Consumers want omni-channel experiences, flexible shipping costs and convenient returns, UPS study finds

UPS: highlighting shoppers' online demands

UPS: highlighting shoppers’ online demands

Online shoppers in Europe and around the world are looking for more control over their shipping and delivery experiences, according to a study by omScore, a leader in measuring the digital world, and UPS.

The study includes data from more than 14,000 frequent online shoppers across six countries in Europe, as well as the US, Canada, Asia, Australia and Mexico.

According to the report, roughly three quarters of respondents in Europe (76%) are satisfied with the online shopping experience. This is compared to shoppers in the US, who are the most satisfied with online shopping experiences at 83%, while consumers in the Asia Pacific are least satisfied at only 50%. The flexibility around delivery and returns were among the areas with the least satisfaction across the globe. Two areas that scored relatively high for satisfaction in Europe were having websites available in the local or preferred language (73%) and international payment and delivery options (63%).

As mobile and social channels continue to change the way consumers shop, the study found creating a mobile app can help prevent comparison shopping in all markets, especially in Europe and Mexico. Global consumers are connected to social media channels and are open to promotions from retailers. However, just under half of consumers in Europe engage with retailers by liking their brand on Facebook (45%), though the practice is most prevalent in Asia (81%) and Mexico (76%). Still, European shoppers are embracing omni-channel options, and the majority of shoppers in Europe and Asia (79%) prefer to access retailers through mobile or digital channels such as mobile, tablet, or desktop devices, while more than one third of hoppers in Canada and Australia prefer to shop in-store.

In Europe, online shoppers are usually willing to wait around four days for domestic shipments, and around 10 days for international shipments originating outside the region. Canadian consumers trade speed for cost, as do US shoppers – but in Asia they’re less patient, only willing to wait four days for their purchases to arrive.

A hassle-free returns policy is likely to lead European shoppers to positive recommendations and repeat business. Similar to shoppers in other parts of the world, more than half of European consumers responding (61%) said they would shop more with a retailer offering a hassle-free returns policy, and 59% would recommend such a retailer to a friend. The reaction to these elements was even stronger in Mexico, with 73% saying they would shop more with a retailer and 78% saying they would recommend a retailer to a friend if that retailer had an easy returns policy. Moreover, 57% of European respondents said that free shipping on returns is an important part of a good returns policy second only to the US (65%) and Canada (63%) among the regions surveyed.