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Accurate Product Information Key to Online Shopping Success

Did you know that a dubious or inaccurate product information can badly hurt your e-commerce sites? Not only does a badly-written product information result in poor customer experience but it also encourages them to hit the “buy” button on your competitor’s website! Yes, according to a latest e-commerce customer experience report published by inriver, 53% of the online shoppers chose to shop elsewhere due to a poor product information. A majority of the shoppers also felt strong emotions (47% were frustrated; 35% were angry) when the e-commerce sites failed to provide the right product information. Despite so much happening in the world of optimized UI UX and content search technology space, it is quite disheartening to see potential customers, and brand loyalists, exiting the e-commerce websites due to poor product information. Is there something that brands can do to improve this experience?

Yes, there is. According to inriver, e-commerce companies can invest in a reliable Product Information Management (PIM) software to free up the noise of bad content and improve the way shoppers look at your digital shelf. Let’s find out what the inriver report found out about shopping behavior of online buyers and how their experience influence buying journeys and emotions with brands and products.

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Written text information remain very popular in the age of videos and live experiences

We have seen so many examples of how e-commerce websites use different types of visual creatives to attract shoppers. Nothing makes a better impression than the first one. Brand lovers prefer reading more about their favorite digital items. That’s why, inriver found that text-based product information remains a top crowd-puller with 39% of the online shoppers picking products with written descriptions over those that are supported by video descriptions (12%) and images (25%). This has interestingly remained somewhat unchanged compared to inriver’s survey conducted last year, cementing the critical need for the right information and written content online.

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Written descriptions can be further refined in messaging and experience by adding different flavors and contexts to improve the overall quality of your digital shelf. For example, you can use Augmented Reality (AR), dynamic headers and banners with animation, gamified product recommendations and others.

Shoppers still check customer reviews and ratings

There is no way you can hide the bad ratings and reviews. Shoppers will find these out no matter how well the bad ratings and bad reviews are camouflaged under the garb of great images and features. Once shoppers are satisfied with the product information, they expect to see customer ratings and reviews in the product details too.

Shoppers are very conscious about sustainability efforts

The modern community of online shoppers demonstrate strong behaviors and preferences toward brand sustainability. For a majority of shoppers, sustainability has emerged as a top priority during online purchases. The new inriver study finds more than three quarters believe it is important for a brand to showcase their eco-practice information online; moreover, the majority always look elsewhere and immediately buy competitor products if there is missing information.

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Research is king for consumers

With rising costs and continued supply chain issues, research is king during the purchasing process with many consumers looking to compare and shop in more than one place to find the best deals. The report found even if a website provides all the production information, 83% said they will look elsewhere.

What’s more, findings show brands need to get it right the first time to increase their chances of sale, with nearly three quarters (69%) of respondents deciding against buying a product due to poor product descriptions. On top of that, inaccurate online product descriptions left almost half (47%) of respondents feeling frustrated and even 36% feeling angry with a significant 86% admitting to taking their business elsewhere.

Instant gratification versus returns

The need for “now” overtakes brand loyalty almost every time, with two-thirds (62%) saying they would switch to a competitive product if their first choice was out of stock, with only 12% saying they would be unlikely to switch.

Despite this need for immediate access to products whenever they want them, the research suggests the reasons behind having to return products could also impact trust and confidence. The most common reasons for returns for those surveyed was the product not being as described (32%), followed by a poor fit (21%), or it being the wrong item (12%).

At the time of this announcement, Niels Stenfeldt, CEO at inriver said-

“Brands are bracing themselves for the most unpredictable holiday shopping season yet. Issues surrounding health, supply chain disruption, and rising living costs are impacting consumer trends like never before.”

Niels added, “Our report highlights the need for brands to build a digital shelf customers can rely on. This is true across all sectors, with even B2B industries like manufacturing seeing buyer behavior that now reflects B2C trends. For companies looking to exploit these behaviors, the importance of better product data has never been clearer. Not only to drive revenue and customer experience but to also create the product stories that truly matter.”

Inriver’s product information management (PIM) SaaS solution equips brands with a single source of product data truth across even the most complex global value chains. With inriver’s digital shelf analytics capabilities, brands can automatically monitor all online touchpoints and get the engagement intelligence and data-driven insight needed to make the right adjustments at the right time, on the right channel.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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