The emotions of buying online and how to make your customers happy


October 4, 2022

Shopping online shouldn't be an emotional rollercoaster. Read four key strategies to improving your digital shelf, and ultimately improving customer experience.

Over the last several years, consumer buying habits have changed dramatically. With the shift to even more online shopping, disrupted supply chains, and increased competition, brands must do everything possible to ensure customer satisfaction.

Customer loyalty used to be driven by product perception. Then it became all about the experience, with consumers increasingly expecting access, information, and engagement across every touchpoint. Today, expectations are high and considering your customers’ emotions when interacting with your brand are just as important as your product. That’s why customer experience is the ultimate competitive differentiator in the digital age.

customer experience offers a competitive edge

When you give buyers a stellar customer experience, they’ll spend more, be more loyal and share their experience with people they know. In fact, according to PwC research, customers are willing to pay an additional 16% for better customer experiences, and 32% of customers are willing to stop doing business with a brand they love after just one bad experience. In another study, over 65% of customers said their digital experience would be a significant factor in their willingness to recommend a brand.

Recent research by Qualtrics shows there are three fundamental ingredients to a positive digital customer experience:

The accuracy and quality of online product content across industries and retail channels are essential to a superior customer experience. Inriver recently commissioned OnePoll to conduct an independent survey of 6,000 online shoppers from the US, UK, and Germany to share their online shopping experiences. They provided insight into how they search for products online, what information they need to make a purchase, and what would make them look elsewhere for a product.

emotions influence online buying

As organizations continue to accelerate their transformation efforts and digital consumption is increasing, brands are putting more emphasis on making a meaningful connection with the consumer. Meaning emotion-driven experiences are becoming even more important.

In our survey, respondents used words like “confused” and “suspicious” to describe their e-commerce experience when dealing with poor product information. Not exactly words you want to hear. The data revealed insufficient or inaccurate product information leaves shoppers feeling frustrated (47%) and angry (36%), with both emotions scoring two points higher than last year. However, more concerning is this lack of quality product information leaves over half of shoppers (53%) wanting to go elsewhere.

Not only does incomplete or inaccurate online content aggravate potential buyers, but it can also kill a potential sale. In another survey by Episerver, 1,000 consumers were asked about their online shopping habits and what influences their decisions. The results revealed 98% of consumers were dissuaded from completing a purchase because of inadequate or incorrect content. With competition on the digital shelf stronger than ever, the last thing you want is to give potential customers a reason to abandon your e-commerce store and land on a competitor’s website. To make consumers feel good about their e-commerce experience, the accuracy of product information needs to be the priority.

strategies to improve the digital shelf – with accurate product information

As it turns out, online shoppers want accurate product information—and lots of it. Incorporating detailed descriptions, images, videos, and even augmented reality tools are the best way to give customers what they want. According to our research, a massive 94% of shoppers think product information is important when buying online, with 35% saying it’s “essential.” Yet nothing gets an online shopper more upset than misleading or inaccurate product data.

Here are four key strategies to improve your digital shelf so you can make buyers happy and turn them into loyal customers.

make your products easy to find

If your product can’t be found, it can’t be bought. It’s as simple as that. Searchability is essential to ensure buyers easily find your products online. Follow SEO best practices by making your product’s digital shelf copy keyword rich with search terms shoppers would use to find your product. In addition, pay close attention to the title, metadata, feature bullets, and product descriptions. Details matter.

the crisper the product description, the better

When it comes to e-commerce, consumers can’t touch or feel your product, which means honest, accurate, consistent, and well-written descriptions are more important than ever. That’s why finding the right PIM for e-commerce is so important. Provide as many product details as possible, including dimensions, weight, and any other specifications consumers may need to make an informed decision. It’s also a good idea to take note of shoppers’ product comments in the reviews so you can edit your product descriptions if needed.

high-quality images or bust

Visuals found on the product page make or break a purchase decision. Make sure product and lifestyle photos are up-to-date, accurate, and high-quality. Try to showcase at least three to five images so buyers can see the product from multiple angles. You should also show products at scale, as product size is one of the biggest areas of confusion for online shoppers.

lean into the power of video

Another visual element you can’t ignore is video. In fact, a study by Cisco predicted online videos would capture about 82% of all consumer traffic by 2022. Online shoppers are concerned about product quality when they shop online because they can’t physically interact with the item. Video helps to ease their concerns and build trust so they are more comfortable making a purchase.

In addition, product videos are more engaging than reading through text. They provide the same information in a more exciting way, making buyers pay attention. As a result, landing pages that include video see increased engagement, conversion rates, and SEO traffic, as found in a survey conducted by Renderforest. 78% of respondents got more traffic to their website, 83% of respondents generated more leads, and 44% of respondents increased their sales with the help of video content.

product information is your most valuable asset

At inriver, we know consumer trust is earned when organizations create better online experiences to tell their stories, and we’re passionate about helping our customers deliver those experiences. In a digital-first world, product information is your most valuable asset. And it’s information you can easily control. So don’t let poor product data damage your brand and bottom line. With inriver, you can deliver stellar customer experiences across every touchpoint—keeping your customers satisfied and coming back for more.

Contact us to learn more about how the inriver PIM solution can make it easier for you to sell more products, optimize the digital shelf, and scale to new channels.

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  • Johan Boström

    Co-Founder & Board Member

    Johan Boström is one of the founders of inriver and a senior business leader with two decades of experience leading international technology companies.

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