The Web’s most devoted shoppers are undeniably shaking up the ecommerce experience and redefining the store experience.

UPS’ “Pulse of the Online Shopper” survey revealed that the average consumer who purchases two to three items online over a three week period now makes more than half of his or her purchases there. The study does not included the purchase of groceries.

Now in its fifth year, UPS’ “Pulse of the Online Shopper” brings to light the degree to which the online shopping is accelerating.

The Online Shopping Trend

“Consumers are skilled at using technology to their advantage and thrive on gathering information when shopping,” UPS Chief Marketing Officer Teresa Finley said. “This year’s UPS study revealed that 45 percent of online shoppers love the thrill of hunting for and finding great deals, and that physical stores continue to play an important role in that experience. The challenge is how to best engage with shoppers to fulfill their desires.”


The study also states that the use of smartphone for online shopping has increased by 10 points to 77 percent and this is one reason why small business owners need to make sure their online websites are mobile compatible. A large number of retailers have made the necessary changes as a good number of online shoppers (73 percent) reported to having encountered a good mobile shopping experience. Social media also continues to influence shopping decisions as 23 percent of the respondents said that they had completed purchases via social media sites.

Retailers have to be aware of the fact that store concepts are quickly changing as more online customers are now looking for easier transitions between digital and in-person purchasing opportunities.

The study also cements the need for retailers to enhance their online presence, stating that store-only purchases are down to 20 percent. However, cross-channel transactions, which are basically purchases using in-store and at least one online channel, have gone up, accounting for 38 percent of all purchases. Retailers therefore need to strike a balance and preferably offer both offline and online shopping opportunities to their customers.

The study further revealed that 58 percent of online customers think it’s important for small businesses to have good photos of merchandise, professional reviews and detailed product descriptions.

“The industry is changing at an incredibly fast rate. Listening closely to what shoppers want and boldly trying new techniques can give retailers a competitive advantage in this very competitive industry. UPS is working with shoppers and retailers to provide a seamless, engaging experience that everyone will enjoy,” Finley added.