their new summery fashion.

Other than the increases mentioned above, there are no changes in the category landscape. The average of Dutch online purchases remains stable. Both April and March see an average of 4.1 online purchases.

Germany starts to follow the UK in their category popularity

Food and Groceries see the highest growth in May, even surpassing the Fashion category. German shoppers plan to buy more Food and Groceries, but mostly offline. The health trend in Food/Groceries also carries over to the Health Products, as we see a minor growth in this category, too, both online and offline.

Fashion is clearly not the solo ruler of the German categories anymore. Combining the ever-strong Fashion and Cosmetics, results in a share of 32% in April. The total Food/Health Products now make up for 31% in April. We are curious to see what will happen in the coming months. Will the Food/Health Products overtake Fashion/Cosmetics? Maybe!

Other noteworthy, however smaller, growths are the increases in the typical springtime categories. These are in the Toys (9% in April), Garden (4% in April), and Hardware areas (6% in April).

The average of German online purchases drops down in April, reaching the average of 5.2, compared to 4.6 in March.

Norwegians are dreaming of holiday destinations and travel
Travel and Transport are growing in the country of fjords and lakes. This category is seeing the overall highest growth. The increase of this taking place both online and offline. Along with tickets there seems to be an urge to get out and about in May for the Norwegians.

Fashion is the May-month runner up. Of the increase we expect the category to take on is happening a little more offline (60%) than online (40%). The April share for Fashion/Cosmetics stays put at 31% of the total categories.

Overall, there seems to be a slight negative trend in most of the categories, possibly because of the shift to Travel/Transport. The average of Norwegian online purchases does go up in April, reaching the average of 3.2, compared to 3.0 in March.

UK’s Food and Groceries purchases remain high
A whopping 45% of all UK shoppers will make at least one purchase in the Food and Groceries category. Looking even deeper and separating Food from the rest, tells us that this solo area makes up for 27% (in April, and 30% in March) of purchases. This is huge, and the reason why the category is so sensitive to growth.

A solid second place is for Fashion/Cosmetics. This combined category is good for a share of 32%. Other increases are Ticket/Travel (9% in April) and Household/Home Improvement (21% in April), similar to the German shares of online purchases in springtime.

Furthermore, there are no significant decreases visible in the month of May in the UK. However, on the contrary, the average of monthly purchases does drop from 5.7 in March to 5.4 in April.

What’s next
Who are the shoppers that actively seek for a Buy Now Pay Later-payments option? Who prefer BNPL over Split Payments? And what are potential different areas that could or even should implement a BNPL option, according to consumers?
In next week’s blog we dive into these burning BNPL questions. So stay tuned!