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UPS Pulse of

the Online
Shopper™
Study
April 2018
Global Study
Executive Summary

START
2018
Global
Study

Introduction

Constants

Movers

Emergers

Key Takeaways

Methodology

Today’s Global Online Shopper
Online shoppers across regions expect quick fulfillment of online Movers: Areas where consumers have shown significant growth over
orders, are using their smartphones at a growing rate, and shipping the past few years. These are mobile, international shopping and store
more items to alternate delivery locations, creating a new retail engagement.
landscape. Driving these behavioral shifts is a desire to find
better prices and unique products with more choices, control and Emergers: Newer areas of retail that may play a role in the shopping
convenience. experience of the future. These include alternate delivery locations,
marketplaces, and technologies such as robots and chatbots.
The 2018 UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Global Study, conducted
by comScore, provides insight into online shoppers’ behaviors and Understanding today’s online shopper and evolving to meet their new
preferences from six regions including the U.S., Asia, Europe, Canada, demands is critical for retailer success. By focusing on these key areas,
Mexico and Brazil. We have categorized the results of this year’s study retailers have the opportunity to help shape the future of retail while
into three areas: simultaneously increasing customer satisfaction and sales.

Constants: Areas of the retail experience that remain important year
over year and influence purchase behaviors. These are satisfaction
with today’s shopping experience, shipping and logistics.

UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Study ©2018 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. 2
Constants
2018
Global Satisfaction with today’s shopping
Study experience, shipping, and logistics are
areas of the retail experience that remain
Introduction important year over year and influence
purchasing behavior.
Constants

Movers

Emergers

Key Takeaways

Methodology

UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Study ©2018 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. 3
Satisfaction with the shopping experience

U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico Brazil
2018
Global
Study
Overall online shopping 85% 57% 81% 77% 87% 88%
Introduction

Constants
Desktop or laptop 86% 58% 81% 79% 87% 88%
Movers

Emergers

Key Takeaways
Tablet 78% 55% 74% 72% 83% 85%
Methodology

Smartphone 73% 60% 72% 66% 83% 86%

Physical store 65% 47% 66% 59% 72% 60%

Constants

Shopping experience
Satisfaction with shopping experiences varies across regions. When Globally, online shoppers continue to use a combination of single-
looking at individual shopping channels, consumers in the U.S., channel and multi-channel search and purchase methods when
Europe, Canada, Mexico and Brazil have the highest satisfaction shopping, highlighting the importance of both the online and
with the desktop/laptop shopping experience. In contrast, in-store experiences. Additionally, a good portion of non-grocery
consumers in Asia have the highest satisfaction rating with the purchases (between 43% and 59%, depending on the region) are
smartphone shopping experience. made in a physical store.

UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Study ©2018 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. 4
Expectations on order time to be eligible for next-day shipping

By Noon 1 - 4 p.m. 5 - 9 p.m.

2018
Global 73%
Study 59%
50% 51%
45% 39% 39%
36% 34% 31%
22% 27%
Introduction 19% 18% 16% 18%
14%
9%
Constants
U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico Brazil
Movers

Emergers
Expectations on order time to be eligible for same-day shipping
Key Takeaways
By Noon 1 - 4 p.m. 5 - 9 p.m.
Methodology

61% 64% 63%
55% 52%
44%
38%
28%
23%
16% 19% 17% 21% 24% 19% 18% 18% 20%

U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico Brazil

Constants

Premium shipping
When it comes to expectations on delivery time, consumers in Asia, Consumers expect quick fulfillment of online orders and speedy
Mexico and Brazil expect to be able to place orders later in the day delivery. Across all regions, the top reasons to pay for premium
and still be eligible for next-day delivery. Whereas, online shoppers shipping are if the item is needed for personal reasons or if it was
in the U.S. and Canada tend to think they have to place orders earlier ordered as a gift.
in the day to be eligible for next-day delivery options. The majority of
shoppers in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Brazil think they must place
orders by noon to be eligible for same-day delivery.

UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Study ©2018 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. 5
Returns of online purchases usage and preferences
RETURNED AN ITEM USING THIS FORMAT PREFER TO RETURN AN ITEM USING THIS FORMAT

2018
Global
Study

Introduction

Constants
Shipped back to retailer Returned to physical store
Movers

75% 45%
Emergers U.S. U.S.
42% 58%

69% 33%
Key Takeaways Asia Asia
59% 41%
Methodology 77% 29%
Europe Europe
55% 45%

64% 45%
Canada Canada
36% 64%

46% 49%
Mexico Mexico
42% 58%

70% 33%
Brazil Brazil
49% 51%

Constants

Returns
Online shoppers in the U.S. were most likely to have returned an online Both in-store and online returns drive incremental purchases for
purchase (44%), whereas shoppers in Mexico were least likely to have consumers across regions. Online shoppers in Brazil are more likely
done so (22%). When both return options are available, shoppers in Asia than shoppers in other regions to have made a new purchase in store
and Europe prefer to ship online purchases back to retailers. Consumers when processing a return (84%). Shoppers in Mexico and Brazil are
in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Brazil prefer to return online orders to a most likely to have made a new purchase when processing a return
physical store. Among those who prefer to ship returns back to retailers, online (73% and 72%, respectively).
ease and free return shipping are the leading reasons for this preference
across all regions.

UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Study ©2018 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. 6
Movers
2018
Global Mobile, international shopping,
Study and store engagement are areas
that have grown significantly
Introduction over the past few years.

Constants

Movers

Emergers

Key Takeaways

Methodology

UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Study ©2018 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. 7
Smartphone users who have made a purchase on a smartphone
2015 2018
2018
Global 77%
Study
57% 52%
55%
48%
43% 41%
Introduction 41% 39% 40%
28%
Constants N/A
Movers
U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico Brazil
Emergers

Key Takeaways
Smartphone in-store usage

Methodology
U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico Brazil

Look up product reviews
70% 90% 72% 71% 91% 92%
Read product details
70% 90% 73% 73% 93% 94%
Compare prices at other online
or physical stores 70% 89% 72% 71% 92% 94%

Movers

Mobile
Shopping on smartphones has grown since 2015 across regions. With the growth of smartphone usage, it’s not surprising that
Online shoppers in Asia make the highest percentage of their they are being used in store for a variety of activities. Globally,
online purchases on their smartphones (37%) and the highest the top three activities include looking up product reviews,
use of using their smartphones for research (84%), compared to reading product details, and comparing prices at other online or
shoppers in other regions. physical stores.

UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Study ©2018 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. 8
Purchased from an international retailer

2018 Canada Mexico Brazil
Global Europe
Study Asia
U.S.

Introduction
47% 55% 71% 83% 78% 81%
Constants

Movers

Emergers Top reasons for shopping at an international retailer
Key Takeaways
U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico Brazil
Methodology
I found a lower price at an international
retailer on a regional marketplace 43% 26% 38% 48% 51% 44%
I want something unique not
found in a regional store 36% 42% 33% 41% 30% 36%
The brands or products I like
are not available regionally 34% 49% 39% 52% 47% 32%

The price is better internationally 34% 38% 40% 43% 45% 60%

Movers

International
Retail has become global with a majority of online shoppers in Asia, Consumers who made purchases from international retailers
Europe, Canada, Mexico and Brazil having made a purchase from an primarily did so due to better prices and access to desired
international retailer. Online shoppers in Asia and Europe, who made products. These products are unique, often not found in local
an international purchase, are most likely to do so within their region stores, and more likely brands or products not available in their
(77% and 68%, respectively). home countries.

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Satisfaction with the in-store shopping experience

Mexico
U.S. Europe
2018 Brazil
Canada
Global Asia
Study

65% 47% 66% 59% 72% 60%
Introduction

Constants
Ship-to-store
Movers

U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico Brazil
Emergers

Have items shipped to
Key Takeaways
store for pickup 50% 37% 24% 34% 42% 44%
Methodology

Made additional
purchases while in store 44% 60% 44% 38% 65% 58%

Plan to use it more
often next year 41% 59% 57% 43% 58% 67%

Movers

Store engagement
Shoppers across regions find value in the physical store. They Fifty percent of U.S. online shoppers have used ship-to-store in the
continue to make a large percentage of their non-grocery purchases past year. Only 24% of European shoppers have selected this option
in store (58% in Canada, the highest percentage of any region, in the last year, but more than half of these shoppers plan to use it
and 43% in Brazil, the lowest percentage of any region). However, more often in the future. The majority of ship-to-store users in Brazil,
satisfaction with the in-store shopping experience is lower than the Mexico and Asia are also likely to use it more often in the next year.
satisfaction with the overall online shopping experience, leaving
room for improving the in-store experience.
UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Study ©2018 United Parcel Service of America, Inc. 10
2018
Global
Study Emergers
Alternate delivery locations,
Introduction
marketplaces, and technologies,
Constants such as robots and chatbots, are
newer areas of retail that may play
Movers
an increasing role in the shopping
Emergers experience of the future.
Key Takeaways

