Consumers are more likely to return to a website or shop in a retailer's store if they can obtain complete product information online. Retailers who do not provide website visitors with the information to make informed purchase decisions risk losing these customers.
The importance of the ability to research products online is highlighted in a study of online consumers' research habits, conducted for WebCollage. A whopping 91 percent of online shoppers polled said they felt it was important or very important for retailers to provide complete product information.
Shoppers, however, noted several current disadvantages to researching at retailers' websites. One third were concerned that product content was out of date, and 44 percent said they felt retail websites did not have complete information on manufacturers' products.
For retailers, the price of having poor online content can be steep. Shoppers who are not able to find the information they need to make a purchase are ready and willing to go elsewhere. In the search for more complete, up to date content, 37 percent said they would visit a competitor's website to find the information they needed. More than half said they would go to a manufacturer's website to find the information.
For retailers with poor product content, the cost of losing these customers goes beyond the loss of one sale. Competitors that equip customers with the information they need to make informed purchases inspire loyalty.
An overwhelming majority, 82 percent, reported that they were more likely to return to retail websites that provided them with complete product information. In addition, 71 percent said that they would be more likely to purchase products in the physical store of the retailer whose website they had used for product research.
"When a retailer establishes themselves as a trusted source of product information, this inspires customers to visit that retailer's website in the future for research and purchases, and even helps drive customers to the retailer's physical store," said Jed Alpert, VP of Marketing for WebCollage.
"With 71 percent of shoppers indicating they'd be more likely to visit and purchase from the physical store of a retailer whose website they had used for research, it's clear that there's a measure of trust and loyalty generated by providing customers with complete and up to date product information.
"There's a convenience factor for customers, knowing that when they see something on the web, they can go into the store and get exactly what they saw on the website. Moreover, the survey reinforces results from WebCollage testing, completed across hundreds of thousands of consumers on retail websites, showing that when consumers see enhanced product information from manufacturers on retail websites, their conversions increase by more than 80 percent," Alpert added.
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