Amazon has become the go-to source for product information and customer reviews, whether or not the purchase is ultimately made from the eCommerce giant.
According to an inRiver survey of 6,088 consumers from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Belgium – conducted by VIGA – just 11 per cent of consumers visit a brand’s website as their first source of information, while 28 per cent look to a search engine.
The most commonly searched information is price comparisons, which 74 per cent of respondents said they were looking for, while 58 per cent are looking for reviews and 41 per cent general product information.
Consumers choosing Amazon first presents a problem for other retailers, with 41 per cent of shoppers not consulting another online store if all the information they need is provided by the first one they visit. Although, 31 per cent will move to another website within 10 seconds if the information is lacking. Moreover, 39 per cent will turn to another retailer if information on pricing is missing, 25 per cent if information on availability is lacking, and 20 per cent if there are no images.
The short attention spans of consumers mean it is important for brands and retailers to utilise the right medium to convey the necessary information. 33 per cent of respondents appreciate videos that show products in different contexts, while 18 per cent want to see products demonstrated by influencers – rising to 28 per cent among 18 to 24-year-olds. 49 per cent of respondents trust YouTube the most for video information about products, followed by Facebook at 32 per cent.
The research also found that product information is important or crucial to the purchasing decisions of 94 per cent of online shoppers. Although, just 11 per cent say that the products they order online are always what they expect them to be.
“Consumers are dismissive of brands and retailers who do not instantly deliver the information they need,” said Thor Johnson, CEO at inRiver. “Adding a limited number of pictures to the general product information is no longer good enough. Consumers’ expectations have increased, and they want to see products in context, as they would in-store, to give them the confidence to buy. Good product information is essential in turning browsers into buyers.”