How to Click with High-Tech Online Shoppers

Here’s what we can learn from how people shopped in 2016.

Dave Roegge | UPS

It’s clear that holiday shoppers were driven by two main factors this gift-buying season: technology and convenience.

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Download the 2016 UPS How to Click with High-Tech Online Shoppers study.

According to Consumer Technology Association (CTA), 68 percent of shoppers – about 170 million people – purchased technology this year. And most of those people bought what they wanted, when and how they wanted it.

In our 2016 UPS How to Click with High-Tech Online Shoppers study, we examined the buying habits of 5,300 online shoppers and found that high-tech shoppers expect as much from their online experience as their in-store experience.

They require a consistent and connected shopping experience across multiple channels and all digital devices with an array of options for shipping, delivery and returns.

While high-tech purchasers do a lot of shopping online, 46 percent of their purchases are made in store, and 58 percent of these shoppers prefer to make returns to the store.

They have even found new ways to use the store such as online pick-ups, with high-tech purchasers more likely than non-high-tech purchasers to have used ship-to-store.

Among high-tech shoppers who use ship-to-store, more than half are likely to purchase additional products in the store.

These savvy consumers also opt for similar convenience with their shipping and delivery methods. High-tech purchasers prefer packages delivered to locations other than their homes. Places such as a retailer’s store, a family member or friend, their workplace or another authorized pick-up location were preferred by about two in five high-tech purchasers.

High-tech shoppers aren’t opting for online shopping instead of brick-and-mortar stores – they’re embracing both experiences.

More high-tech purchasers used their smart phones to make buys in 2016.

More high-tech purchasers used their smart phones to make buys in 2016.

And retailers who want to win with these consumers must do the same.

Start by understanding what makes this demanding consumer click. Their shopping character traits – as defined by our study – mirror the high-tech industry and provide insight into what motivates them:

Hyper-Connected: High-tech purchasers are heavy users of social media, with 42 percent following retailers’ social channels. High-tech purchasers made significantly more purchases on their smartphones in 2016 (42 percent) versus purchasers of non-high-tech items (27 percent).

Explorers: On the hunt for choices, convenience and deals, high-tech purchasers use mobile advertising, social media and price comparison sites more frequently. Thirty-seven percent of high-tech purchasers say that social media influences their purchasing decisions, and 25 percent are making purchases on social media sites.

Convenience-centric: High-tech purchasers embrace the store as part of the shopping experience and look for easy returns experiences and convenient delivery options. That’s why it’s important to offer a seamless experience across channels.

High-tech purchasers are increasingly shopping more online versus shoppers that purchase non-high tech items.

High-tech purchasers are increasingly shopping more online versus shoppers that purchase non-high tech items.

Empower shoppers with information and look for ways to add value through recommendations, deals and promotions. Also, provide convenient options from pre-purchase to delivery and returns.

Here’s how:

  • Look for ways to add value: Consider special deals, promotions and coupons to attract the high-tech shopper and keep them coming back. High-tech purchasers are more heavily influenced by emails with product recommendations based on what others have purchased, posts on social media and text messages with promotions.
  • Don’t overlook logistics: Remember that how, when and where consumers receive their products shapes their overall shopping experience and impacts your brand reception.
  • Embrace new trends: Experiment with new technologies and show high-tech customers that your company is plugged into trends that interest them – from wearables to the Internet of Things.

To learn more about the UPS study, click here.

Dave Roegge is Director of Marketing, High Tech at UPS.

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