DHL: More quality of life with e-commerce

  • Deutsche Post DHL study “Shopping 4.0” reveals 44% of online shoppers see an improvement in their quality of life
  • One-third of the respondents in Germany made two to three online purchases in the last six months.

Bonn/Berlin, 02/10/2012, 09:15 AM CET

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“Shopping 4.0”: E-commerce simplifies life and significantly improves quality of life.

E-commerce simplifies life and significantly improves quality of life. This is the key outcome of “Shopping 4.0,” a recent study conducted by Deutsche Post DHL. The study looked at the impact of e-commerce on individuals’ quality of life as well as their purchasing behavior. The representative study was conducted in cooperation with TNS Infratest and the Market Research Service Center (MRSC) at Deutsche Post. The market researchers surveyed 1,800 people in those three countries.

Results of the study found the following: E-commerce is beneficial and provides added value. Of the online shoppers in Germany, 44% see improvements in their quality of life. Reasons stated were online shopping is more fun (41%), less stressful (63%) and allows them to better manage their time (81%). Social relevance is valued much more here than personal relevance. Of the respondents, 75% are certain that online shopping has a positive impact on quality of life for those who have only limited access to brick-and-mortar retail establishments

Increasing numbers of people are using this convenient alternative

Besides the purely practical advantages, web shopping is also perceived as being an emotional experience. Two-thirds of those surveyed look forward to their package being delivered. Over 50% of respondents said the experience was akin to “receiving a gift,” and that they experience an emotional high when their online purchase is delivered.

Hence, streamlined, simple processes for the shopper such as terms of delivery and return policies play a key role in customer satisfaction.

“The core finding of the study is that e-commerce has become part of mainstream society. Increasing numbers of people of all ages are using this convenient alternative to the stressful obstacle course of physical shopping. E-commerce is simplifying our professional and our personal lives. As Europe’s largest postal service and the market leader in Germany’s mail and parcel market, our top quality services are causing e-commerce in its current form to flourish. However, e-commerce has to be convenient for everyone involved – both for sellers and for buyers. For us, the result is a clear mandate from our customers: We need to guide our customers in the digital world as well and enable them to have convenient and safe access to the internet. We want to create a better quality of life for millions of people regardless of age, income or place of residence. In short, we offer security and couple it with ease of use and speed,” emphasizes Jürgen Gerdes, member of the Management Board and responsible for the MAIL Division at Deutsche Post DHL.

Flexibility represents a significant boost for the e-commerce sector

With services such as online tracking, returns for parcel shipments, and day- and location-definite delivery, Deutsche Post DHL ensures that customer satisfaction and the “fun factor” associated with online shopping, is increased.  The most prominent example of this is the Packstation.  One-fourth of the online shoppers surveyed for the study are already registered DHL Packstation customers.

More than 2,500 Packstations are available throughout Germany and serve approx. 2,5 million DHL customers. Customers can use the Packstations to pick up or send packages any time of day or night. For 57% of those surveyed this flexibility was the deciding factor in choosing DPDHL. This increased flexibility also represents a significant boost for the e-commerce sector. One-third of respondents reported an increase in their online shopping activities and almost all registered users would recommend the service.

The study also asked about the potential social and societal consequences of e-commerce. For example, will the increase in online business cause shoppers to abandon pedestrian zones and department stores? More than 70% of respondents did not consider this a threat. For everyday necessities, online shopping will continue to increase, and for more and more businesses-especially smaller businesses-the internet will become an additional sales channel that will help to secure their livelihood.

Thus, internet shopping will become a matter of course for an increasing number of people. One-third of the respondents in Germany reported making two to three online purchases in the last six months. In Austria and Switzerland, the percentage was 25%. “The internet is even more essential for conducting research for things such as pricing information or for comparing products. For consumers, this is bringing about a new sense of confidence,” explains Dirk Steffen, Director of Market Research at TNS. According to the recent Deutsche Post Study, 75% of all online users and online shoppers conduct internet research-and they do so at least once a week.


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