How to meet the expectations of online shoppers?

When it comes time to make a purchase decision, today’s online shoppers rely heavily on product description, images, and product reviews. Consumer loyalty in the digital world is earned by how convenient, trustworthy and attractive your product is as shoppers scroll through your online store.

Salsify, a company created to empower brands to win on the digital shelf just released a report with 5 rules to tackle shopper’s rising expectations. According to them, in order to meet the expectations of your online consumers, your company must:

Rule #1 – Show online shoppers that you know them

According to the report, online shoppers look for relevant reviews (30%) and sophisticated product recommendation mechanisms to help them quickly determine if a product is right for them.

Salsify identified these are the numbers of reviews each age group expect when looking at a product online:

  • Online shoppers between 18-24 | 203 reviews
  • Online shoppers between 25-34|159 reviews
  • Online shoppers between 35-44 | 141 reviews
  • Online shoppers between 45-54 | 91 reviews
  • Online shoppers between 55-64 | 38 reviews
  • Online shoppers over 65 | 46 reviews

Furthermore, 15% of online shoppers also expect retailers to remember their previous purchases.

The research also identified that consumers want speed and efficiency when it comes time to make a purchase regardless of the product. Along those lines, 1 out of 10 people who accessed a product page, look for images that reflect their lifestyle (12%) and to make sure your company’s values are aligned with theirs (13%).

As mentioned in the report “there’s a rising consumer expectation that the brand truly knows each shopper. Consumers want a product designed to meet their exact needs and lifestyle”.

Rule #2 – Answer consumers’ questions at the decision point

Anyone who thinks that pricing is what causes consumers to leave an e-commerce store is greatly mistaken. At least that’s what the research showed. According to them, for 69% of consumers, the lack of information about a product was the reason for abandoning a page.

In fourth place in the list was low-quality imagery and video marketing. The tip here is to think of the questions your consumer might ask. Based on that, use images of the packaging as well as videos that address common questions about size, materials, usability, functionalities, and benefits.

When it comes to Q&As, regardless of age group, most consumers expect an average of 8 to 13 product questions to be answered by the brand itself. Therefore, it’s important that your team keeps product pages updated.

Rule #3 – Be wherever your consumers are

The report focused on Amazon but that might not make a lot of sense to you. The important thing here is to understand that online consumers are tuned into social media, IoT devices, and voice technology, therefore, make sure your brand and products are also showcased there!

Rule #4 – Increase visual content: Online consumers want more visual content than you think

In 2016, a Salsify research discovered that consumers wanted to see an average of three images per product and that product videos were rare to find. Three years later, online consumers of almost every age group expect to see double the amount of product images and at least two product videos (by the way, you are aware that product images help increase engagement right?!)

The most demanding age group is between 18 to 24 year-olds and 35 to 44 year-olds. They both expect to see 8 images and from 4 to 5 videos of each product. According to Salsify:

As a brand online, you are not simply competing with your own category of products. You are competing with every other experience your shoppers have.

Anticipate what your shoppers will want from you next. Once shoppers can use AR technology to preview how a couch looks in their den, they’ll want to use the same technology for all of their shopping. Look for ways to elevate your product experience.“

Here at Signia, we agree 100% with Salsify and we’ve written articles about the use of advanced technologies in e-commerce, one example is an article with tips to help increase online sales.

Rule #5 – Adapt

There’s no denying that retail will continue to rapidly evolve and consumers will continue to choose when, where and how they shop. With that in mind, every sales channel of a company must keep up with these changes. And this, of course, includes online stores.

For the first time, brands have close to complete control – within the retailer’s guidelines – of how they showcase their products on a digital shelf, so make sure you are constantly testing and optimizing what works best for your target market.

Want to learn more?

Here are a few articles to help you learn more about how to exceed the expectations of your online consumers, increase engagement, conversions and set your company apart from your competitors:

Make sure you also follow our InSights to stay up-to-date with our latest articles and industry trends.

‘Till next time!

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