Mobile seems to be on the lips of nearly every marketer these days – and with good reason. Mobile is fast becoming the preferred ecommerce channel as seven out of 10 online consumers access multichannel retailers through a digital channel. Of those mobile shoppers, 30% prefer to use a smartphone or tablet.

What’s more, according to the “UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper Study: A Customer Experience Study” conducted by comScore, nearly 50% of online shoppers who own a smartphone and nearly 60% who own a tablet make purchases on these devices. Consumers are also open to communications from retailers on their mobile devices – 47% want a coupon/promotion sent to them because a retailer knows they are in-store or nearby.

The study revealed consumers want user-friendly apps and 46% said they are less likely to comparison shop when using a mobile app. Also, 84% of online shoppers use at least one social media site. Among Facebook users, 66% “like” a brand, with most having done so to receive a promotion or incentive. Online shoppers also are starting to take advantage of location-based social/deal services, according to the study.

Consumers expect omnichannel options: 62% want to buy items online and make returns in-store, and 44% want the ability to buy online and pick up their purchases in a store. Online shoppers indicated they want to see the most improvement in the check-out, delivery, and post-purchase phases.

While free or discounted shipping is highly valued by consumers, easy returns and exchanges and the flexibility to choose delivery dates also play a key role in the overall customer experience.

Overall, satisfaction with online shopping is high at 83%. However, it drops below 50% when shoppers are asked about: flexibility to choose delivery date; ability to choose a specified time of day for delivery of purchase; flexibility to re-route packages; and a green shipping option.

Below is how respondents rated satisfaction aspects of online shopping:

  • Ease of check-out 81%
  • Number of payment options available 71%
  • Availability of free or discounted shipping 69%
  • Ease of making returns/exchanges 62%
  • Ability to purchase through a tablet application 61%
  • Ability to contact a live customer service rep 58%
  • Ability to purchase through a mobile or smartphone app 55%
  • Ability to pick up at a retail location that is convenient to me 55%
  • Flexibility to choose my delivery date 49%
  • Ability to choose a specified time of day for delivery of my purchase 44%
  • Flexibility to re-route packages 44%
  • A green/environmentally friendly shipping option 43%

The study explored what customers expect during their online shopping experience, how mobile and social are changing buying trends, and how retailers can benefit by offering an integrated sales experience.

Significant among the study’s findings is that mobile commerce shoppers want to be able to obtain a great deal more information from the very beginning of their online shopping experience, as well as additional options throughout the checkout and delivery processes, and more channels in which to interact with their preferred brands and retailers.

comScore conducted the 2013 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper study in February 2013. More than 3,000 U.S. consumers provided data about their online shopping habits.

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