Expanding on the recent Research Brief concerning the convenience of online shopping and store pick-up for the “aging” population, it’s coincidental that the recent UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study, by comScore, reports in more digital detail about consumers’ online shopping experiences. Respondents said they want more options in searching for items, checking out, enhanced security and alternate delivery locations, and reported on their preferred access to information about product research and product purchasing.
Online shoppers want retailers to make it easier to purchase their goods and services, says the comScore report. Consumers also want websites and stores to work better together. For now, they also prefer to evaluate and purchase products from their desktops rather than their mobile devices, and when it comes to shipping and returns, “free” is a driving factor to complete the sale.
Online Shoppers Preferred Method of Access to Multichannel Retailers (% US online shoppers with ≥ 2 online purchases in ≤ 30 days; June 2014)
Reason for Access
Online via Desktop or laptop
In physical store
Online via tablet
Online via smartphone
With catalog by phone or email
Source: UPS/comScore, June 2014
According to the comScore report, while smartphones play a big role in the online experience, online shoppers who use multiple devices said they would prefer to shop on a desktop computer over mobile, because larger and clearer images help them comparison shop. When shopping on mobile devices, 41% of respondents said they prefer a retailer’s full website vs. a mobile website (34%) or mobile app (25%).
Though retailers have had a hard time connecting social media to sales, the study shows that it does have an impact, as one-third of all shoppers, and one-half of Millennials, said purchase decisions are influenced by social media. Consumers also are likely to share their opinions on product and brands on social media. Satisfied shoppers who share their thoughts via social media are most likely to post on:
And, the demand for cross-channel convenience is becoming more prevalent for the savvy shopper, says the report. 40% of purchases are made crossing channels, whether searching in store and purchasing online or vice versa.
Free shipping continues to drive purchasing decisions; 58% have added items to their shopping carts to qualify for free shipping, and 83% are willing to wait an additional two days for delivery if shipping is free. More than one-half of online shoppers said they want to see the total purchase cost early in the checkout process, and the majority prefer seeing the expected arrival date rather than the number of days it will take for the product to arrive, says the report.
While 74% of consumers prefer most of their packages delivered to their home, there is a growing trend for alternate delivery options. 43% of shoppers in the survey were satisfied with the flexibility of changing delivery days or rerouting packages.
Derrick Johnson, UPS Vice President, Global Segments, says “… consumers demand more from their package delivery experience… today’s online shopper expects us to respond by creating solutions convenient for them…”
Consumers now expect free returns. 82% of respondents say they would complete the purchase if they could return the item to a store or have free return shipping. 66% said they view a retailer’s returns policy before making a purchase. The majority of shoppers want retailers to make it easy for them to return a purchase by including a label in the box.
The study is based on a survey administered by comScore of more than 5,800 U.S. online shoppers, and evaluates their habits from pre-purchase to post-delivery.
For more information, please visit comScore here.