Tracking consumer inflow during Peak Season: Online shopping volumes spike, as consumers have a higher prioritization of online in December 2021

A new year, a new blog. As it’s almost mid-January 2022, Peak season 2021 is well behind us. What happened in December with online shopping volumes? Is December following the seasonal trend or are we seeing a complete 180 in the data? In which country was Santa’s Nice-list the longest when it comes to average monthly online purchases? And with the Omikron variant doing its round, how is that effecting our offline shopping?

Blog 92 will tell you all about it.

We reach a peak!

As we compare the graph of 2021 to 2020, we see some differences. They biggest one is definitely the continuous growth curve through Peak Season in 2020, vs the slow rise the months prior to December 2021.
Finally, Holiday month December 2021 shows a hockey-stick curve. The data shows us the positive changes in the average number of monthly online purchases per consumer. The Netherlands (+1), Germany (+.6), Norway (+.9) and the UK (+.8) have an increase in volumes. Santa’s Nice-list is the longest in the UK, as the online shoppers in the UK are leaders of the pack with on average a whopping 7 online purchases, compared to 6.2 in November and 4.9 all the way at the start of this Peak Season in September. The Germans come second: 5.6 purchases were made online, compared to 5 in November and 4.9 in September. The Dutch may be third in line but have the biggest increase: on average the Dutch completed a check out 5.2 times, compared to 4.2 in November and 4.1 in September. Norway takes fourth place with 4.1 online purchases. But compared to 3.2 purchases in November and 3 in September, still a steep increase.

This steep curve may seem spectacular and make up for the beginning of Peak Season 2021 in September, the numbers on e-commerce are still lower compared to 2020. The decline in being worried about personal health plays a part here. Omikron does not scare as much. People are getting used to the situation and lockdowns the pandemic puts us in, hence 2020 is the year of anomaly and 2021 a year with more normal growth in e-commerce.
In all countries (except for the UK, as we only started measuring September 2021) there is a visible drop measured in December 2021: from the Dutch respondents, 37% has health worries (vs 49% in 2020), in Germany 43% has worries (vs. 54% in 2020), from the Norwegians 33% worries compared to 38% the year before and in the UK the level of worries lies at 44%. Worrying less results a slower growth, as opposed to a higher health worry leads to a shift to online.

Consumers are still Loyal to online shopping and continues to grow

Online shopping does not lose any ground. There is even an increase in the online share of total spend in all countries. In December 2020, the Netherlands’ share of online spend measured 47%, this rises to 49% in December 2021. In Germany the online share of total spend hits 48% in 2021, which is a +1 percent point compared to 2020. Norwegian figures are also plussing and strike up 38% vs 36% in 2020. The UK measurement of (only) December 2021 hits the highest share with 57%.

Regardless of the online volumes, consumers become more loyal in 2021 to the online channel since 2020

The online share of total spend continues to grow. The UK leads the pack with 57%. Right behind are the Dutch (from 47% to 49%), the Germans (47% to 48%), followed by Norwegians (from 36% to 38%).

This Peak Season we also spend more Online vs Offline

The percentage of spend online increases throughout Peak Season for all countries, whereas the percentage for offline spending decreases. This means that consumers have a relatively higher prioritization for shopping online over offline in brick-and-mortar stores during this busy and festive time of the year.
All in all: Peak Season 2021 shows an increase in the volumes of shopping online. The average number of monthly online purchases may not be as high as 2020, Peak Season does live up to its name. Consumers buy more and more online, compared to offline.

2020 and 2021 have been a wild ride, but people are adjusting to the situation and worry less. Keen to know more about Peak Season 2021 and want to find out what February has in store for us? Stick with us as these are next on our blog’s agenda to research and discuss.