March 5, 2014

Online shoppers demand more as eCommerce spending increases

Mississauga--comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, and UPS Canada recently completed a survey of Canadian consumer online shopping habits which could impact your back office strategy. The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™: A Customer Experience Study contains key consumer insights into elements of the online shopping experience that drive brand preference, customer loyalty and word-of-mouth recommendations.

The study, conducted by comScore found online shoppers are increasingly demanding more from retailers. Consumers want more information at the start of the online experience, more options during checkout and delivery, and more channels for interacting with their favourite retailers. A seamless returns process, free shipping and social and mobile access were rated among the most important needs of today's online shopper.

"This study highlights the critical three Cs of today's retail online customer experience – channels, choices and convenience," said Nicolas Dorget, vice president of customer solutions, UPS Canada. "Retailers can win shoppers over by providing a consistent and positive omnichannel experience. From mobile apps to social media platforms, today's consumers value – and even expect – services to work together across the entire shopping continuum from pre-purchase to post-purchase."

"With more and more device options for staying connected to their favourite brands, retailers have a growing number of touch points through which to reach consumers," said Susan Engleson, senior director at comScore. "Retailers that customize shopping experiences so that these experiences align with how customers use different devices and platforms have a real opportunity to build brand loyalty and drive sales."

Shoppers demonstrated a preference for retailers that deliver an integrated and value-added experience across all channels, including in-store, online and via mobile devices.

The single most important factor, cited by 65% of respondents, was the ability to buy online and make returns in-store, while the second most important factor is availability of in-store pickup (49%). Nearly 30% of shoppers want to be able to purchase in-store with their mobile device and want a mobile application for their smartphones. Nearly half of consumers using a retailer's mobile app are less likely to comparison shop when using an app versus a browser.

Shoppers also indicated that they want more control over their online shopping experience. Having access to multiple options with regards to shipping and delivery policies was proven to lead to a decrease in cart abandonment upon checkout.

Nearly 90% of online shoppers indicated they have placed items in their shopping carts and left the site without making a purchase. Online consumers indicated that communicating shipping costs and delivery times early in the online shopping experience can help alleviate cart abandonment. More than three quarters of online shoppers said yhey have added items to their shopping carts in order to qualify for free shipping, suggesting that retailers' minimum spending thresholds for free shipping are effective at inducing consumers to spend more.

Simple return policies drive satisfaction and repeat business, according to the study; therefore, having a seamless returns process is essential.

Nearly 50% have returned a product purchased online. Sixty-five per cent of consumers will shop more with a retailer if they offer a hassle-free returns policy.

The study evaluates consumer shopping habits from pre-purchase to post-delivery and is based on a comScore survey of more than 1,000 Canadian online shoppers. The global study is based on a comScore survey of more than 14,000 frequent online shoppers in the U.S., Europe (Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and the UK), Asia (China, Hong Kong, Singapore), Australia, Mexico and Canada. Click on this animated map to learn more about each region.



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