Study: Inaccurate Online Content Is Major Roadblock to Purchase Journey

Digital channels are instrumental to the purchase process. A 2018 study from the Local Search Association reported that the two most popular channels consumers turn to when they’re ready to make a purchase are company websites (25%) and search engines (23%). As digital usage has grown over the years, so have consumer expectations of digital experiences. Today, low-quality, inaccurate content is not tolerated.

A recent Episerver study of 4,028 global consumers who’ve shopped online in the last year revealed that 46% of consumers are “often” dissuaded from making an online purchase from a brand that has incorrect or incomplete content on their website or mobile app and 18% are “always” dissuaded. While not quantified in the study, incorrect information prevents offline purchases as well.

The study also detailed that an absence of critical content led 44% of consumers to abandon a shopping session prior to purchase. Consumers said that these “must-have” pieces of content include product specifications (63%), customer reviews (55%), images of products in use (41%), sales information (34%) and images of products not in use (26%).

Although many consumers come to a brand’s website to research a specific product, the majority don’t always intend to purchase immediately. In fact, only 17% went to make an online purchase. Many are there to research products and services, find store information (location, hours, phone number, etc.) or to compare pricing and other variables between brands.

According to the report:

Consumers mirror in-store behaviors online and are logging on to find information regarding shipping, deals, payment options, returns and more. With such a heavy emphasis on research, brands dedicating too much time and resources to quickly moving shoppers through the sales funnel are not providing as much value to visitors as possible.

Ease of use, simplicity, intuitive design, product information accuracy/availability, etc., all help contribute to the digital experience. Online-only brands that don’t seek to understand why a customer abandons an online purchase will struggle to stay in business. The brands selling both online and offline will be equally hurt by poor digital experiences and inaccuracy.

Consumers want to know that the information they’re reading on a site regarding a product or service is both correct and complete. In fact, 63% of respondents said that product specifications are the most important piece of content when purchasing via a brand’s website or mobile app.

Creating a personalized digital pathway that showcases accurate, up-to-date content packed with relevant, helpful information is a necessity for online and offline retailers. Such content helps customers have confidence in their purchases. More importantly, this aids in influencing both online and offline purchases and can help build long-term brand loyalty.

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