online shopping

E-commerce adoption by consumers has reached its peak — but they are shopping online more frequently, according to the latest Pitney Bowes global e-commerce study that revealed a decline in global, online cross-border shopping for most countries except the U.S. and Japan.

The survey, which polled more than 650 retailers and more than 13,000 consumers, also found that, on average, most consumers (about 60 percent) are shopping at online marketplaces such as Amazon, Tmall or eBay. The rest are buying goods online at a retailer or brand site such as macys.com, walmart.com or apple.com.

Regarding consumer behavior, the survey revealed that 91 percent of consumers abandon online shopping carts when shipping is not free or fast enough. Authors of the report said while expectations for “fast and free are becoming more and more demanding,” 95 percent of respondents “consider two-day free shipping ‘acceptable,’ only 47 percent consider it ‘fast.'”

Some additional takeaways from the study include that 90 percent of online shoppers in the U.S. “say they have, or will hurt a retailer’s brand in response to a bad post-purchase experience, ranging from sharing their frustrations on social media to never purchasing from the offending site again,” researchers said.

The report showed the prominence and importance of subscription boxes. More than half of the Millennials polled “are now enrolled in at least one subscription box” and the researchers said this is expected to grow “11 percent by next year.”

“Rather than search for a product themselves, consumers can rely on brands to come to the table and curate products on their behalf, creating a new opportunity for retailers to generate awareness in their brand,” Pitney Bowes stated.

Regarding cross-border transactions, the adoption rate of U.S. consumers shopping globally increased 2 percent year-over-year. In Japan, the rate rose 3 percent. But all other countries showed declines.

The study found that high shipping costs and slow delivery times were the top reasons for cart abandonment of cross-border shoppers.

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