Staying one step ahead of savvy shoppers


According to the latest UPS study, your online customers are more connected and keener than ever. Are you prepared to keep up?

When it comes to small online retailers, a few ambitious entrepreneurs with laptops building a website, raising startup capital and doing business worldwide over coffee is a popular narrative. The reality is, the road to forming a successful online retail business is rarely that smooth. To succeed, you need a solid understanding of your customers' ever-changing shopping preferences and modern shipping options to seal the deal.

As the latest online shopping research from UPS suggests, winning more sales means better understanding today’s empowered and connected online shoppers.

As the latest online shopping research from UPS suggests, winning more sales means a better understanding of – and catering to – today's empowered and connected online shoppers. Here are additional key findings from the 2015 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ study, conducted by comScore.

They look for the best prices and values. For example, 29 percent of 5,100 online shoppers surveyed routinely compare prices with their smartphone as a research tool, while 22 percent do so in a brick-and-mortar store. Thirty-eight percent redeem coupons on their mobile device, and of those who use Facebook, 47 percent are likely to review a promotional post by a retailer.

They like to shop at small and local online retailers. 93 percent of online shoppers like to shop at small and local retailers and nearly two-thirds (61 percent) say they find unique products unavailable elsewhere by shopping at local online retailers. Some shoppers (29 percent) like to be the first to try new things and sample new retailers. Nearly half (40 percent) do so to support the local business community.

They shift channels routinely. Online shoppers no longer follow a single path to purchase; they want convenience and flexibility. For example, some 39 percent who purchased online did their research in a store because they wanted to touch the product.

They want to ship-to-store or pickup in store. A store visit can actually save time and money. Thirty-eight percent of online shoppers choose ship-to-store or pickup-in-store to save on shipping costs. Nearly half of those who have chosen a ship-to-store option have bought something else during their visit.

They rely on new technologies to guide them. Online shoppers tend to be early adopters. Roughly 74 percent of shoppers use smartphones, 56 percent use tablets and 13 percent use wearable technologies like a smartwatch. Nearly 41 percent use a smartphone to research an online purchase, while 30 percent have made purchases using their mobile device.

They are social. Three out of four online shoppers report using social media and 43 percent discovered new products as a result. Nearly half of those surveyed who use Facebook and Pinterest have either liked a retailer or pinned products. Four out of five mobile shoppers have used a retail app instead of a browser, and 24 percent use a retailer's app weekly.

Similar to building a world-class business over a few cups of coffee, fueling e-commerce sales isn't impossible – even for the smallest retailers. It takes deep knowledge of your customers and their shopping and shipping preferences, as well as superior customer service and logistics to get the job done.

For complete details, download your own copy of the study


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