Life can get rather complicated, so when online retailers make the purchase process more cumbersome than their competitors' processes, customers tend to wander. Those consumers that gravitate toward online shopping do so for its ease and speed. But, when inconsistent checkout methods and costly return procedures plague the average interaction, most customers learn their lesson and change their ways accordingly—all at the expense of the retailer.

Based upon ShopRunner's recent study, retailers can see that consumers expect more from their online shopping experience than ever before. Conducted by Harris Interactive, the survey polled 3,036 adults in the United States ages 18 or older, of which 2,839 respondents indicated they shop online. The survey was designed to understand what drives today's online shopping experience, thereby uncovering the fact that both free shipping on purchases and free return shipping have the greatest impact on customer interactions. 

The following statistics explore customer expectations and behaviors in the online retail space: