Online Shop Services in 2022 (USA)

When it comes to shop services, 75% of consumers surveyed on a study published by the national retail federation expect delivery to be free even on orders under $50, up from 68 percent a year ago. Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) demand free shipping the most, with 88 percent expecting it. That compares with 77 percent for Generation X (1965-1980), 61 percent for millennials (1981-1994) and 76 percent for Generation Z (1995 and later).

Free delivery is certainly important when sending a gift to a loved one or a client however there are other services which become more important when ordering a gift online like: gift wrapping, adding a greeting card, the possibility to deliver the product on a specific date and not showing the product price on the invoice. At gala10.com customers can find these and dozens more services offered by awarded online shops globally with only a few clicks. We have selected over 5,000 online shops in 50 countries identifying over 1,300 shop services.

Our dedicated team has selected in the USA 141 online shops in 18 categories. For more information about our selection process please click here.

We have grouped the shop services in six different categories: Client segmentProductOrderDeliveryPayment method and After-sales services. You can find a detailled explanation of all sub-categories of shop services we have identified here.

Let’s look at our main findings.

1. Client segment

28% of the surveyed shops have a dedicated department or person for corporate clients. Germany and Japan offer similar rates, therefore this is online the other major leading economies.

2. Product

The most common service offered by 34% of the surveyed shops are gift cards. US shops are leading the way when compared to Germany and Japan. According to Globenewswire historically, the gift card market in the United States has recorded a steady growth with an average growth rate of 11.7% p.a. during 2015-2019. Adoption of e-Gift cards is also expected to increase significantly. The gift card industry in United States will continue to grow over the forecast period and is expected to record a growth rate of 9.2% p.a. during 2020-2024. The gift card market in the country will increase from US$ 163,000 million in 2019 to reach US$ 221,000 million by 2024.

US shops are leading the way as well with free greeting cards. 34% of the surveyed shops offer a free greeting card. Compared to German and Japanese shops this is 30-50% higher.

However when it comes to offering wrapping paper, which is very important when ordering a gift, only 14% of US shops offer this service. Compared to 40% in Japan, USA is (together with Germany) lagging far behind.

US shops don’t seem to see a demand of professional and more expensive greeting cards with only 3% offering them. Even less important seems to be the possibility to personalize gifts by uploading a picture (or logo for companies) with only 1% of shops offering this service. This fact seems to be in contrast with the statistics mentioned at the beginning of this study. A possible explanation can be found in the fact hat personalized gifts are offered by new, less traditional shops, that can’t be categorized well in our 18 categories. Some of these shops are Cafepress Inc, Etsy, Memorable Gifts, Hallmark Cards, etc. Hence, these new shops stay out of the radar in our study.

3. Order

US shops are absolutely leading when offering their products to customers that offer from abroad. 81% of the surveyed shops accept orders from customers that have an address outside of the USA. This is not surprising since the US is the largest private market in the world with approx. 15% of immigrants and as the major economy of the world.

4. Delivery

18% of shops in the USA offer free delivery and 12% offer free delivery for orders above USD 50. At a first glims one would have expected a higher percentage of shops delivering for free, specially if it is well know that customers want free delivery. However one must be clear about the profitability of its products. You cannot offer competitive prices and free delivery at the same time. However, as low as 18% might seem, it is on the top of the surveyed shops compared to Germany (13%) and Japan (11%).

If you want your gift to be delivered for a birthday for example only 20% of the surveyed shops will be able to meet your expectations. While 54% of all shops will be able to deliver your gift within 1-2 days you won’t be sure if it will arrive on the exact day of the birthday. However, US shops offer a unique service which is only offered in very few countries which is ideal for gifting: “don’t show product price”. This service allows you to send a gift with an invoice containing all details of the product but without showing the purchase price. And if you are late with your gift wishes, there is only a 7% of all surveyed shops that offer same day delivery, so it’s better if you plan when order your gift (believe me that even your mom will appreciate it if the gift arrives timely for her birthday or mothers day).

