As more U.S. consumers buy products online more frequently, it only takes one bad experience to lose a customer -- especially during the holidays. In fact, the findings from a recent study suggests that more people, between 20% and 30%, shop online weekly, even daily.
The 2018 Pitney Bowes Global Ecommerce Study is based on surveys of more than 13,000 consumers in 12 markets, combined with surveys of more than 650 retailers in the U.S., UK and Australia. The results of the report are intended to help guide retailers and marketplaces in their investments
The study reveals that 47% of millennials shop online daily or weekly, followed by 46% of consumers with children in the household, 36% of men, 28% of the Gen X generation, and 25% of women. Households without children, 23%, only shop online daily or weekly. Boomers at 18% are the least likely to shop online daily or weekly.
Recent data suggests that 36% of consumers will shop elsewhere after one poor experience. Retailers and brands are more strongly impacted than marketplaces.
Not only do they say they will never shop at that retailer again, but 60% of millennials either share their bad post-purchase experience with friends, write a complaint, post on social media, or leave a negative review.
More than half -- 60% -- of the consumers in each category who participated in the Pitney Bowes study shop with online marketplaces. For example, men at 62% -- compared with women at 59% -- shop at online marketplaces. The Northeast and the West also tend to shop more -- with a percentage of 62% -- at online marketplaces like Amazon.
Overall, some 46% of consumers are brand-conscious shoppers. These shoppers --at 26% -- typically shop from online retailers and brands, whereas 20% purchase from online marketplaces. About 61% know the brand they want for their online purchases, and of those 15% know the brand but not the product.
Consumers without an affinity for any specific brand are different. About 23% know the product but not the brand, and 16% have no idea what they want to buy. About 7% of consumers who know the product but not the brand purchase from online retailers and brands and 15% from online marketplaces.
Shipping is one area that retailers can really improve on during the holidays. Some 56% of consumers feel let down during the holidays after experiencing an issue. They say that either the shipment arrived late (15%) shopping is too expensive (12%); the package had the wrong address or got lost in the mail (7%); there was inaccurate tracking information (6%); the wrong item shipped (6%); the return policy was not clear (4%); the gift item was poorly packaged (4%); and other (2%).
The findings detail areas from purchases and shipping to return policies.