According to the 2017 “UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper” report, 97 percent of online shoppers are buying on U.S. marketplaces and 47 percent made purchases from international retailers.
Nearly half of U.S. online shoppers are purchasing items from international sellers, “demonstrating the need for retailers to offer more personalized services as a way to compete against lower prices,” according UPS’s sixth annual “Pulse of the Online Shopper” study.
The study evaluates the shopping habits of 5,000 U.S. consumers from pre-purchase to post-delivery. Key takeaways from the study include:
- Online shoppers are more mobile, global and marketplace driven;
- 97 percent of online shoppers are buying on marketplaces, up 12 points from last year’s study;
- And 48 percent of smartphone users are buying items on their phones, up 4 points from last year’s study.
In all of this, UPS notes that price points are the
determining factor for consumers when searching for and selecting products
online. In fact, 43 percent of those who purchased items from an international retailer
were U.S. marketplaces and 36 percent wanted unique products not found from
U.S. retailers, according to the study.
“The lines that separate domestic and international
retailers continue to disappear,” said Alan Gershenhorn, chief commercial officer for UPS. “Retailers are now competing across the globe. In order to
win, retailers can distinguish themselves by providing value through
UPS says that personalized experiences include the physical
store, and that roughly half of online shoppers have used ship-to-store services in 2017
in order to “touch and feel products,” “solve immediate problems,” and “receive
superior customer service.”
According to market research firm eMarketer, global cross-border e-commerce is estimated to grow at an average of 22 percent from 2015 to 2020 compared to 15
percent for the domestic U.S. e-commerce market during the same time period.
When looking at the 47 percent of U.S. consumers who purchases items from international retailers on a U.S. online marketplace, the majority are buying from China (61 percent), the United Kingdom (23 percent), Canada (15 percent), and Japan
UPS last month announced a joint venture with S.F. Holding, the parent company of China’s market-leading express delivery company SF
Express, to develop
shipping products designed to help Chinese companies gain greater access to the
Correction: A previous version of this story indicated that 97 percent of online shoppers are buying on U.S. marketplaces from international retailers.