5. Payment Methods

As in basically all countries credit cards and specially Visa/Mastercards are the most commonly offered payment methods by online shops in the USA followed by PayPal. Compared to Europe, in the USA people are more used to pay by instalments (21% offered by the surveyed shops) instead of paying with an invoice. In fact, none of the surveyed shops offers payment with invoice.

6. After sales services

Almost 80% of surveyed shops offer money back guarantee which is the highest rate among leading economies like Germany and Japan. However only 5% of shops offer free return which is the lowest rate among the leading economies.

The perfect gift

If you are wondering what is the perfect gift for the next occasion and you want to send a gift in wrapping paper, with a personal message and deliver it on the exact date of the occasion you might be best served with flowers, a gift basket or wine. You will find a few shops in these categories that offer all of these services.

Online Shop Services in 2021 (Switzerland)

According to Carpathia the 5 largest online shops of Switzerland (stand 2018) are:

  1. Digitec.ch (sFr. 690 Mio sales in 2017)
  2. Zalando.ch (sFr. 685 Mio sales in 2017)
  3. Amazon.de (sFr. 575 Mio sales in 2017)
  4. Nespresso.com (sFr. 350 Mio sales in 2017))
  5. Brack.ch (sFr. 283 Mio sales in 2017)

It’s surprising to see that Nespresso belongs to the top 5 online shops. It seems that Swiss don’t only love chocolates but coffee as well. From the top 5 shops there are two foreign companies: Zalando (from Germany) and Amazon (from the USA). On the 6th place is Aliexpress (from China). Half of the top 6 online shops in Switzerland are foreign. That is still astonishing but less surprising since Switzerland is an interesting market for foreign companies. According to a study published by CBRE, Switzerland has – together with Liechtenstein – the largest purchasing power in Europe. While an average person from Zurich needs to work 4.7 days to buy a new Iphone X, an average person from Munich needs 10.1 days and an average person from Beijing needs to work 39.3 days.

Despite having the highest purchasing power, the Swiss prefer to pay with invoice. 78% of Swiss pay with invoice and 16% with credit card. This is probably due to a merely cash management reason since Swiss prefer to pay when they get their salary on the account. Swiss don’t like to have debts, therefore the credit card is used only in rare cases.

At Gala10.com we select every year the best online gift shops worldwide. We have selected over 5,000 online shops in 50 countries identifying over 1,300 shop services.

Our dedicated team has selected in Switzerland 169 online shops in 18 categories. For more information about our selection process please click here.

We have grouped the shop services in six different categories: Client segment, Product, Order, Delivery, Payment method and After-sales services. You can find a detailled explanation of all sub-categories of shop services we have identified here.

Let’s deep dive into the results of our analysis.

1. Client segment

In the client segment we have identified which online shops have a dedicated department for corporate clients. In Switzerland 18% of the analyzed shops offer such a department.

2. Product

Under product we have categorized all services that a customer can add when ordering a product. The most common services are 1. Gift card (36%), 2. Add a free greeting card (14%), 3. Add a gift wrap (13%) and 4. Add a greeting card (chargeable) (7%). Only 4% of the analyzed shops offers the possibility to label a personal message on the product and 1% offers the option to upload a logo or picture to the product. Mostly all flower shops offer customization of products, meaning that customers can add additional products to the order.

3. Order

36% of all Swiss shops accept orders from abroad. For such an international country this figure seems to be small. Maybe Swiss shops are loosing the opportunity to capture international customers.

4. Delivery

Free delivery is by far the most common service with 35% of Swiss online shops offering it. 13% of shops offer free delivery for orders above sFr. 100 and 8% offer free delivery for orders above sFr. 80%.

while 20% offer Post priority (one day delivery time with exception from weekends) and 16% Post express delivery (same day or by next morning) for an extra cost. Only 3% of Swiss online shops offer delivery on a specific day. This service is ideal for celebrations such as birthdays or anniversaries.

5. Payment methods

As we noted before, paying with invoice is the most preferred payment method by Swiss customers. However only 62% of the analyzed Swiss shops offer this payment method. In contrary almost 100% of shops offer payment with credit card followed by 63% Paypal. Only 11% of Swiss shops offer the possibility to pay in instalments.

