India Witnessed The Highest Increase in Online Shopping in Asia Pacific, Says Pitney Bowes Global E-Commerce Study

India.com News Desk
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New Delhi, Nov 21: After registering a phenomenal growth in consumption, India witnessed the highest increase in Online Shopping in Asia Pacific. Pitney Bowes Global E-commerce Study stated that Asia Pacific saw the largest year-over-year incremental cross-border purchases, with India (18%), China (12%) and South Korea (8%) contributing most.

The study offers a detailed portrait of trends impacting online retailers and consumers around the globe. Some of the report’s most interesting findings are summarized below:

 For many online shoppers, 2016 was a holiday to forget…

Nearly half (47%) of online shoppers globally reported frustration with everything from shipping, to returns, to lost products and miscalculated duties and taxes during the 2016 holiday shopping season. Shoppers in Asia Pacific – particularly India (73%), Hong Kong (69%) China (64%) and South Korea (58%) – reported the most challenges. In the US, 36% of online shoppers experienced problems, up 5% from the previous year.

“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 Ecommerce and Presort Services, 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.”

She continued, “With even more purchases expected to be online this year, retailers need to double-down on the elements of the consumer experience that matter most – delivery, returns, tracking and world-class customer care.”

A more experienced, demanding and frequent global online shopper

Online shopping is ubiquitous in major global markets, but is showing signs of plateauing, with 94% of consumers having made a domestic online purchase – flat year-over-year. Consumers are shopping online more frequently. More than one-third of global consumers make online purchases at least once per week.

70% of online shoppers have made a cross-border purchase.

Online shoppers are exercising a wider range of options when it comes to shipping, collecting, or returning their items:

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

Consumers prefer free shipping with longer delivery times (75%) over paying for expedited parcel shipments (25%).
Online shoppers in India increasingly prefer online marketplaces over retailer websites. 67% of online shoppers turn to marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Flipkart, Rakuten, Tmall and JD.com to search for products. This trend is most prevalent in Germany, India and China.

Credit cards versus e-wallets – a dead heat

Credit cards (like Visa and MasterCard) and e-wallets (like PayPal and AliPay) have been locked in a battle for payment option supremacy for several years. When this survey asked consumers what type of payment option they prefer when making a purchase outside of their home country, 41% chose e-wallets and 39% chose credit cards – the exact inverse of the results from the previous year.

Preferred payment options vary by market. India is the only country equally uses credit cards, E- wallets, and debit cards/ bank transfers.

“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 ecommerce solutions,” said Snyder.