A week ago, UPS released its fifth annual survey of online shopping. The main results:
–for the first time ever, more than half of the purchases made by survey respondents are made online
–over three quarters use smartphones for their buys
–a third use social media sites to gather information; a quarter have bought things through social media sites
–a third start their shopping either at Amazon or eBay
—half of online shoppers take delivery at a physical store. Almost half make additional purchases when they go to pick their items up
–60% of returns go through physical stores. Again, consumers frequently buy additional items once they’re inside
–almost a third of purchases in a store are smartphone-guided, meaning buyers use their phones for product information, price comparison or download discount coupons
–35% of packages not sent to a store go to non-home locations, a trend that has been steadily rising recently
—pure physical-store shopping, meaning no online involvement in either search or purchasing, is down to 20% of all buys in the US.
No wonder traditional retailers, especially mall-based ones, are taking such a beating. No wonder Amazon is aggressively beefing up its own shipping operations, while starting to tiptoe into opening physical stores (as a better way of processing returns?).