Will today’s Cyber Monday shoppers be clicking on your storefront this year? If so, be aware that online shoppers’ expectations in all parts of the world have changed.
A new global study conducted by comScore, Inc. and UPS as part of the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper series shows that online shoppers desire more options and better service in their shopping experiences. Released at the end of September, the study covers the opinions of over 14,000 frequent online shoppers in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Mexico. This interactive map gives an overview of the survey results.
The study revealed some interesting trends in online shopping, such as shipping time and mobile use, and how these factors differ among countries. For example, 83 percent of consumers in the US are satisfied with the online shopping process, making this population the most satisfied of those surveyed; the least satisfied shoppers were in Asia at 50 percent. Flexibility about delivery and returns were ranked lowest in providing satisfaction across all countries. Consumers in Canada and the U.S. are willing to trade shipping speed for cost (such as free shipping for a minimum purchase amount), but Asians desire their items to be delivered in four days or less. Most online shoppers worldwide would be more inclined to do business with a retailer that provides a hassle-free returns policy, especially if it includes no-cost return shipping.
For consumers connected via mobile and social channels, the study found that shopping on mobile apps plays a major role in reducing comparison shopping, especially in Mexico and Europe. Shoppers in Asia and Europe prefer to access retailers through mobile or digital channels, while over 33 percent of Canadian and Australian consumers prefer in-store shopping. Most consumers surveyed are connected via social media and are open to retailer promotions through those channels. This is particularly true in Asia and Mexico, where “liking” a brand on Facebook is most prevalent at 81 percent and 76 percent respectively.
With the holiday shopping season upon us, how can your company provide your online buyers with an excellent customer experience? Be prepared with these tips:
- Get to know your customers – Which countries does your company serve? Use the global study results to determine a plan of action for serving these customers and meeting their unique preferences.
- Evaluate your online service offerings – Review surveys submitted by customers after their online shopping experience. Are there any areas your company could improve in to make shoppers more satisfied?
- Think social – With a majority of consumers using social media, use this as an opportunity to connect with them. Provide customer support for online shoppers on Twitter, or offer promotions to your Facebook fans. If your company needs a boost in the social department, consider a solution that includes social media management tools to expand your contact center’s social capabilities.
- Go mobile – Mobile apps are quickly becoming a go-to shopping trend. Consider developing an easy-to-use app for your customers to access wherever they shop. Evaluate the app on a regular basis and provide updates when needed.
Do you have any advice for improving the online shopping experience? Tell us in the comments below!