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Shoppers need full product detail

Posted by Michael Bloch in ecommerce (Saturday June 16, 2007 )

According to a recent survey of USA online shoppers, over 90% of respondents stated that it was ‘important’ or ‘very important’ for retailers to provide *complete* product information.

While the WebCollage survey only questioned 333 adult online shoppers; I do think this is an accurate representation of consumer opinion and something that ecommerce merchants should take note of.

Lack of product information is an issue I hit a great deal in my own online purchasing expeditions. A very recent example was when I was shopping for a 2 million candle power spotlight. Site A had what looked to be a good product at a reasonable price, but there was little on the site in the way of specifications. I took note of the model and then continued searching elsewhere. Site B had the same product, full specifications and was $5 less. The company looked solid, so Site B got the sale.

As the spotlight wasn’t an overly expensive item, if Site A had all the specs; I wouldn’t have bothered looking elsewhere as I quite often shop on with that online store. But now I’ve discovered Site B, which tends to provide more detail for all their products and I’ve been happy with my purchase; they are more likely to see further orders from me in the future – at the expense of Site A.

The moral of the story – don’t overestimate shopper loyalty or give your customers reason to look elsewhere.

Providing full specifications for a product may create a couple of extra minutes work, but it can certainly help avoid losing sales. It demonstrates to the shopper your attention to detail and prevents them from having to scrabble around the web looking for more information.

My personal example isn’t an isolated case – the WebCollage survey found that over a third of respondents stated they would visit a competitor’s retail site to gain further information. While some of those people would likely return to their regular online store once the information was located; is it worth the risk of losing them to another store; perhaps not for just that purchase but for all related sales thereafter?


How to minimize shopping cart abandonment


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