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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : November 01, 2015

Study reveals important role of accurate, detailed product information

A recent study has revealed a direct correlation between the quality of product information and conversion, abandonment and returns. No matter what the retail channel, complete and detailed product information is key to building trust and driving sales.

by Helen Leggatt

A survey by Shotfarm of more than 1,500 consumers about their product information preferences highlights just how important high quality and detailed product information is on digital sales. The lack of touch and feel in online sales means product information is what consumers rely on most to make a successful purchase.

Retailers offering the most complete, engaging and compelling content are, therefore, seen as the most trustworthy by online shoppers and are rewarded with long-term loyalty, repeat purchases and lower rates of returns.

Among those surveyed, 40% had returned an online purchase specifically because of poor product content. This was most prevalent in the clothing/apparel category where one in four had returned an item due to product information being inaccurate.

More than a third of respondents had abandoned an online shopping cart due to the absence of quality images and product reviews. In fact, 90% of those surveyed had at one time abandoned a cart with poor product descriptions being the third top reason for doing so (30%) behind cost (61%) and delivery time (33%).

When it comes to brand trust, the vast majority (86%) said they would be "unlikely" or "very unlikely" to make a repeat purchase with a retailer that provided inaccurate product details.

"Until now, the importance of product content on buying behavior has been largely theoretical," said Mike Lapchick, CEO of Shotfarm. "We're now able to see a direct correlation between the quality of product information and conversion, abandonment, returns, and more. What's so valuable about this study is that the findings are actionable. Poor product content is such an easy and affordable problem to correct and the now-documented benefits of doing so are overwhelming."

It's not just in the digital world that consumers crave more product information. A survey commissioned by Digimarc and conducted by Harris Poll found that, among 2,000 U.S. adult shoppers, 85% have their in-store purchasing decisions swayed by reading product packaging. Yet, 78% say product packaging doesn't contain enough information and they are left wanting more.

So what do those consumers do when they can't find the information they want on product packaging? Three-quarters (75%) go home and get online and do more research and then purchase online. The need for additional product packaging information was found to be even higher among Millennials (87%).

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: ecommerce, product information, research

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