How the purchase decision-making process in mature versus growing ecommerce markets changed due to the forced e-commerce adoption caused by COVID-19 : a comparison between German and Greek consumers

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes in the way consumers operate. Strict lockdowns all over the world have forced consumers to adopt online shopping and reevaluate their entire perception of e-commerce and the role it plays in their lives. This study aims to see how the consumer decision-making process has changed for mature and growing e-commerce markets due to the forced need to shop online, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the consequently enforced lockdowns. The focus of the study is on consumers from Germany and Greece, two countries that have had differing ecommerce characteristics and digital adoption backgrounds and that have been affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and enforced lockdowns. The study takes a quantitative approach, with an online survey being conducted with 160 German and 143 Greek consumers as respondents. The study compared their shopping habits both before and after the outbreak of COVID-19. The results show that the respondents from both countries have changed their behavior to shop online more. The Greek respondents have been affected more in their decision-making process by the COVID-19 pandemic than the Germans. They have also changed their behavior to a higher degree, making the gap in e-commerce maturity between the countries smaller. The study contributes to the existing knowledge by showing that the same measures in two countries have a different effect depending on the e-commerce maturity.

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