Shoppers want free shipping, free returns

Online shoppers are still most driven by the offering of free shipping and returns when it comes to completing sales. According to a comScore and UPS study, the UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper, worldwide consumers are also looking to purchase on multiple platforms with more than one delivery and payment option.

Looking at emerging delivery trends from the world's leading e-commerce markets—Asia, Brazil, Europe, Mexico, United States—it becomes clear that shoppers want alternate delivery options. Highest in Asia, 45 percent of respondents reported a preference to have online orders delivered to an address other than their home. Specifically, 33 percent want items shipped to a retail location for convenient pickup. This same group of Asian shoppers expects same-day delivery, 27 percent, or next-day shipping, 48 percent.

Brazilian shoppers make more online purchases than shoppers in any other country in the survey, 56 percent, and 64 percent of these purchasers are influenced by reviews or posts on social media. However, this group isn't as eager for instant gratification and is willing to wait 11 days or more to get free shipping.

European shoppers made the fewest purchases on smartphones, 19 percent, and 40 percent use mobile retail apps. In-store purchases are more popular, 54 percent, and 52 percent were most concerned with the expected arrival date, not the actual number of days it would take for an online purchase to arrive.

Mexicans reported using mobile, 43 percent, to research products before visiting a store. And 60 percent of respondents want the ability to purchase items through a store window. Only 35 percent, the smallest number in any market, have returned an online purchase.

In the United States, free shipping continues to drive purchases—58 percent of online shoppers will add items to their cart in order to qualify for the incentive. And 83 percent of respondents are willing to wait an extra two days for delivery if shipping is free. In fact, for 68 percent, free shipping is required to complete an online sale.

In the race to win over customers, Target (NYSE:TGT) announced last week that it was lowering its free shipping threshold to $25 per order. Similarly, earlier this year Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) made it easier for consumers to meet the $35 minimum required for free shipping by combining the total price from all items sold by third-party sellers.

For more:
-See this UPS press release

Related stories:
Target lowers shipping threshold to $25
Amazon launches giveaway tool
Amazon partners with universities, overnight delivery on campus
Amazon spent $1B on Prime Instant Video in 2014
Amazon expands free shipping

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