’s newly created trend research laboratory, Survey Lab, has released the results of their first study, carried out in collaboration with the market research institution ExactEtudes.

For their first study Online Shopping Trends in Europe, the Survey Lab and ExactEtudes interviewed more than 8,000 members to analyze the consumer behavior of European online-shoppers. German, French, Italian and Spanish members commented on their shopping preferences and gave answers to questions like, “How big of a role does the Internet play in your life?” or “Does shopping online prevent you from shopping in stores?”

65% of the interviewees reported going online during the evening hours (after dinner) while 98% said they use the Internet for communication reasons, 98% for shopping, 96% for information and 58% for entertainment. The study also helped point out the differences and similarities among the shopping behaviors from country to country and showed that Germans are by far the most frequent online shoppers amongst the surveyed nationalities. While the Germans and French stated that they use the Internet for research in order to make well-thought-out purchases, the Italians and Spanish reported mainly using it for entertainment reasons. The French and Spanish rely on the Internet to carry out practical, everyday activities.

The survey illustrated that the consumer’s decision to shop on- or offline often depends on the kind of product he or she is looking to buy. For instance, German online shoppers often buy books, trips, electrical goods and CDs online, while they prefer to buy cosmetics, perfume and drugstore items in-store. Clothing is purchased both ways; online and in stationary retail. Germans are also the most frequent mobile shoppers with 24% using their smart phones or tablets for shopping activities compared to 18% when it comes to other European online shoppers.

When the Europeans buy clothes online, the purchases tend to be mainly shirts, tops and t-shirts (74%). Pants and jeans rank second with a frequency of 54% and underwear comes in third with 44%. The most crucial factor in the buying decision is the price-performance ratio, followed by price and brand. Find the complete study here.