LONDON: E-tailers need to address the need online shoppers have for greater control over their purchasing, particularly in the area of deliveries and returns, a new survey has said.

A report from logistics firm UPS, conducted with comScore, polled more than 1,000 online shoppers in the United Kingdom, as part of a wider European survey, asking about their online shopping habits and experiences, including what leads them to abandon their shopping carts and what motivates them to recommend retailers to friends.

UK shoppers expected to see delivery options and total costs early in the purchase process. Flexibility was also important as 45% wanted to choose a delivery date and 35% wanted improved options for collecting packages at a convenient retail location.

In addition, 47% of UK consumers said they would be more likely to shop with a retailer if they could buy online and collect the item in-store, while 58% wanted the ability to buy online and return items in-store.

"Consumers in Europe and across the globe have a growing number of digital touch points, with more ways to stay connected with their favourite online retailers through every phase of the shopping, buying and fulfilment process," said Susan Engleson, comScore senior director.

"What will set apart one retailer from another in a competitive marketplace is how well they meet the rapidly evolving needs and expectations of customers," she added.

Returns were an area the report said could help drive sales and improve customer satisfaction. Some 58% of UK online shoppers said they review a returns policy before making a purchase, while 38% thought that returns and exchanges needed to be made easier.

Fully 60% stated they would shop more with a retailer if they offered a hassle-free returns policy.

The ability to track purchases was a feature most welcomed, with 96% saying this was essential or nice to have. Around two thirds (69%) wanted to do so via email alerts while a similar proportion (63%) preferred to do so via a retailer's website.

Data sourced from comScore; additional content by Warc staff