Cyber Monday may unsurprisingly be the busiest ecommerce shipping day of the year across the EU, but research shows that there are several mini-ecommerce peaks across the run up to Christmas – with different countries demanding different things from online retail.
A study into the online shopping habits of consumers in The Netherlands, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK carried out by Sendcloud finds that Cyber Monday was by far the busiest retail day of 2021 across all countries, where parcel volumes were 325% compared to average levels – beating the parcel volume in the lead up to Christmas last year.
The top five busiest days of the year for carriers were also in the run up to Christmas: 29 November, 20 December, 13 December, 6 December and 22 November – all of which were Mondays where consumers tend to shop online over the weekend and when most fulfilment centres are processing orders.
The data also highlighted national shopping habits. The Germans, for example, seem to be most in favour of a spot of online retail therapy with an average of 27 parcels per person being ordered, compared to 24 in the Netherlands and 22 in France.
Speed is a top priority for the Dutch as same day delivery was favoured most in The Netherlands, increasing in popularity by 68% during 2021.
Convenience was most loved by The French, who prefer pick up points to receive their deliveries – growing by more than 13% in 2021.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to parcel delivery and want to decide where, when and how a parcel is delivered. Despite increasing parcel volumes, parcel delivery companies have managed to handle this well in 2021,” says Rob van den Heuvel, co-founder and CEO at Sendcloud. “At the same time, we see the demand for flexible delivery options, such as same day delivery, increasing and we expect this to continue in the coming years. It is therefore a godsend for online stores to respond to the demand for flexible delivery by offering more options.”
He continues: “Retailers that jump on this and other trends can use this to their advantage, however, as delivery is becoming a bigger and bigger attraction in the online shopping experience it is a key reason why consumers choose to shop at certain retailers.”
van den Heuvel concludes: “Ultimately, however, retailers need to look at what delivery services best match their customer needs. If pickups and lockers are popular in France, then that needs to be put into consideration as maybe they don’t have that same level of expectation that you might see from other countries. Retailers should focus on offering customisable and tailored options that give their customers a reason to keep coming back.”