Online shoppers in Asia want more choices and convenience

By : |September 27, 2013 0

SINGAPORE: comScore Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world, and UPS today released the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper: A Customer Experience Study for Asia and Australia. The survey contains key consumer insights into mobile technologies and elements of the online shopping experience that drive brand preference.

With 650 million internet users, Asia has the world’s largest online population. Demographically, more than half of Asia’s internet population is younger than 35 years-old. According to recent studies, these consumers are driving e-commerce growth in the Asia Pacific region and outpacing the rest of the world.

However, overall satisfaction in Asia with respect to online shopping ranks the lowest globally. Only half of Asian shoppers are satisfied, compared to 83pc in the U.S. and 78pc in Europe. Shoppers have particularly low satisfaction around the ability to choose delivery dates and times, to collect purchased goods at a convenient retail location, and exchange or returns policies.

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“Asia’s consumers are seeking multiple access channels, a variety of shipping choices and post-purchase convenience,” said Michael Mclary, UPS director of Enterprise Segmentation and Product Strategy for the Asia Pacific region. “Mobile strategy has become a cornerstone for retailers with the growing popularity of an integrated online shopping experience. Through our survey, it is clear there is room for retailers to improve their services. By differentiating themselves with consumer-driven supply chain strategies, they can drive customer loyalty and expand globally.”

Channels, Choices and Convenience
Today’s shoppers are more discerning with choices when it comes to shopping online and seek a greater control over their purchase experience. The survey also finds that Asian consumers increasingly shop online using their mobile phones and tablets, with nearly 8 out of 10 online shoppers preferring to access multi-channel retailers via handheld devices.

Asia Pacific consumers are using tablets to search for deals and make price comparisons. In a typical three-month period, more than 70% of the Asian shoppers surveyed used a smartphone to make a purchase while nearly 80pc of the same group made purchases through a tablet.

Susan Engleson, comScore senior director said: “This shifting behavior in Asia Pacific opens up numerous business opportunities for retailers, giving them an increasing number of online platforms to reach customers.”

“With such a strong customer preference for mobile devices, retailers need to fully understand how and when shoppers are using these devices in order to stay ahead in this competitive global landscape.”

The survey also shows online shoppers value convenience, notably during the post-sales process with 65pc of Asia Pacific shoppers rating email or text alerts as the most convenient notification service to track their packages. “At UPS, we understand the importance of providing visibility for our customers,” Mclary added. “Our portfolio offers retailers tailored solutions with multiple perspectives in a single tool, minimizing their time checking multiple shipments and allowing them to reallocate their attention to outpacing the competition.”

Hassle-Free Returns as a Competitive Advantage
A free and convenient returns policy can nearly double the likelihood of Asian shoppers completing a sale compared to paying for return shipping or paying a restocking fee. Shoppers in Australia (80pc) and Singapore (73pc) are likely to consider a sale if return shipping is free. However, this is not likely to impact online shoppers in China with only 18pc of them sharing the same view as their counterparts in Australia and Singapore.

A hassle-free returns policy also drives word-of-mouth recommendations and shopper loyalty, particularly in China and Singapore. All markets agreed free delivery tends to generate positive recommendations and 72pc highlight visible reviews as an important aspect in checkout.

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