Methodology

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Preference for and usage of alternate delivery locations
(% of orders)
2018
PREFER USE
Global
Study

59% 54% 55%
49% 52%
41% 42% 38% 41% 44%
Introduction 37%
30%
Constants

Movers
U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico Brazil
Emergers

Key Takeaways

Methodology
Interest in shipping to alternate location with extended hours for reduced fees

52% 71% 63% 57% 74% 79%
U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico Brazil

Emergers

Alternate delivery locations
Consumers are using alternate delivery locations, especially those However, the majority of shoppers across all regions are interested
who live in urban areas. Shoppers in Brazil are more likely to be in this concept. Shoppers in Asia prefer and use, on average,
interested in shipping items to an alternate delivery location with alternate delivery on a higher percentage of their orders than in
extended hours for reduced fees (79%), compared to those in other regions.
other regions.

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Purchases made at a marketplace

2018 Asia Mexico
U.S. Europe Canada
Global
Study

96% 98% 96% 96% 99%
Introduction

Constants

Movers
Top reasons for purchasing at a marketplace instead of a retailer
Emergers
U.S. Asia Europe Canada Mexico
Key Takeaways
Better prices
65% 64% 67% 61% 63%
Methodology

FREE Free and discounted
shipping 55% 42% 41% 51% 57%

Broader selection within
any given category 37% 28% 43% 37% 35%

Emergers

Marketplaces
Shopping on marketplaces is universal. Almost all online shoppers Across all regions, the top reason for choosing to shop at a
have purchased from a marketplace. A higher percentage of online marketplace is better prices. For the U.S., Asia, Canada and Mexico,
shoppers say they will research and purchase more on marketplaces the second leading reason is free and discounted shipping. In
in the next year, compared to those who say they will research and Europe, the second leading reason for shopping at a marketplace is
purchase on them less. access to a broader selection of products.

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2018 Comfort level with using chatbots
Global
Study

Introduction

Constants

Movers
U.S. 42% 39% 39% 39% 38%
Emergers

Key Takeaways

Methodology Canada 36% 33% 33% 30% 33%

Mexico 65% 62% 63% 58% 61%

Getting product New product Completing Returning Ordering
information updates my order products products

Emergers

Retail technologies
Technology is playing a larger role in retail, such as the use of While consumers prefer to talk with sales associates when shopping
smartphones in store for researching and purchasing. However, when in store, they are comfortable with self-service options when
asked about the appeal of robots in retail stores, more than half of shopping online. Online shoppers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are
consumers in the U.S. and Canada are not convinced; 58% of shoppers most comfortable using chatbots for getting product information
in the U.S. and 53% of shoppers in Canada prefer interacting with a and completing steps for processing orders and returns.
person in a retail store.
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2018
Global
Study Key Takeaways
The following insights will help retailers successfully address the dynamic online
Introduction
shopping experience for today’s global consumer and their future shopping demands:
Constants

Movers

Emergers

Key Takeaways

Methodology
Deliver a Consistent Offer Flexible Elevate the In-Store Empower the Explore and
Experience Delivery Options Experience Shopper Incorporate New
Technologies
Guarantee parity across Include in-store Make sure your physical Provide convenient
all retail channels pickup, alternate store remains relevant resources for New technologies,
to provide brand delivery locations and by providing an inspiring consumers to get including robots and
consistency and build expedited delivery and effective shopping details on products chatbots, are ways
customer satisfaction. to meet consumers’ experience. through in-store retailers can enhance the
growing preferences technologies and customer experience.
for delivery options. a robust mobile Online shoppers are
shopping experience. indicating they want
technology that enables
rewarding, personalized
experiences both online
and in store.

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2018
Global
Study Methodology
The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper™ Global Study evaluates consumer shopping habits from pre-purchase
Introduction
to post-delivery. The 2018 study was fielded in Q1, Q2 and Q3 2017 and is based on a comScore survey
Constants of more than 18,000 online shoppers worldwide. The U.S. data shown here is not new; it was previously
published in the 2017 U.S. Pulse of the Online Shopper™ study. Respondents made at least two online
Movers
purchases in a typical three-month period.
Emergers
Shopping Frequency In a Typical
Key Takeaways Three-Month Period
Methodology

40% 40% 20%
MADE MADE MADE
7+ 4-6 2-3
PURCHASES PURCHASES PURCHASES

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