Online Shoppers Want More Flexibility and Free Delivery

Online Shoppers Want More Flexibility and Free Delivery

Online shoppers have high demands these days.

They want the ability to search and shop on multiple channels and devices, expect to see alternate delivery and payment options, and when it comes to shipping and returns, “free”  is what they prefer.

These trends hold in both the U.S. and around the world according to a new study, UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Global Study

“Consumers demand more from their package delivery experience, and today’s online shopper expects us to respond by creating solutions that are convenient for them,” said Alan Gershenhorn, UPS chief commercial officer.

American online shoppers are open to new trends on social media and in-store technologies, making more purchases on tablets than any other market. Free shipping continues to drive purchasing decisions as 58% of online shoppers reported adding items to their shopping cart in order to qualify for the incentive. Further, 83% are willing to wait an additional 2 days for delivery if shipping is free, and 68% said free returns shipping is needed to complete a sale. Only 44% of online shoppers said they were satisfied with the flexibility of changing delivery days or rerouting packages.

In Asia, 45% of respondents said they would prefer to have their online order delivered to locations other than their home. When not at home to sign for a package, 33% said they want their items shipped to a local retail location authorized to hold the package for pickup at their convenience. Asian shoppers are avid technology users and the least patient with 27% expecting same-day delivery and 48% expecting next-day shipping to be offered by retailers, the highest of any market.

Brazilian consumers are the most advanced and social in their online shopping habits. More than half (56%) of their purchases are made online, the highest of any market, and 64% said they are influenced by reviews or posts on social media to help decide which products to purchase. However, they experience barriers to shopping on a mobile device: 39% said they can’t get a clear or large product image, 31% said they cannot easily view product information, and 34% said it is hard to compare products. Over a third (38%) of online shoppers in Brazil are willing to wait 11 days or more for their international orders in order to qualify for free shipping.

European online shoppers are gradually embracing emerging technologies. They make the fewest purchases on a smartphone (19%) compared to the other four markets and less than half (40%) use retailer mobile apps. They make more in-store purchases (54%) than they do online, and while shopping in a store, 61% prefer to check out with an associate. In response to delivery questions, 52% said they prefer seeing the expected arrival date rather than the number of days it will take for the item to arrive. 

Mexican online shoppers reflect both the old and new retail landscape. They make the highest percentage of in-store purchases, and cite fraud-related delivery issues as a primary concern. However, they do use mobile technology – 43% reported using their smartphones to research products before visiting a store. And in order to receive items the same day, 60% said they want the ability to purchase items in a store window. Only 35% have returned an online purchase, the least of any market.

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