Dotcom Distribution Annual Study of Online Shoppers Reveals Top Trends Shaping the Post-Pandemic eCommerce Landscape

Sustainability emerges as major driver of purchase decisions and brand affinity in annual eCommerce consumer study.

Edison, NJ, June 11, 2021 --( Dotcom Distribution has released its seventh annual eCommerce consumer study. Since 2015, the study has tracked how the prevailing behaviors, experiences and preferences of online shoppers nationwide are shaping the evolving eCommerce landscape. To ensure the latest research provided actionable insights during this unpredictable time, this year’s survey addressed not only the impact of the last year’s events to date, but identified lasting trends that will carry into the post-pandemic eCommerce reality. Sustainability emerged as a major driver of purchase decisions and brand affinity across all subject areas.

“The pandemic condensed what would have been years of growth and change for retail and eCommerce into weeks, requiring both sellers and consumers to adapt to the changing tides, and adopt new ways of operating,” said company founder and CEO Maria Haggerty. “Only time will tell what future online shopping behavior and spending will look like as the effects of widespread vaccination transpire, but the findings of this year’s study underscore how critical it is to tap into the evolving mindset of each unique customer profile. Doing so enables brands to anticipate their needs and deliver a convenient, positive, memorable online shopping experience that makes them feel heard, satisfied and eager for more.”

The study of 1,137 U.S. online shoppers focuses on purchase behavior, omnichannel, packaging, shipping, returns and sustainability, and takes a closer look at beauty and luxury consumers.

A new addition to this year’s study is the inclusion of commentary from some of today’s fastest growing online brands including Bliss, Commodity and Roller Rabbit, as well as several industry experts. Comments, featured throughout the study, comprise insights on the data collected, how the pandemic has impacted business and strategies, and how consumer data is being utilized to shape future business.

According to this latest research, here are 10 key factors shaping the future eCommerce landscape:

· Consumers are increasingly socially conscious: Fifty-three percent of respondents reported being more inclined to purchase from a business that supports initiatives surrounding diversity, racial, and social justice.

· Retail professionals are pandemic heroes: Sixty-six percent of online shoppers surveyed said retail professionals who worked in-person during the pandemic are heroes.

· Sustainability efforts help the planet while fostering brand affinity: Among packaging factors (e.g., free samples, gift-like packaging, personal messages), sustainable packaging is the factor most likely to compel online shoppers to be a return customer (42%). Likewise, among environmental factors (e.g., ethical sourcing, fuel-efficient transportation, product ingredients), sustainable packaging was reported as the most attractive feature (45%).

· Physical retail’s role is shifting, not shrinking: Seventy-eight percent of respondents reported adopting new cross-channel shopping options during the pandemic. Post-pandemic, 45% say they’ll continue utilizing curbside pick-up, and another 45% prefer the buy online, pick up/return in-store method.

· When it comes to new brand adoption, clothing is a comfort zone: During the pandemic, of the 65% of respondents who purchased items from companies they’d never shopped with before, 25% made clothing purchases. Seventy-three percent of those online clothing consumers plan to continue purchasing from those same brands post-pandemic.

· Free shipping outweighs fast shipping…by a lot: Seventy-three percent of respondents said they’d rather get free shipping and wait longer to receive an order than pay for faster shipping.

· Packaging preferences are consistent among online shoppers: Given the choice between
receiving an online order in a box or a poly bag, 82% of all respondents prefer boxes.

· Returns strategy significantly impacts customer satisfaction and loyalty: Fifty-five percent of respondents won’t shop with a company that doesn’t offer free returns. Eighty-six percent credit free returns as the return policy that makes them most likely to shop with a brand. Forty percent said Returnless Refunds make them want to shop with a brand again.

· Growth opportunities abound in beauty sector: Sixty-nine percent of consumers who made first-time purchases from a beauty brands during the pandemic plan to continue shopping with those brands.

· Luxury shoppers place more emphasis on environmental factors when making purchase decisions: Forty-nine percent of luxury shoppers reported making purchases from or subscribing to companies that support a circular economy, compared to 31% of non-luxury shoppers.

The full study can be downloaded for free at Interviews and quotes from Dotcom Distribution and contributing brands and experts are available upon request. For more information about Dotcom Distribution, visit

About Dotcom Distribution
Dotcom Distribution (Dotcom) is a premier provider of B2C and B2B fulfillment and distribution services. Located near New York City, Dotcom supports eCommerce, B2B, and multichannel solutions for growing brands. Having serviced 125+ clients during the past 20 years, Dotcom provides fulfillment, production, assembly, and kitting services for luxury and lifestyle brands in the beauty, fashion, and other specialty industries. Some of our past and current clients include names like Vineyard Vines, BirchBox, Kenneth Cole, DevaCurl, Bliss, SuperGoop!, NaturesPlus, and SiriusXM Radio.
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