Hamburg News: Trade and Finance. High-class shopping area in the city centre shown.
© / Sven Schwarze

Five key future shopping trends

Greater flexibility and mobility in future, analysis by Hamburg-based Otto Group finds. Young people still like classic shopping

Customers in the 21st century are complex and demanding and wish to be able to shop around the clock instead of only during shopping hours, an analysis by Hamburg’s Otto Group. has found. In 2000, only 4.4 per cent of people aged over 60 shopped online compared to 50.4 per cent in 2015*. Young people are, in contrast, increasingly going on conventional shopping sprees.

First trend towards constant mobility

Faster data connections, bigger displays and more powerful gadgets allow people to buy e.g. a stainless steel saucepan on the way to work, a sweatpants during the lunch break or a washing machine from the comfort of home in the evening. According to the analysis, more and more people worldwide are buying per smart phone. In Germany alone, 40 per cent of smart phone users use their phones for shopping including many older people.

Second trend towards more spontaneity

Every sixth online purchase is made along the lines of “Now, I’m going to treat myself” meaning shopping is impulsive. Many users shop per smart phone to pass time or to research a purchase e.g. on the underground or in a waiting room. Fashion apps are made to suit these needs and show users offers similar to those on social media and in a customized feed.

Third trend towards recommendations

Even in the digital age, many people still ask others for advice, for instance, about buying a drill, and turn to their friends on social media for recommendations. But the views of strangers are now playing a greater role as well. Around 72 per cent of online shoppers read customer ratings of products before making their purchase, the study found.

Fourth trend towards shopping personally

Around 56.5 per cent of online shoppers prefer personal, telephone contact with a customer adviser, if e.g. a T-shirt was delivered in the wrong size or a customer has a guarantee.

Fifth trend towards shopping locally

Inner cities were almost under threat of dying out as people turned their backs on shops. But now, more online customers are going on shopping sprees – to try on clothes or to test a couch for seating comfort.

Sources and further information:


The Otto Group has cited the following sources for its analysis:

  • ARD/ZDF-Online Study 2015
  • Mobile Effects Studie 2016 (BurdaForward)
  • Studie “E-Commerce 2015“ (OTTO/ECC Cologne)
  • Representative Survey 2015 (Bitkom Research)
More articles

  • There are no older articles in this category.
  • There are no newer articles in this category.