The popularity of e-commerce is on the rise in Europe, with approximately 35% of Hungarians saying they have never shopped as much online as in the last few weeks according to research by Mastercard.
In Europe as a whole, some 32% of respondents say they have bought books online during the coronavirus pandemic. The second and third most popular categories are hair care products (19%) and fitness equipment (13%).
Books are also the most popular among Hungarians (23%), followed by kitchen utensils (21%). According to the research, many of the surveyed have purchased hair dyes and IT equipment as well (12% both).
Approximately 30% of Europeans are spending more money on virtual entertainment than before. Nearly 58% of Europeans use streaming services to watch movies, 26% of them take part in online workout sessions, while 24% visit museums and other locations virtually.
Various forms of online entertainment are popular in Hungary too, with 40% of respondents saying they use streaming services. Virtual workouts (20%) and museum visits (15%) are nearly as popular as in Europe. Watching concerts (35%) and standup comedy shows (30%) online are also among the favorite forms of entertainment in Hungary.
Some 28% of Europeans say that they have donated to the charity of their choice online, with 14% doing so for the first time ever. However, online donations are somewhat less popular in Hungary, with only 18% of respondents answering that they have made a donation in the last few weeks, with 7% doing so for the first time.
People across Europe also use the extra time they spend at home to learn new online skills: 37% of respondents started banking online, more than 28% are trying to learn how online healthcare and ordering medicines work, and 31% of them are learning how to cook with the help of an instructor.
In Hungary, 39% say they have started online banking for the first time, while 25% are learning how to cook. The third most popular activity in the country is studying online, with about one in five respondents looking for an opportunity to do so.
According to Mastercardʼs findings, oneʼs shopping habits are likely to remain unchanged when looking at products online. About 81% of Europeans and 83% of Hungarians who are normally on the lookout for special discounts in real-life stores say that they continue to do so online as well. About 51% of new online shoppers in Europe remain loyal to their favorite real-life stores even online. In Hungary, this rate is even higher at 65%.
Some 65% of Europeans and 59% of Hungarians are afraid of being scammed online. In order to ensure the security of online transactions, approximately 81% of Europeans and 84% of Hungarians only purchase products by sellers they already know. In addition, 80% of Europeans and 85% of Hungarians also check customer feedback. Circa 31% of Europeans contact new or unknown sellers, while 33% of Hungarians do so.
"We are all adjusting to a new way of living and are understandably shopping more online, though it’s not just for essentials but for virtual experiences ranging from films to fitness too," says Mark Barnett, president of Mastercard Europe.
"Tough times can bring out the best in us and we can take comfort and heart from the increases in people donating online and the huge numbers of people learning new ways to manage their day-to-day lives online. Now more than ever people need access to the digital economy," he adds.