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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : April 26, 2016

Poor product content impacts sales, returns, and brand trust

Online shoppers rely on a retailer's product description to make purchase decisions. If that product content is of poor quality, or inaccurate, online retailers increase the risk of cart abandonment, returns, and a loss of brand trust, according to new research from Shotfarm.

by Helen Leggatt

Earlier this month, a survey from Salsify of more than 1,000 shoppers in the U.S. revealed the importance of quality product descriptions to sales conversions. Survey respondents said product descriptions ranked first in regards to their decision to make a purchase, higher than reviews (second place) and price (third place).

Perhaps the most dominant online shoppers today - Millennials - report that product content is "extremely important"" to their decision to make a purchase. They are 40% more likely to say so than any other group, found Salsify.

New research, this time from Shotfarm and involving a survey of 1,500 consumers, reveals the importance placed on product content. In particular, the research found that, while the effect of poor product content touches on all facets of an online business, the effects are more readily apparent in the areas of brand trust, shopping cart abandonment and returns.

"In the eyes of the digital consumer, a product is only as good as the information associated with it," writes Shotfarm content manager, Sara Berg, on the company's blog. "If that information is incomplete in any way, purchases are delayed, products are returned, and brand equity is lost. All are very costly propositions."


Perhaps the most-damaging of the three main areas identified by Shotfarm as being affected by poor product content is brand trust. While poor product content was responsible for 40% of online shoppers returning an item, and for 30% to abandon a shopping cart, a whopping 87% said they would be unlikely or very unlikely to make a repeat purchase with a retailer that provided inaccurate product content.

Tags: brand trust, ecommerce, online shopping, product content, Salsify, Shotfarm, survey

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