Half of U.S. shoppers who buy online ship to a physical store, according to UPS’s fifth annual Pulse of the Online Shopper study.
Of those, 46 percent make additional purchases while picking up their items, according to the study, which is based on a comScore survey of more than 5,000 U.S. online shoppers.
A majority (60 percent) of survey respondents also prefer to return items to a store, at which time 70 percent of them make additional purchases. Yet only 36 percent of shoppers say they experience helpful associates when returning items to a store.
UPS also reports that:
- For the first time in the study’s history, more than 50 percent (51 percent) of all purchases made by respondents are made online, up from 48 percent in 2015.
- One in six shoppers say they have visited showrooms without inventory that traditional retailers have established to provide consumers with the opportunity to examine products at a physical location before buying them online.
- Cross-channel transactions, which refer to purchases using in-store and at least one online channel, now account for 38 percent of all purchases (up 2 points). Store-only searches and purchases declined by two points (to 20 percent).
- Free shipping continues to be the most important factor driving customer satisfaction when checking out online (73%), although consumers are willing to pay a premium for faster delivery. Half of shoppers (50%) said they would pay for faster shipping for personal reasons, such as birthdays and holidays.
- Home delivery is still the preferred location to receive packages, although more consumers are embracing alternate delivery locations. Preference for alternate delivery locations grew nine points (to 35%) in the last two years. More than half of shoppers are interested in an alternate delivery location with extended hours and lower fees.
- Seventeen percent of consumers plan to shop less in store, shifting time to their electronic devices.
- The use of smartphones is up 10 points (to 77 percent) over the past two years, and retailers are responding. Online shoppers report a better mobile experience with satisfaction up eight points (to 73 percent) since last year.
- Social media’s influence on purchasing decisions is up nine points (to 34 percent) in the last year with nearly a quarter of respondents (23 percent) having made purchases through social media sites.
A version of the report can be downloaded here.