Mobile Matters More For High-Tech Online Shoppers, UPS Study Shows

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    A strong majority of tech-savvy consumers use mobile devices to shop, purchase and track packages, a recent UPS Pulse of the High-Tech Online Shopper survey shows, and these customers demand a rich mobile experience from retailers.

    The study, conducted for UPS by comScore, showed that among mobile device users 69% of high-tech shoppers purchased products on mobile devices, compared with 53% of non-high-tech shoppers. And 70% of high-tech shoppers used a retailer’s mobile app, compared with 55% of non-high-tech shoppers. comScore defines a high-tech shopper as someone who purchased online a high-tech product like a computer or a mobile phone within the last three months.

    More than 2,000 shoppers participated in the study. At a time of rising online retail sales, these results underscore the importance of a strong online presence – especially mobile – to shoppers who purchase high-value electronics online.

    “High-tech consumers, especially Millennials, appear to be comfortable shopping on any device,” said Dave Roegge, high-tech marketing director at UPS. “These are sophisticated consumers, and we expect them to shop more online and across all devices. Retailers need to be ready to engage them online and on their own terms.”

    Despite their heightened interest in mobile shopping, however, high-tech consumers see a lot of room for improvement in the experience. Eighty four percent reported being satisfied with their overall online shopping experience irrespective of device, but only 66% were satisfied with their shopping experience, when using a smartphone to make a purchase. Some said it’s easier to use a PC keyboard and mouse than a smartphone to shop. Some also complained that they can’t get clear or large enough images on a mobile device.

    The survey also showed that:

    • 69% of high-tech shoppers researched products on a mobile device during a store visit vs. 54% of non-high-tech shoppers
    • 76% of high-tech shoppers tracked delivery on a mobile device vs. 65% of non-high-tech shoppers.
    Overall, the percentage of online consumers who use mobile or both mobile and PCs is on the rise. Other comScore data showed in July 2015 that nearly 80% of online shoppers used both PCs and mobile, up from 66% in September 2013. Eleven percent of online shoppers used mobile only, up from 8% in September 2013. Those who used desktop computers exclusively declined to 10% from 26%.

    The UPS Pulse of the High-Tech Online Shopper survey also showed that high-tech-shoppers used alternative delivery options more than their non-high-tech counterparts. Thirty seven percent of high-tech consumers said they preferred product delivery to locations other than their homes. Among non-high-tech consumers, however, 30% preferred delivery to locations other than their homes.

    Many UPS consumers prefer alternative delivery options to safeguard against theft of high-value items. UPS addresses this consumer preference with two delivery programs: UPS My Choice® service and UPS Access Point™ locations. UPS My Choice service allows online shoppers to conveniently manage their residential deliveries. UPS Access Point locations offer convenient package pickup and drop off. The locations primarily are neighborhood stores with extended weekend or evening hours. UPS My Choice members can redirect packages to nearby UPS Access Point locations for free.

    Finally, the study showed high-tech shoppers place a high value on a smooth returns process. Among the best returns practices identified were easy-to-print return labels, quick turnaround on product exchanges and conveniently located stores for in-store returns.

    Other topics covered in the survey include high-tech shoppers’ in-store shopping habits and their preference for free shipping. For more information on the UPS Pulse of the High-Tech Online Shopper study, click here or visit