Study Reveals Asian Shoppers Demand Flexibility
Creating personalized e-commerce experiences and providing alternate delivery locations are helping retailers boost customer satisfaction. According to the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™study, online shoppers in Asia continue to be the least satisfied with their online and in-store shopping experiences.
Today UPS (NYSE: UPS), a global leader in logistics and transportation services, and comScore Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, released the second global 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, and also expects a seamless retail experience from research to delivery.
The Asia survey is part of a global study that examines emerging trends from Brazil, Mexico, Europe and the United States. Key global findings include:
- Online shoppers want alternative delivery locations and 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
"Technology is changing the way we interact with each other, and transforming the way we consume," said Rob Houck, Vice President of Marketing, UPS Asia Pacific. "Constant connectivity to information, products and services has fueled a consumerist culture of instant gratification that is driving e-commerce growth across the world, especially in Asia Pacific where it's forecasted to represent a third of e-commerce sales in 20151."
Personalized experience drives customer loyalty
The study revealed 48% of Asian online shoppers embrace new shopping trends. The market has the second highest adoption of curated subscription services – the tactic retailers use to help consumers discover products based on their preferences and purchase history. China has the highest number of online shoppers enrolled in such services at 68%, followed by South Korea at 55%, and Singapore at 49%. In comparison, it is much lower in Europe at 23% and the United States at 22%. Japanese online shoppers are the least interested in this service, with only 18% of respondents enrolled.
Mobile research helps make purchasing decisions
Purchasing via desktop and laptop devices is still commonplace, however, mobile usage continues to impact the path to purchase. In Asia, consumers use their mobile devices to track deliveries, research products prior to a store visit or while in store and to make actual purchases. Chinese and Hong Kong (76%) and South Korean (75%) smartphone shoppers prefer making purchases on a smartphone.
To drive conversion from research to active consumption, retailers should consider enhancing their mobile platforms. Top concerns include product images not being clear or large enough (50%), product information not able to be viewed easily (42%) and technical difficulties when comparing products on websites (41%).
Alternate options to increase customer satisfaction
While online shoppers prefer to have the majority of their orders delivered to their home, there is a growing trend for alternate delivery locations. Asia leads all markets with 45% of respondents stating they prefer to have their online orders delivered to locations other than their home. When they are unavailable to sign for a package, 33% said they want their items shipped to a local retail location authorized to hold packages for pickup at their convenience.
These locations are a popular choice for 47% of Hong Kong online shoppers, but the least preferred in China (27%). European online shoppers prefer to have their items left with a neighbor (38%), in Mexico (42%) prefer to have their items shipped to a carrier's location.
"Consumers engage better with businesses that allow them to exert control at various touch points along the shopping process. UPS is uniquely positioned to empower retailers by reducing points of friction for the 'flex shopper', and provide a personalized customer experience with innovative logistics solutions and returns services," Houck said.
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About the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study
In September and October 2014, comScore surveyed more than 5,200 online shoppers in five Asian countries: China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and Singapore.
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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