How to Satisfy Today’s Digital Shopper and Ease Pressure on Brand Suppliers
The demand from consumers for accurate, thorough product page content is higher than ever. However, according to 53 percent of global consumers, most companies aren’t up to par.
It’s a fine line for retailers. Anticipating the constant fluctuation in consumer expectations, enabling their brand suppliers to power their product pages with content personalized to the consumer, and creating an experience that feels like a one-to-one interaction is difficult.
With these very topics in mind, Salsify surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults who shopped online at least once in 2018. The research uncovered the new product page essentials for winning consumer attention, sales and loyalty. Here are the key takeaways for retailers.
Supply as Many Content and Media Opportunities as Possible
To shoppers, the more details, the merrier. Therefore, retailers should furnish brands with a platform emphasizing product content galore.
We found nearly 70 percent of consumers cite lack of product information as the reason they have left a product page, the most frequently selected cause of page abandonment. Two other popular reasons are when the media is poor quality or not plentiful enough.
Besides these motivations, the demands from shoppers continue to increase. Just three years ago when we conducted this survey, consumers wanted an average of three images per product, and video content on the product page was almost nonexistent. Today, shoppers want at least six images and two videos, with shoppers ages 18-24 and 35-44 expecting eight images and four to five videos for each product.
Make Data Importing and Updating Easier for Suppliers
Brands face a massive challenge in effectively managing their entire product catalog’s worth of experiences across many retailers and marketplaces. Each retailer has its own product page formatting, detail requirements, and media specifications. The upload speeds vary from retailer to retailer. Some retailers are selling entire catalogs, while others sell limited inventory depths and colorways.
To maintain positive retailer-to-brand relations, retailers must communicate the ebbs and flows of guidelines, requirements and growth developments punctually and clearly. At the end of the day, the more retailers can lean on third-party automation, the more seamless these uploads will be.
Allow Brands to Collect and Analyze Data From Your Site
The digital shelf changes daily, as do consumer expectations. Remaining stagnant can be dangerous.
Retailers must allow brands to collect and analyze data, test and optimize content from their sites, and aid brands in making performance improvements on the fly. The end result is a win-win: consumers are presented with content that's relevant and personalized to them, and both retailers and brands see sales growth.
Import Consumer Reviews … or at the Minimum Emphasize Their Importance
According to our survey respondents, shoppers needed on average 112 consumer reviews to trust a product online. The younger the shoppers, the more reviews are expected: 18-24-year-olds think 200 or more is reasonable. If at all possible, retailers should pull reviews from brands’ sites and combine them with reviews from their site.
Expand Consumer Q&A Forums and Give Brands Direct Answering Access
Eight to thirteen. That’s the average number of questions shoppers want to see answered by the brand itself. Thanks to Amazon.com, consumers expect this dialogue. In fact, it has become essential to closing the sale.
Granting the ability for brands to view, manage and answer these questions directly builds trust and increases customer satisfaction.
Show Your Customers You Know Them
As Shopify points out, “we all love to belong.” Beyond relevant content and reviews, 20 percent of consumers indicate sophisticated product recommendation engines are a sign their needs as shoppers are understood, and 15 percent indicate that remembering purchase history is a sign they and their needs are understood.
Additionally, 12 percent of shoppers to reach a product page will scan for images that reflect their lifestyle, and 12 percent will seek proof that your company aligns with their personal values.
The overarching goal is for retailers to understand their current workings with brands, and then ensure brands are equipped with the tools and freedom needed to present consumers with an informative, personalized and immersive experience. This includes a media-rich product page, easy updates and uploads, and the ability to collect and use data. Collaborating on these content essentials will grow sales and help retailers better anticipate what consumers will expect from them in the future.
Andrew Waber is the data insights manager at Salsify, a product experience management platform.
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