When it comes to an online shopping experience, customers have a much higher expectation than what you may think. That is according to a recent study conducted jointly by UPS and comScore. UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study concluded a number of findings that every online marketer should be aware of.
As the fall and winter holiday season heats up and online conversion tactics take precedent, it's time for businesses to get serious about making it easier to purchase their goods and services.
Did you know that:
53% of respondents want access to customer service within the checkout experience
57% want their customer profiles pre-populated to save time, even though most shoppers want their packages delivered to their homes
what's trending: alternative delivery locations, such as a retailer's store, workplace, the ability to re-route and reschedule deliveries.
Here are a few surprising results noted by Bala Ganesh, UPS Retail Director:
1) Mobile has shortcomings with desktop still in the lead It appears that even though there is an increase in overall eCommerce transactions via mobile, desktop still reigns supreme for online shoppers.
41% of respondents said they prefer a retailers full website versus 34% of those who prefer mobile. Mobile has its shortcomings; respondents can't get clear or large enough images of the products, and not being able to easily view product information are sited as the top mobile challenges.
But, mobile still has its place
Despite the challenges with purchasing on mobile devices, consumers use their smartphones for several other activities. Online shoppers use their mobile devices for several different pre and post-purchase functions. Tracking deliveries and research occur most often.
2) People still prefer to buy and return items in store Return policies often influence conversion. Since 2012, more consumers are looking at retailers' return policies before making a purchase, emphasizing the increasing role of returns in driving purchasing decisions. A retailers returns options are influencers in the likelihood to complete a sale, with restocking and shipping fees being the most impactful deterrents.
3) Free shipping drives sales According to UPS, free shipping continues to drive purchasing decisions. 58% of respondents indicated they have added items to their shopping carts to qualify for free shipping and 83% are willing to wait an additional two days for delivery if shipping is free!
Free shipping continues to be the most preferred option when checking out online, however it is not the only valued option. 93% of online shoppers have taken action in order to qualify for free shipping. Seeing the estimated delivery date and shipping costs early in the process are also important. Ganesh of UPS says it's about how to maximize the customer experience given the different costs a merchant has.
Regardless, eComm marketers will need to determine their holiday shipping strategies soon, as consumers are not only willing to purchase when offered free shipping, but online shoppers are also demanding to see the expected delivery date. Which of course is especially important during the approaching holiday season.