Turn browsers into buyers

Retailers with an online shop should go the extra mile with product information.


Consumers are in control – they have the power of choice. There are more products available to them at the click of a button than ever before. New offers and deals are always available, and the consumer has the freedom to decide where to make the purchase.

This is how marketing solutions business inRiver announces its report, Turning Browsers Into Buyers, adding that while an online store acts as a virtual shop window, the next point on the path to purchase is often a visit to a physical store on the high street.

Fifty-eight percent of UK shoppers research products online while browsing in-store, and most of those are checking the product information. This is most common among 18-24 year-olds with two thirds (67%) of respondents admitting to doing this. Price comparisons (76%) and reviews (54%) are most commonly searched for.

Although 40% of online shoppers won’t even consult another online store to purchase if all the information they need is provided in the first shop they visit, one third (34%) will move to another website within 10 seconds if general product information is lacking.

There are other crucial aspects to consider in keeping your browser engaged. InRiver found these factors crucial to purchasing decisions: if images are missing (35%), information on availability (28%) or information on pricing (53%), consumers will abandon their virtual shopping cart instantly and turn to another retailer to make the purchase.

Information needed

It’s not enough to rely on providing a few key details of product information to engage consumers and encourage purchases. Retailers need to provide an experience with their product content. Consumers are looking for experiences to back up detailed information while the use of rich media will give them the confidence to purchase.

If an online store provides all of the information the shopper needs, 40% will complete their purchase without looking for that product elsewhere.

There are some formats of product information that deliver greater success than others. Two fifths (40%) of respondents across Europe say videos that show products in different contexts (for example recipes, demonstrations or lifestyle context) are most likely to convince them to make a purchase. Video increases purchase decisions and is a good way of managing consumer expectations because it can show context more easily.

Brand ambassadors

It’s unclear whether celebrity endorsement will remain a trusted source of information, but many health suppliers work with believable sports and entertainment personalities. Working with and engaging brand ambassadors, especially for retailers and brands targeting a younger demographic, is an important opportunity.

InRiver also believes that influencer marketing – collaborating with social media stars to position products and present them to their followers – should be considered. While overall only 13% of respondents want to see products demonstrated by influencers, the impact of influencer marketing rises to 25% among 18-24 year-olds, who often follow social media stars.

YouTube is the most trusted platform for video information about products (56% trust the platform the most) followed by Facebook (30%). For 18-24 year-olds Instagram (23%) is more important than Facebook (17%).

Summary

It is no surprise that consumers are often driven by price in their search for a product. Forty-two percent state that this is the most influential piece of information in determining purchase intent. However, the customer experience can impact whether consumers decide to buy from an online shop or move on to another site. Therefore, retailers should examine their online presence carefully and explore every opportunity to provide visual and written information.

Access the full inRiver report at www.inriver.com/resources/turning-browsers-to-buyers

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