6. After sales services

61% of all online shops offer money back guarantee, which is a pretty high ratio and stands for the high quality service Swiss shops strive to offer. In contrary, only 8% of Swiss shops offer a free return service. Only shop with a high volume of orders and returning customers can offer this service and stay profitable.

The perfect gift

When we think about which are the most important services a customer might need when sending a gift to a loved one or a client then we come up with following services: Add a greeting card (for free or chargeable), add a gift wrap, can be labeled with a personal message, select a delivery day or same day delivery. The perfect gift would be a one that is wrapped in a beautiful gift paper (for the wow-effect), with a personalized greeting card that arrives on the celebration occasion day (like birthday or mothers day) and has on top a gift with a personalized message. It comes out that sending a giftbasket will cover most of your expectations.

Online Shop Services: Future Growth Engine For Retailers?

We live in a world where technology runs most of our activities. Using digital connectivity, it showed entrepreneurs a unique way of doing business, and that is by connecting an e-commerce store with its broader audience. Online shopping is one of the most popular online activities with global e-retail sales, reaching 4.5 Trillion US Dollars in 2019. E-commerce share of total global retail sales will reach 15.5% of all sales in 2021 and 95% by 2040! The growth of E-commerce is not a trend anymore; it’s the present and the future. Shops that don’t invest in it will disappear (e.g. JC Penney and Neiman Markus). With over 20 Mio online shops already today, customers get lost when looking for the best shops. Will all these shops survive in the future? Well, they all need to attract and keep customers. How do they do it? Most of the shops are betting on social media advertising. While ad spending in Social Media has projected to reach US$43 Billion in 2020 only in the USA with a growth rate of 20% in 2020 nobody is talking about a significant differentiator that could save a lot of small (and large!) shops from disappearing: Services

Shop Services as a key differentiator

Services have become a key differentiator for some well-known shops. One of the most famous examples is Zalando.com, the online fashion retailer. According to a study made by Zalan­do, 57% of customers abandon their cart because they don’t want to pay shipping costs. That’s why Zalando introduced free shipping with 2-4 day of delivery time. 30% of the products bought online are returned. Moreover, 71% of digital customers  look for return policies before making their first purchases. Zalando accommodated this factor by offering free-return with a 100-day return guarantee. Today the company has over 30 Mio active customers that make almost 150 Million yearly orders. Zalando has proven that by providing additional servic­es that customers want, an online shop can create a huge advantage compared to its com­petitors.

Shop Services in Switzerland compared to leading economies

Following study made by the new Swiss search tool Gala10.com shows the actual ser­vice offerings of Swiss online shops com­ pared to German, US and Japanese shops. The study compares a universe of 181 shops in Switzerland, 147 in the US, 187 in Germany and 121 in Japan. The reviewed services of these shops are grouped in Product, Order, Delivery, Payment method, After-sales services and Client segment.

On the Product level, Germany is the leader when it comes to sending a gift with a professional greeting card. 13% of German online shops offer to deliver products with a professional greeting card compared to only 7% of Swiss, 3% US and 2% Japanese shops. When it comes to sending a gift in a wrapping paper, Japan is the leader with 40% of shops offering the service com­ pared to 12% in Switzerland, 14% in the USA and 16% in Germany. There is a significant lag on cus­tomization (meaning individualization of a product by adding additional products) by Swiss shops. Only 3% of selected Swiss shops offer customization possibilities compared to 13% in US, 10% in German and 15% in Japanese shops.

