Infographic: Mobile, shipping options and flexible returns drive brand loyalty in APac online shoppers
A survey into online shopping preferences in Asia Pacific has revealed that brand loyalty can be driven by choice, convenience and flexible returns policies.
Internet measurement company ComScore and logistics firm UPS have released the ‘UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper: A Customer Experience Study’ for Asia and Australia which investigated 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 ecommerce 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 83% in the US and 78% 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.
“Asia’s consumers are seeking multiple access channels, a variety of shipping choices and post-purchase convenience,” says 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.”
The survey found that Asian consumers increasingly shop online using their mobile phones and tablets, with nearly eight 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 80% of the same group made purchases through a tablet.
The survey also shows online shoppers value convenience, notably during the post-sales process with 65% of Asia-Pacific shoppers rating email or text alerts as the most convenient notification service to track their packages.
According to the study, 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 (80%) and Singapore (73%) are likely to consider a sale if return shipping is free. However, this is not likely to impact online shoppers in China with only 18% 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 72% highlight visible reviews as an important aspect in checkout.
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About the study: ‘UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper: A Customer Experience Study’ evaluates consumer shopping habits from pre-purchase to post-delivery and is based on a comScore survey of more than 4000 online shoppers in Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore. The global study is based on a comScore survey of more than 14,000 frequent online shoppers in the US, Europe (Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy and the UK), Asia (China, Hong Kong, Singapore), Australia, Mexico and Canada.