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21 Jan, 2012

New Breed of European Shoppers Outpacing U.S. in Use of Technology

LONDON, January 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –A new breed of ‘Xtreme shoppers’ has been identified, amongst whom the European ones are outpacing their American counterparts when it comes to use of technology for shopping.

Over nine out of ten European Xtreme shoppers (95 per cent) like to research products online, compared to just over six out of ten of the American Xtreme shoppers (66 per cent). This is despite a higher percentage of the US shoppers agreeing that shopping online is more efficient (90 per cent and 80 per cent respectively).

These are the findings of a recent study by GfK into the Future of Shopper Marketing, which was carried out across the France, Germany, Poland, Russia, Spain, the UK and the USA. Download the study free here.

Alison Chaltas at GfK explains, “Xtreme shoppers are a new segment of consumers defined by their specific shopping attitudes and behaviours across all demographic groups. They are present across all seven of the countries in this study, accounting for over two out of five of the European consumers, and just under that in the US. More importantly, they appear to be a rapidly expanding segment that is largely made up of 25-44 year olds in full time employment – a prime target group for many retailers.”

Born out of the combination of a belt-tightening economy and readily available technology, Xtreme shoppers show increasing levels of value-oriented shopping behaviour. The European ones are currently leading the way in use of the internet for researching and buying products, with three-quarters saying they are using the internet more than before to research products (75 per cent), compared to just over two-thirds of US Xtremes (68 per cent).

Direct buying over the web is also increasing amongst this segment – with the European contingent leading the way here too, with seven out of ten using the internet more than before to shop for products (70 per cent). In Poland and the UK, in particular, three quarters or more Xtremes are increasing their use of the internet to purchase products, while the US tails the chart alongside Spain at 62 per cent – but well ahead of Germany at 52 per cent.

Chaltas states, “There is clear indication that the trends we are seeing are set to rise, with the Xtreme shopper segment increasingly adopting their mobile phones and tablets to help them shop. This is especially strong in Russia and Spain, where a third of shoppers are using their mobiles more than ever to shop.

“Of course, the down side to all this internet shopping is that competition is extreme. Over three quarters of European Xtreme shoppers and two thirds of US ones say they are less loyal to any one retailer because they need to shop around for value. Retailers therefore need to find a way to reward loyal customers that will resonate with their current needs – a statement that nearly nine out of ten of all shoppers surveyed agreed with.”