Online shopping still a challenge for Indians: Survey

In 2016, 73 percent of all Indian shoppers who shopped online faced challenges ranging from shipping, returns, lost products and miscalculated duties and taxes during the holiday shopping season, said global technology company, Pitney Bowes, in its ‘2017 Global Ecommerce Study’ survey.

According to the study, although on a global level 47 percent shoppers said they faced challenges with their online shopping in 2016, countries surveyed in Asia Pacific region like Hong Kong with 69%, China with 64 percent and South Korea with 58 percent shoppers complaint led the pack.

The study is based on survey results of 1,200 retailers from eight countries including India and 12,000 consumers from 12 global markets.

Asia Pacific saw the largest year-over-year incremental cross-border purchases, with India 18 percent, China 12 percent and South Korea 8 percent contributing the most, said the report. India is the only country that has interest in quick delivery for a cost, and are split across free longer delivery and quicker shorter deliveries for a fee stated the report.

“As consumers become more experienced with online shopping, they’re shifting more of their holiday spend online and expecting better and better service from retailers,” said Lila Snyder, president, global e-commerce and presort services at Pitney Bowes.

“Online shoppers have an entire global marketplace at their fingertips. They expect that there is always a way to get the product they want, shipped where they want when they want it. This creates both opportunities and challenges for retailers,” Snyder said further.

According to the survey, “Click-and-collect” – purchasing online and picking up in store – is now common practice for 40 percent of global online shoppers, up from 28 percent the previous year. In the US alone, this option is exercised by 46 percent of online shoppers versus 27 percent in the previous year. And the practice is most common in Hong Kong where 69 percent shoppers click-and-collect.

The survey also found out that 62 percent of retailers have a cross-border e-commerce business today. And the vast majority of retailers who don’t offer cross-border, plan to in the next 12 months.”

If these retailers execute against their stated business plans, 93 percent will offer cross-border shopping by this time next year – that equates to a 50 percent increase in cross-border retailers in just one year.

“It is important that cross-border retailers focus on the consumers they are trying to reach, not necessarily the consumers they are most used to when developing their strategies around payment options and just about any aspect of their global e-commerce solutions,” said Snyder.

When this survey asked consumers what type of payment option they prefer when making a purchase outside of their home country, 41 percent chose e-wallets and 39 percent chose credit cards – the exact inverse of the results from the previous year. India is the only that equally uses credit cards, e-wallets, debit cards and bank transfers, the survey said.

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