In the delivery services, there are also huge gaps between countries. While 57% of Japanese shops can deliver on a specific day, only 1% of Swiss, 14% of US and 11% of German shops offer this possibility. This service is essential when a customer wants to send a gift for a birthday or a special occasion. In terms of same-day delivery US shops are leaders with 14% of shops offering this service compared to 3% of Swiss, 6% Japanese and 1% of German shops. Also in terms of providing a free greeting card, the US is leading the market with 34% of shops offering this service com­pared to 12% of Swiss and German shops and 21% of Japanese shops. Probably the most popular delivery service is free delivery. The differences here are minimal and Swiss shops are leading the way with 19% of shops offering free delivery against 18% US, 13% German and 11% Japanese shops. USA and Germany the way in international delivery with 58% resp. 48% of shops offering the service compared to 23% of Swiss and 11% of Japanese shops providing it.There is an interesting service which is highly relevant when sending gifts: “don’t show product price”. This service is of­ fered among the analyzed countries only in the USA with only 5% of US shops offering this feature. German shops have a similar service called “anonymous delivery”, which doesn’t show the name of the  sender. Also here, only 4% of German shops offer the service. This could be a service with an untapped potential to increase gift-sales.

Every country has a broad range of different  payment  methods. But the  primary payment meth­ods remain overall Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Paypal. Some new payment meth­ods are emerging like Twint in Switzerland which  is offered already  by one-third  of the selected Swiss shops or Amazon pay which is used by 14% of US and interestingly enough by 31% of Japa­nese shops. Bitcoin hasn’t been able to establish as global payment method with only the US of­fering it in less than 3% of shops. Payment with an invoice is another  payment method that dif­fers significantly in the observed countries. While in 58% of Swiss shops offer payment by invoice, in Germany and Japan it is almost not used, and 36% of US shops offer it. Payment by instal­lments (meaning buy today and pay in parts) has provided  by 10% of Swiss shops, 20% of US, 10% of German and 34% of Japanese shops.

Germany is leading the  way when it comes to After-sales services. 46% of German shops offer free return compared to 4% of Swiss, 6% US and 2% Japanese shops. Also when it comes to Money Back guarantee 82% of German shops offer this service compared to 72% in the US, 60% in Swit­ zerland and 36% in Japan.

In the segment of corporate clients, Germany, USA and Japan are pretty much aligned offering be­tween 25% and 27% of all shops, a dedicated corporate dient department. Switzerland is lag­ ging with only 15% of shops offering such a dedicated department.

Gift cards

Gift cards have won on popularity very quickly. US and Swiss shops are leading the way resp. 32% offering gift cards, whereas only 24% of German shops offer gift cards and an ing 1% of Japanese shops offer gift cards.

Search for shops by services

lf services will be an important differentiator in the future, how shall customers be informed about the services rendered by online shops and more importantly, how can customers find online shops by services?

The new Swiss based search tool www.gala10.com helps to solve this issue. Gala10.com is a search tool to find the best online gift shops in a few clicks. The tool can filter the search for the ideal shop by country, category and services. There are over 5,000 shops listed in almost 50 countries and 18 categories and there are over 20 shop services to select from in each country. This search tool is specially useful for people that want to send a gift to their loved ones or clients living abroad and prefer buying locally rather than sending a gift to another country and exposing the recipient to paying import duties. People usually don’t know which shops abroad are the best and most reliable ones. This is when Gala10.com becomes relevant. Gala10.com has done the search job of shops for the users, they only need to choose a gift. Not only gift seekers that are looking for a shop abroad can benefit from the search tool but also genuine online shoppers that are looking for specific services from online shops in their country. The tool offers a broad range of shops, from the largest brands to the smallest and new boutiques. Gala10.com makes the search for a gift much easier, saves time and money and helps decrease air pollution by buying locally and avoiding high freight costs. Shop owners can promote their services and products on gala10.com by purchasing a a Golden or Premium membership. Gala10.com represents a new promotion channel for shops that want to take advantage of the increasingly number of visitors.

Conclusion

Adding a new or expanding an existing shop service is an option that online shops should consider as an alternative to promoting products in social media. A combi­nation of both is certainly the ideal solution because if you introduce a new service people need to now about it. Swiss online shops have the potential of increasing their sales by improving and adding new services. The most important untapped potential for a lot of Swiss online Shops is creating a dedicated “gifts” segment with gift ideas and providing convenient services for gift occasions such as offering gift wrapping, greeting cards and being able to deliver orders on a specific date.

Gala10.com / July 2020