An estimated 85 percent of online shoppers have made a purchase at a marketplace and 25 of those buying online intend to use marketplaces this year either to buy or conduct research, according to UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper.
So why do consumers flock to marketplaces hosted online by Amazon, eBay, Sears, Etsy and Walmart-owned Jet?
An estimated 65 percent of shoppers choose online marketplaces, where most know that some products are sold through third parties, to find better prices. Other top reasons: free and/or discounted shipping (51%), in-stock products (38%) and broader product selection (34%).
But nearly half of avid online shoppers (45%) report visiting and purchasing in brick-and-mortar locations. Most do so for “the thrill of hunting for and finding great deals,” the 64-page white paper suggests. This mindset suggests banners such as TJ Maxx and Marshalls are well-positioned. Other consumer reasons for visiting physical stores include: to get ideas for future purchases that are done online (30%), relaxation (36%), and to tap the knowledge of sales associates (23%). One new type of physical retail concept addressed in the report are showrooms, physical stores that don’t stock inventory for shoppers to take home. Millennials, women and urban shoppers are more likely to have a positive experience with the format, UPS reported. Meanwhile, 40 percent of respondents found showrooms “frustrating,” and 17 percent of online shoppers said they have made a purchase in a showroom. More on the upside: 27 percent said showrooms would enable them to learn more about a brand that may help them consider making a purchase in their online store and 24 percent said showrooms are “a better way to get familiar with the brand.”
Among key findings on mobile purchasing, use of retailer apps, shipping and use of social media:
• 67 percent of consumers search their mobile device for a retail coupon; 72 percent use it track delivery of an order and 64 percent to research products before visiting a store.
• 20 percent of shoppers indicated they never use a retailer’s app. The main reasons why included: like using the website better (53%), concerned about security (31%);apps take up too much space on device (28%); and don’t want to download a separate app for each retailer that I shop (19%).
• 27 percent of online shoppers said they intend to use ship-to-store more in the coming year. And 46 percent who have already done so, said they have made another purchase while picking up their order.
• An estimated 77 percent of online shoppers use social media, led by Facebook (68%), YouTube (49%), Twitter (34%), Pinterest (29%) and Instagram (25%). Millennials (83%) and Gen Xers (79%) are the heaviest social media users. Meanwhile, the percentage of social media users likely to promote a brand when satisfied has risen to 42 percent, up from 38 percent last year.