SINGAPORE: Online shoppers in Asia are the least satisfied with all aspects of their shopping experience, compared to shoppers in other regions, according to new research.

The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper report, based on a comScore survey of more than 18,000 online shoppers worldwide including more than 3,300 respondents in China, Hong Kong, and Japan, found that only 57% of shoppers in Asia were satisfied with the online shopping experience.

Free, fast shipping and free and easy return policies are expected as standard; almost half (46%) of respondents in Asia had abandoned a shopping cart due to no delivery date being given or delivery time being too long; and while relatively few returned an online purchase, two thirds of Asia said that free shipping on returns was an important factor when choosing an online retailer.

“Far from being a sunk cost, clever shipping and returns solutions are actually an area where retailers can win and retain customers, drive repeat patronage, and encourage shoppers to add more items to their carts – both online and in-store”, said Sylvie Van den Kerkhof, Vice President of Marketing, UPS Asia Pacific.

Among those returning items, 69% made new purchases when returning an online order in-store, and 67% bought new items when returning online – demonstrating a strong business case for offering a fuss-free return service, the report noted.

While ship-to-store is growing in popularity, alternative delivery locations have also emerged as a popular choice in Asia compared to other regions: 71% of consumers, particularly millennials and urban shoppers, indicated an interest in shipping packages to such locations with extended hours for reduced fees.

Further, Asian online shoppers are comfortable with shopping abroad, with more than half (55%) embracing international retailers, either because a brand product was not available locally or because they could get a better price or better quality overseas.

Most, however prefer to shop within Asia (77%) rather than further afield (31% had ordered from retailers in the US).

“One revealing finding is that Asia’s online shoppers are now buying from a more diverse set of retailers – ranging from major marketplaces to boutique shops, from domestic and foreign stores”, said Van den Kerkhof.

“Importantly, what this tells us is that there is a viable opportunity and customer base for small businesses in Asia to expand internationally, and it is only set to grow larger”.

Sourced from UPS; additional content by WARC staff