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Asians dissatisfied with online shopping

Overall satisfaction with online shopping experiences in Asia is the lowest globally.

According to the study of comScore and UPS, only half of Asian shoppers are satisfied, compared to 83 per cent in the US and 78 per cent in Europe.

Shoppers have particularly low satisfaction ratings relating to the ability to choose delivery dates and times, collecting purchased goods at a convenient retail location and exchange or returns policies.

“Asia’s consumers are seeking multiple access channels, a variety of shipping choices and post-purchase convenience,” said Michael Mclary, UPS director of enterprise segmentation and product strategy for Asia Pacific.

“Mobile strategy has become a cornerstone for retailers with the growing popularity of an integrated online shopping experience.

“Through our survey, it is clear there is room for retailers to improve their services. By differentiating themselves with consumer-driven supply chain strategies, they can drive customer loyalty and expand globally,” said Mclary.

Today’s shoppers are more discerning with choices when it comes to shopping online and seek a greater control over their purchase experience.

The survey also finds that Asian consumers increasingly shop online using their mobile phones and tablets, with nearly eight out of 10 online shoppers preferring to access multi-channel retailers via handheld devices.

Asia Pacific consumers are using tablets to search for deals and make price comparisons. In a typical three-month period, more than 70 per cent of the Asian shoppers surveyed used a smartphone to make a purchase while nearly 80 per cent of the same group made purchases through a tablet.

“This shifting behavior in Asia Pacific opens up numerous business opportunities for retailers, giving them an increasing number of online platforms to reach customers,” said Susan Engleson, comScore senior director.

“With such a strong customer preference for mobile devices, retailers need to fully understand how and when shoppers are using these devices in order to stay ahead in this competitive global landscape.”

The survey also shows online shoppers value convenience, notably during the post-sales process with 65 per cent of Asia Pacific shoppers rating email or text alerts as the most convenient notification service to track their packages.

The study says that a free and convenient returns policy can nearly double the likelihood of Asian shoppers completing a sale compared to paying for return shipping or paying a restocking fee.

Shoppers in Australia (80 per cent) and Singapore (73 per cent) are likely to consider buying if return shipping is free. However, this is not likely to impact online shoppers in China with only 18 per cent of them sharing the same view.

A hassle-free returns policy also drives word-of-mouth recommendations and shopper loyalty, particularly in China and Singapore. All markets agreed free delivery tends to generate positive recommendations and 72 per cent highlight visible reviews as an important aspect in checkout.

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