IRCE 2013 - speakerAt IRCE last week, Gian Fulgoni, Chairman of ComScore covered the results of their recent report: The UPS Pulse of the Online Shopper.  The report which surveyed over 3,000 participants, gave great insight in to the pre- and post-purchase expectations of online shopping. Here are the report’s major insights:

Tablets and Mobile devices

Today, stores are displaying more and more “tablet” offerings like the Kindle, e-reader, and phablet.  Gian noted that there are now over 60 million tablet users and over 137 million mobile users. Internet use via desktop computer is up 20% whereas internet use via mobile device is up a whopping 389%.

What’s most important to the customer?

With passage of the recent sales tax bill, the typical internet retailer is understandably worried about the impact to online sales.  In fact, the ComScore study found the top reasons customers bought online were free shipping, online deals, no sales tax, fast shipping and in-store pickup. ComScore did a quadrant analysis to determine which items were in high-derived importance and high satisfaction during the shopping experience. The three most crucial pieces of the online customer experience? Ease of checkout, variety of product and ability to track products online.  23% of consumers in the study also indicated that “showing me other items I might be interested in” during check out was in the top 10 most important features.

Commerce vs. Marketing

Companies like AT&T and Procter & Gamble are actively engaging in advertising through commerce powered ads resulting in a tight feedback loop where “commerce has become marketing and marketing has become commerce”(Rishad Tobaccowala). Most importantly noted, the expectations of consumers today are at an all-time high in terms of control and convenience of the online customer experience; particularly in a seamless experience, thus adding complexity to the lofty consumer expectations of all online retailers.