RESTON, Va. and ATLANTA, June 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While 86 percent of consumers are satisfied with the overall experience of shopping online, retailers still have significant opportunity to improve customer satisfaction and their competitive position by making the process of returning or exchanging items easier, a new study shows. comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, and UPS (NYSE: UPS) today released the Online Shopping Customer Experience Study, a report analyzing consumers' online shopping behaviors and preferences pertaining to the post-purchase experience. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080115/COMSCORELOGO) Drawing its analysis from a February 2012 comScore survey of more than 3,100 U.S. online shoppers and an online focus group held in January 2012, the report highlights which factors lead consumers to return items, to recommend online retailers to friends, their requirements for a smooth checkout process, and which shipping services they find most valuable. To download a copy of the report, please visit: www.comscore.com/OnlineShoppingExperience. Convenient Return Process Critical to Customer SatisfactionFew factors figure more prominently in improving customer satisfaction in online shopping than an easy-to-understand and convenient returns process. A significant 63 percent of online shoppers look at a retailer's return policy before making a purchase. Nearly half said that they would shop more often and recommend a retailer with a lenient returns policy, indicating its value in driving customer loyalty. Hassle-free returns and exchanges rank above average in terms of importance for shoppers but rank low in terms of current customer satisfaction, showing a significant area of opportunity for retailers. "The Online Shopping Customer Experience Study provides retailers with the insights needed to enhance the post-purchase online shopping experience, focusing on the factors which lead to customer loyalty and growth," said Susan Kleinman, comScore director. "While free shipping has tended to dominate the discussion regarding what provides satisfaction to online shoppers, the study shows there are several other factors critical to a positive online shopping experience. Retailers need a holistic understanding of these drivers if they hope to stimulate sales while maintaining healthy margins in this competitive retail environment." "This is important intelligence that can be put to use immediately," said Alan Gershenhorn, UPS's chief sales and marketing officer. "Online retailers of any size can win more business during this year's holiday season if they prepare now to offer a better shopping experience. UPS recognized some time ago that online customers are expecting speed, convenience and flexibility after they click to buy. That's why we've developed solutions such as the industry's broadest range of return options and UPS My Choice(SM) which lets consumers control the time and location of delivery." Two in Five Online Shoppers Abandon Shopping Carts Because of Delivery TimingConsumers are currently most satisfied with the ease of checking out, the variety of brands and products available and online delivery tracking ability. They are least satisfied with the current level of flexibility in choosing delivery dates. At least 42 percent of online shoppers reported abandoning their shopping carts because of delivery timing estimates. While two-thirds of shoppers choose the most inexpensive shipping option, more than 40 percent expect to see the availability of 2-3 day delivery and nearly a third want the option to choose overnight shipping. The need for speed is also important, with 48 percent of online shoppers not willing to wait more than 5 days for packages to be delivered. A third of shoppers said they most often choose to pay a fee for faster delivery.