UPS study: E-commerce habits vary by culture

ComScore Inc. and UPS released their second UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper global study, which revealed emerging trends from the leading e-commerce markets in Asia, Brazil, Europe, Mexico and the United. States.

Online shoppers across these markets are looking for alternate delivery options, the survey found. This is especially in demand in Asia, where 45 percent of respondents said they would prefer to have their online order delivered to locations other than their home. When not at home to sign for a package, 33 percent said they want their items shipped to a local retail location authorized to hold the package for pickup at their convenience. Asian shoppers are avid technology users – and the least patient, with 27 percent expecting same-day delivery and 48 percent expecting next-day shipping to be offered by retailers.

Brazilian consumers, the study said, are the most advanced and social in their online shopping habits. More than half of their purchases are made online, – the highest of any market, – and 64 percent said they are influenced by reviews or posts on social media to help decide which products to purchase. However, they also experience barriers to shopping on a mobile device. More than a third of online shoppers in Brazil are willing to wait 11 days or more for their international orders to qualify for free shipping.

European online shoppers make the fewest purchases on a smartphone, compared to the other four markets, and less than half use retailer mobile apps. They make more in-store purchases than they do online, and while shopping in a store, 61 percent said they prefer to check out with an associate. In response to delivery questions, 52 percent said they prefer seeing the expected arrival date rather than the number of days it will take for the item to arrive.

Mexican online shoppers make the highest percentage of in-store purchases, and cite fraud-related delivery issues as a primary concern. However, they do use mobile technology; – 43 percent reported using their smart phones to research products before visiting a store. And in order to receive items the same day, 60 percent said they want the ability to purchase items in a store window. Only 35 percent have returned an online purchase, the least of any market.

American online shoppers are open to new trends on social media and in-store technologies, making more purchases on tablets than any other market. Free shipping continues to drive purchasing decisions, as 58 percent of online shoppers reported adding items to their shopping cart in order to qualify for the incentive. Further, 83 percent are willing to wait an additional two days for delivery if shipping is free, and 68 percent said free returns shipping is needed to complete a sale. Only 44 percent of online shoppers said they were satisfied with the flexibility of changing delivery days or rerouting packages.

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