UPS takes online shopping pulse

Almost 50% of US online shoppers have bought goods from abroad according to new research from UPS. This demonstrates that there is a need for e-tailers to offer more personalised services as a way for them to compete against lower prices.

The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study also found that 97% of US online shoppers made purchases on online marketplaces including eBay and Amazon Marketplace. This was up 12% from 2016. 81% cited price as the most important factor when searching for and selecting their products online.

Of those who purchased from a foreign retailers, 43% were driven by lower prices on US marketplaces while 36% stated that they wanted unique products they could not find from US retailers.

“The lines that separate domestic and international retailers continue to disappear,” said Alan Gershenhorn, Chief Commercial Officer for UPS. “Retailers are now competing across the globe. In order to win, retailers can distinguish themselves by providing value through personalized experiences.”

The ‘personalised experiences’ Gershenhom referred to includes bricks and mortar stores. the UPS survey found 59% of online shoppers wanted to touch and feel products, while 54% wanted them to solve immediate problems and 52% equally wanted to receive superior customer service and participate in rewards or loyalty programmes.

50% of US shoppers have used click & collect this year, while 44% made additional purchases while collecting goods. 41% plan to use click & collect more often in the next 12 months according top UPS.

Mobile devices are still growing as a tool for buying goods. 80% of the shoppers served used retailer apps and stated that they preferred them to the standard online shopping experience. Convenience was cited as a key factor in this. 50% used mobile coupons and 50% liked high quality product images on those apps.

“Online shoppers are able to shop the world’s boutiques and bazaars with ease,” said Gershenhorn. “We’re witnessing a glimpse of the future, when retailers and their customers will be defined less by geographic location and more by how they connect with each other. The challenge is to best provide shoppers with the choice, control and convenience they desire.”

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