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Customers Want Online Shopping Options

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When customers shop online, they want multiple options that all lead to convenience according to a report released by comScore and UPS.

The report -- “UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper: A Customer Experience Study” – analyzed ecommerce preferences including mobile trends, social media impact, and the integrated buying experience of shopping in physical stores and online known as omnichannel retailing.

Customers want more choices when shopping online, and more control over how they order, how they receive the item(s), and how easy it is to make a return.

Earlier this year, comScore surveyed 3,000 consumers about which factors led them to shop more on their computers, smartphones, or tablets; to abandon shopping their carts, and to recommend retailers to friends. According to the report, 44% indicated they would be more likely to shop with a retailer if they could buy online and pick up the item in the store, and 62% want the ability to buy online and return items to a store.

As mobile and social channels evolve and impact the shopping experience, 46% of respondents said hey are less likely to comparison shop when using a retailer’s mobile app, and 47% said they want a retailer to send a coupon to their smartphone when they are in-store or nearby. A whopping 84% of online shoppers use at least one social media site. Among Facebook users -- the most popular channel – 60% "like" a brand to receive an incentive or promotion.

"Consumers have a growing number of digital touch points, with more ways to stay connected with their favorite online retailers through every phase of the shopping, buying and fulfillment process," comScore senior director Susan Engleson said in a release. “What will set apart one retailer from another in a competitive marketplace is how well they meet the rapidly evolving needs and expectations of customers."

While shoppers expect more shipping options from online retailers, 78% choose the least expensive option. To qualify for free shipping, three out of four shoppers have added items to their carts. After free shipping, the ability to review estimated shipping costs and delivery times before checkout are most important. Almost all (97%) of those surveyed said tracking a purchase is essential.

Only 44% of consumers are currently satisfied with their ability to reroute a package. Retailers supporting changes while orders are in transit have a competitive advantage.

"As consumers move more of their shopping online and gain exposure to a variety of purchasing experiences, their expectations for retailers continues to grow," Alan Gershenhorn, UPS's chief sales and marketing officer, said in the release. "Now consumers can shop from anywhere, at any time and are looking for online retailers to have an integrated and robust set of options as the customer experience no longer ends at checkout.”

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