2nd Annual UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™
A Customer Experience Study

Welcome to the second edition of a unique retail customer experience study developed by UPS in partnership with comScore.


In 2012, online retail spending in the U.S. surged 15% to reach $186 billion and
continues to significantly outpace that of overall retail growth.

A competitive online shopping experience is essential for retailers seeking to capture their share of the thriving
e-commerce market. That’s why, for a second consecutive year,

UPS commissioned research with comScore to study the critical differentiators of the online shopping
customer experience

that drive shopping habits, brand preference, customer loyalty, and retailer recommendations. The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper white paper:
• Explores what today’s demanding consumers expect from online retailers and
  in an integrated omnichannel shopping experience
• Delves deeper into how mobile and social are shaping the online shopping landscape
• Provides insights from pre-purchase to check-out to post-purchase

An Integrated Omnichannel Experience Drives Value for Consumers

Retailers must keep pace with and tailor their offerings to an increasingly mobile consumer – while extending the shopping experience across channels. For example, consumers seek the ability to shop online and return to a store, receive coupon offers via smartphone when they are in close proximity to the store, and the ability to shop online and pick up in store.

84% of online shoppers not only use social media platforms but are also actively engaged in seeking out updates and promotions for sites they follow

, proving social media’s importance in an omnichannel experience. The full white paper provides further insights and recommendations regarding mobile and social and their influence on retailers.

Shoppers Want Improvements in the Post-Purchase Delivery Experience

While consumers are satisfied with the overall online shopping experience, they identified opportunities for improvement within the post-purchase delivery experience, such as flexible shipping options, ability to choose delivery dates and re-route packages, and convenient access to retail pickup.

In 2013, 44% of shoppers have abandoned carts due to an estimated delivery time, an increase over 2012.

Yet, when retailers communicate the expected delivery date of the order, customers are surprisingly patient and are willing to wait an average of a week for their orders.

Package tracking services are considered either “essential” or “nice to have” by 97% of all consumers.

Improving Returns Process Offers Opportunity for Retailer Differentiation

The ease of making returns/exchanges is the second most frequently cited area in which consumers would like to see improvement from retailers,

even as the percentage of shoppers making returns increases. Online shoppers want to lower the risks associated when purchasing goods without the opportunity to see, touch, or feel them.

66% of consumers review a retailer’s returns policy either before or both before and after making a purchase, demonstrating that return policies are one of the top consumer considerations when making a purchase online.

The full white paper unveils consumers’ specific returns policy preferences, recommendations on hassle-free returns and the driving factors that influence a negative or positive return experience.

To deliver on what today’s online shoppers want, it’s crucial to understand the key factors that drive consumers’ shopping habits, purchasing behaviors, brand loyalty and retailer recommendations.

As e-commerce spending increases, so do the expectations of online shoppers.

Retailers can win shoppers over by:

• Following them wherever they are – social and mobile
• Facilitating a seamless cross-channel experience
• Providing reliable information on shipping costs and delivery options up-front,
  with a variety of options that accommodate both value seekers and “speeders”
• Enabling a “hassle-free” returns experience in the shopper’s channel of choice

Download the full white paper for more information and insights.


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