A significant majority (76%) of consumers have noticed inconsistent product content for the same product across channels, according to research from product information management provider Shotfarm.
More than half (51%) of consumers believe that a manufacturer’s web site offers the most accurate product content, while only 3% say marketing, ads and commercials do. This belief indicates that consumers look directly to the initial source of the product as the most trustworthy source of information.
The Shotfarm Product Information Report surveyed more than 1,500 consumers about their online shopping habits and product information preferences. The survey found that the impact of poor product content on digital sales is most readily apparent in three areas: returns, shopping cart abandonment and brand trust.
Returns: 40% of consumers have returned an online purchase in the past year specifically because of poor product content;
Shopping Cart Abandonment: More than 90% of consumers have abandoned an online shopping cart, with cost (61%), delivery time (33%), and poor product descriptions (30%) as the top three reasons for doing so; and
Brand Trust: When this trust is breached, the results aren’t good for retailers; 86% of consumers said they would be unlikely or very unlikely to make a repeat purchase with a retailer that provided inaccurate product information. Only 13% of consumers would likely shop with that same retailer again.
“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.”
While product reviews are also important parts of the sales process, only 39% of shoppers classify them as very important to their journey, highlighting the value of information that comes directly from the seller or manufacturer.