Article

Ada Okoli
Ada Okoli 21 June 2018

Overwhelmed online shoppers crave advice and recommendations from brands, says report

Two-thirds of consumers expect online retailers and brands to provide objective expert advice and product recommendations, as they become increasingly overwhelmed by the vast amount of choice they encounter during internet shopping sessions.

According to a new report, more than half (53%) of online shoppers ranked honest and personal advice among the top two most important services they want from retailers and brands when shopping. Around a quarter (22%) said they wanted the online platforms of brands and retailers to offer proactive product recommendations to make choosing easier.

A growing number of customers feel that the proliferation of brands and products available at the tap of a smartphone or click of a mouse makes it difficult to arrive at confident purchase decisions, trapping them in choice overload and decision paralysis.

Humanizing Digital 2020, a consumer report compiled by Digital Advice technology provider SMARTASSISTANT, revealed that 42% of customers had abandoned online shopping transactions because they felt there was too much choice.

More than half (54%) stopped purchasing from a particular website because it was too difficult to find the right product, and the majority of respondents (71%) had switched to a competitor to make the purchase they wanted because the company had made the transaction easier.

“While it’s true to say the presence of the internet has made shopping a lot more convenient, the huge amount of choice that it offers consumers - in terms of brands, retailers, and their products - can make finding the right item a daunting prospect,” said SMARTASSISTANT founder and president Markus Linder.

“People crave decision support from companies that they trust. Any brand or retailer that is serious about growing their online business needs to understand customers’ predicament in terms of choice overload - and address it quickly.”

Static tools, such as product filters and FAQs (frequently asked questions), offered by many online stores are becoming less fit for purpose. The report discovered that modern consumers prefer more flexible, human-like solutions. When survey participants were asked which support method was the most helpful when they were shopping online, intelligent digital sales assistants were ranked first, followed by live chat and in-store support.

By contrast, product filters were ranked fifth most helpful, while FAQs were last in ninth. In fact, two-thirds (64%) of consumers think digital sales assistants offer a better customer experience than product filters, with a quarter (25%) claiming them to be much better.

How well brands and retailers offer decision support is having a strong impact on customer loyalty, which will only become more pronounced in the future. The level of customer service motivates 65% of consumers to be loyal, followed by website/mobile experience (46%) and product expertise (45%).

Around a third (30%) of shoppers said this loyalty was underpinned by the company’s ability to provide advice and recommendations.

It presents a great opportunity for innovative, forward-thinking businesses. While competitors focus on pushing products, these businesses are investing in intelligent guidance. When others emphasize diminishing differentiators like price, they offer personal assistance on digital channels to drive long-term business growth.

The true customer-centric brands are laser-focused on creating ‘Human Digital’ experiences.

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, which provides incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide. And if you are not applying this profitable...

Sharron Nelson
Sharron Nelson 6 February 2018
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of...

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 7 July 2017
Read more
What Marketing Content Do Different Age Groups like to Consume?

What Marketing Content Do Different Age Groups like to Consume?

Today marketers have a wide choice of different content types to create; from video to blogs, from memes to whitepapers. But which types of content are most suitable for different age groups?

Lisa Curry
Lisa Curry 21 October 2016
Read more
Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Don’t be afraid of email testing. There are many free or freemium tools online that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and even the rendering of your email. We feature 30 email testing tools in...

Roland Pokornyik
Roland Pokornyik 31 October 2016
Read more