Online shopping during lockdown. E-commerce research in Lithuania and Latvia
Gemius has conducted the E-commerce study 2020 on internet users online shopping habits in Latvia and Lithuania. It revealed that the better price in online stores than in traditional ones is the most important motivation for online shopping in both neighboring countries. However, while buyers in Latvia indicated the possibility to compare the prices of products and services as one of the main factors, Lithuanian respondents are motivated by home delivery.
This year the gemiusAdHoc research was conducted in two rounds, in Februrary and in April 2020. The aim was to find out how the online shopping habits of internet users in the Baltic countries has differed before and during the lockdown. The respondents were asked what does motivate them to make online shopping. Both Latvian and Lithuanian internet users admitted that better prices in online shops than in traditional stores is the most important factor for them. This answer was indicated by 71 percent of respondents in Latvia and 67 percent of respondents in Lithuania. Other significant reasons for Latvians that encourage them to online purchase, were 24 hour access to the e-commerce (64 percent) and the possibility to easily compare products or services (61 percent). In comparison, for Lithuanian internet users the discounts and special offers (55 percent) and home delivery (54 percent) were among the most important motivators to make online shopping.
It is worth to note that the main problems, that respondents in both countries faced during online shopping, are the same. As the biggest issues Latvians and Lithuanians indicated too long and too expensive delivery as well as the situation when the received product didn't meet their expectations.
Similarities were also observed in the rankings of the most popular foreign e-commerce sites. In both countries the first position is taken by aliexpress.com, followed by ebay.com in Latvia and amazon.com in Lithuania. In the fourth and fifth positions in both countries equally popular are sites wish.com and asos.com.
A repeated study in April this year looked at the effects of the Covid-19 virus on shopping habits in both neighboring countries. When asked whether they had made purchases online during the quarantine, 46 percent of respondents in Latvia and 52 percent of Lithuanian survey participants answered in the affirmative. 37 percent of surveyed Latvian internet users stated that they didn’t make any online purchase during lockdown but they plan to make it in the future, while in Lithuania 26 percent of respondents considered such option. 17 percent of the surveyed participants in Latvia and 22 percent of respondents in Lithuania did not make any online purchase during the quarantine and they don't plan to do it later.
If it comes to preferred payment methods before and during quarantine, we can observe some predictable changes. In Latvia the percentage of cash payments dropped dramatically during the lockdown – over three times, form 45 percent to 14 percent. In Lithuania, on the other hand, payments at the receiving parcel point decreased by 7 percentage points. During the lockdown, Lithuanian internet users were more willing to pay by bank transfer (63 percent) than it was before (55 percent). This tendency was not noticed in Latvia where the percentage of users that chose bank transfers had been higher before the quarantine started.
In both coutries, respondents most often used computers for online shopping (91 percent of Latvians and 89 percent of Lithuanians). The bigger percentage of use mobile phone to make virtual purchase was noted in Lithuania – 61 percent while 54 percent in Latvia. Tablet usage was at the same level on the both markets and was equal to 12 percent. Smart TV was the chocie of 4 percent of survey participants in Lithuania and only one percent in Latvia.
The study was conducted using a specialized internet survey – gemiusAdHoc. The research is based on data obtained with the help of online questionnaires, which were displayed to randomly selected internet users on the most popular websites in Latvia and Lithuania. The survey was conducted in two rounds. In Latvia 2813 respondents was interviewed in February and 1769 respondents in April, during the lockdown. The respondents were aged from 18 to 74 years. In Lithuania 3805 respondents were surveyed in February and 2192 in April, during the quarantine. The participants in the study were aged between 15 and 74.