The business consultancy OC&C, through their Proposition Index 2012, has analysed the buying behaviour of consumers for the third time. 25,000 consumers in eight countries were asked about 580 commercial enterprises. The result: online- providers have a better understanding of consumers needs than stationary trade does.

The study analyses the elements of performance bonds and determines not only the consumer’s view of price setting, quality, choice, shopping experience and service but also the customer’s perception of the cost-performance ratio.

For the first time online- providers have a better position regarding the customer’s favour than the stationary trade has: online-providers achieved 73.8 points of a maximum value of 100 points – the stationary trade achieved 72.5. According to the study online- providers have a superior understanding of the customer’s needs, whereby they are able to enhance their choice and the consumer’s trust.

Moreover a central issue of the Proposition Index 2012 is that German consumers prefer buying online than buying in stationary trade.

Amazon achieved 90,2 of 100 index points. Number 2 is the drugstore dm (85.5 points). Five online- providers are among the top 20 retailers providing the best performance bond, while retailers such as MediaMarkt, Görtz and Esprit feel the market changes.

Multichannel is, according to OC&C the optimal solution. Customers are more satisfied if retailers provide an online platform as well as the stationary trade.

Of all industries the textile industry has seen the greatest number of changes. Young online concepts like Zalando, Asos and Mirapodo are the winners. Esprit and s.Oliver come off badly in terms of desirability, quality, choice, fashion grade and consumer’s trust. In terms of fashion grade Primark, Zalando and Asos win to the detriment of established retailers such as Zara and H&M.

Moreover the study shows that German consumers are more satisfied with the trade than 2011. However the consumer’s trust changes for the worse. “The macroeconomic situation, new players, changed strategies of leading retailers and increasing prices unsettle consumers”, says Christian Ziegfeld of OC&C Strateg Consultants.