UPS has released a new study on consumer behavior that confirms much of what companies like Google have been telling us — but from a different perspective. UPS ships to brick and mortar stores and to consumers who use mail order catalogs, making them less likely to have a self-selected tech-heavy group of consumers to learn from.
Here are the major findings:
- Consumers now shop and do their pre-shopping research wherever they happen to be rather than choosing one medium over another. 21% usually research and shop in a physical store, 39% usually research and shop online, and the remaining 40% usually mix it up. Still, 55% of those surveyed expressed a preference for shopping online.
- Shoppers care about shipping. We might think UPS would have a bias on this point, but their data confirms what we’ve seen from other sources: consumers want free shipping, they’ll abandon a cart if the cost is too high or the delivery too slow, and 75% appreciate the flexibility of being able to have packages sent to addresses other than their own — including stores, for in-store pickup.
- Mobile shoppers are dissatisfied. While consumers are increasingly willing to shop on mobile devices, the experience is largely unsatisfying. Complaints about the mobile shopping experience include inability to see products and product descriptions clearly — the most common concern — and fear that they’re not getting to see all the options.
What are the takeaways for CPG companies, manufacturers, and retailers?
- You have to be where your customers are. It’s not enough to have your products on the shelf. Online marketing is no longer optional — unless you’re willing to lose almost 80% of shoppers. You must have an excellent website, strong social media presence, and plenty of consumer reviews.
- It’s all about convenience. Consumers expect to be able to find information and shop wherever they are, and it’s in your best interests to meet that expectation. Also, as the line between virtual and physical blurs, shipping continues to be a physical-world reality consumers can’t avoid. The easier you can make it, the better. UPS found that 93% of shoppers will take action (most common — adding to their purchase) to earn free shipping, so think about ways to meet your customers halfway on that.
- Mobile shopping is an opportunity that your competitors may be missing. Shoppers often make mobile purchases because they’ve received an email, so create emails with shopping simplicity in mind. Bundles of products that can be bought with a click or two are the ideal mobile shopping experience.
Is it time to step up your online presence? We can help you decide. Let us provide you with a free website evaluation, including the top three actionable items. Meanwhile check out the Top 10 Mistakes Brands Make Online.