Study Reveals European Online Shoppers Demand Flexibility
Smartphone Comparisons and Social Media Influence Purchase Decisions
Brussels, March 3, 2015 – UPS (NYSE: UPS), a global leader in logistics and transportation services, and Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released the second UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Europe study, analyzing what drives an online shopper’s full path to purchase. Results show the advent of the ‘flex shopper’ – an online buyer who easily switches channels and devices when evaluating and purchasing products.
The European version is part of a global study that examines emerging trends from Asia, Brazil, Mexico and the U.S. Key global findings include:
- Online shoppers want alternative delivery locations and more payment options.
- Mobile is a catalyst to omnichannel shopping and retailers should address limitations.
- Free shipping is still important along with a greater emphasis on returns.
Convenience Dominates the Shopping Landscape
European consumers expect a compelling online and in-store shopping experience, and the flexibility to choose when and how they receive their items. Online shoppers across markets are looking for alternative delivery options, especially in Europe where 32% said they would prefer their online order be delivered to locations other than their home, an increase from the previous edition of the survey.
“As technology develops and consumer expectations change, these ‘flex shoppers’ want convenience and comprehensive information when making purchases online,” said Scott Aubuchon, vice president of marketing, UPS Europe. “To meet these challenging expectations, UPS is well positioned to help retailers develop innovative logistics solutions that make them successful with their online customers, especially with UPS My Choice® and the Access Point™ Network – a combination that helps personalize the package delivery experience.”
Comprehensive Information is Essential
Detailed product information and online content may never replace a well-informed sales associate, but it can support consumer research in advance of store visits. Only 59% of shoppers are satisfied with the amount of product detail offered to help them determine if a product meets their needs. In response to questions related to delivery information, more than half (52%) of respondents said they prefer seeing the expected arrival date rather than the number of days it will take for the product to arrive.
Technology Changes Shopping in Unexpected Ways
With new web and mobile technology making it easier to comparison shop, 35% of online consumers said they compare prices on their smartphones while in-store. Social media also influences online purchases for 1-in-3 European shoppers, and both satisfied and dissatisfied shoppers said they would voice their opinions about their online experiences on social media.
Logistics Plays a Key Role
Providing delivery options at checkout and flexible returns are also important – and only 53% of shoppers are satisfied with the ease of making online returns/exchanges. Delivery times are also a factor, as 58% of shoppers have abandoned a cart due to lengthy delivery times or a delivery date not being provided. Free shipping continues to drive purchasing decisions as 67% said they would wait an additional 1-3 days for free domestic shipping.
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About the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study
In July and August 2014, Comscore surveyed more than 6,200 online shoppers in six European countries: France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
Comscore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in digital measurement and analytics, delivering insights on web, mobile and TV consumer behavior that enable clients to maximize the value of their digital investments. For more information, please visit www.comscore.com/companyinfo.
UPS (NYSE:UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including transporting packages and freight; facilitating international trade, and deploying advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the web at UPS.com® and its corporate blog can be found at Longitudes.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.
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