UPS takes the pulse of the online shopper

Perhaps reflecting what online industry watchers have known for some time, UPS has reported that online shoppers are “leading a retail revolution”. The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper annual research study found that more than half of all purchases made by respondents are made online, up from 48% last year.

The international delivery company also found that ‘avid online shoppers’ (those that make two or more online purchases in a three month period) tend to shop more with their smartphones and demand more of a seamless experience between virtual and physical stores.

“Consumers are skilled at using technology to their advantage and thrive on gathering information when shopping,” said Teresa Finley, Chief Marketing Officer at UPS.

“This year’s UPS study revealed that 45% of online shoppers love the thrill of hunting for and finding great deals, and that physical stores continue to play an important role in that experience. The challenge is how to best engage with shoppers to fulfill their desires.”

With regard delivery, UPS has found that free shipping continues to be the most important factor driving customer satisfaction when checking out online, with 73% saying so. Consumers are willing to pay for faster delivery. Half of all shoppers said that they would pay for faster shipping for personal reasons, for example birthdays and holidays.

“Home delivery is still the preferred location to receive packages,” said the company in a statement, “although more consumers are embracing alternate delivery locations. Preference for alternate delivery locations grew nine points (to 35%) in the last two years. More than half of shoppers are interested in an alternate delivery location with extended hours and lower fees.”

The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study evaluates consumer shopping habits from pre-purchase to post-delivery. The 2016 study is based on a comScore survey of more than 5,000 U.S. online shoppers. You can download it from this link: