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UPS study: Online consumers want omni-channel convenience, positive shipping experience

Sandy Springs, Ga. -- Online consumers in the United States are motivated by the ability to conduct transactions across multiple channels with convenience and positive shipping experiences. These are two of the key findings of a new study from UPS and comScore, “Pulse of the Online Shopper.”

The study of more than 3,000 online U.S. shoppers conducted in February 2013 reveals that overall customer satisfaction with e-commerce is high at 83%. Ease of checkout (81%) and variety of brands and products offered (80%) are among the specific areas of e-commerce with which consumers are most satisfied, while satisfaction rates are much lower for ability to choose a specific day for delivery and flexibility to reroute packages (44% each) and green/environmentally friendly shipping (43%).

Shipping is also a dominant theme in driving customer recommendations of online retailers. A leading 68% of respondents have made a positive recommendation of an online retailer based on shipping experience, while the leading drivers of negative recommendations were shipping costs too high based on product price (59%) and expected delivery date (45%) and products arriving damaged due to shipping/packaging (43%).

Looking at aspects driving likelihood for a customer to shop with a particular retailer. The study finds omni-channel convenience issues such as the ability to buy products online and return them at the store (62%), push of location-based coupons to smartphones (47%), ability to pick up online purchases at the store (44%) and availability of tablet-specific apps (41%) as the most important.

Other findings include:

  • Fifty-one percent of respondents have used “ship to store” for an online purchase, with 38% of those buying additional products at the store.
  • Nearly half of consumers using a retailer’s mobile app are less likely to comparison shop when using an app versus a browser.
  • Forty-nine percent of respondents use a location-based social/deal service, with Groupon (35%) the most popular.
  • Eighty-four percent of respondents use at least one social site, with Facebook (77%) the most popular by a wide margin.
  • Sixty percent of respondents who “like” a brand on Facebook do so because of occasional promotions for Facebook fans.
  • Shipping costs making the total purchase more expensive than anticipated (54%) is the leading reason for Facebook cart abandonment.
  • Free shipping (76%) is the most important option in the checkout process.
  • Having to pay for shipping (60%) is the leading issue faced in returning online orders.
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