Etailers should point to product rather than tout it


The point of a merchandise website is to move product, and a new survey is out describing the best way to do that. The key piece of advice: simplify.

A study from the Corporate Executive Board says the advent of the personal computer has changed the way people make their purchases. But it has also left them overwhelmed with limitless choices and too much information. CEB says they are 86% more likely to buy brands that can be found and acquired easily, and 115% more likely to recommend those brands to friends.

CEB notes that this consumer desire flies in the face of attempts of brands to develop a relationship with consumers. They are looking for a product or service, not a new friend. In fact, only 20%  respond favorably to personal engagement strategies pushed by marketers.

“Our research indicates that the impact of simplifying purchase decisions for consumers is four times stronger than the favored marketing strategy of engagement and is the number one driver of likelihood to buy,” said Patrick Spenner, managing director at CEB. “Too much choice and information causes customers to over-think purchase decisions, making them more likely to change their minds about a product, be less confident in their choice and less likely to repurchase.”

CEB says that streamlining the purchase process by as little as 20% can result in as much as a 96% increase in sales.

It recommends three steps that etailers can take:

* Trust Information: provide recommendations by consumer advisors, ratings and reviews

* Navigate the Purchase Process: simplify the research process by offering clear and streamlined brand-specific product information targeted to each decision stage

* Weigh Comparison Options: make transparent buying guides and brand differentiated information easily available

RBR-TVBR observation: Broadcast AEs can use this information to help clients effectively build their own websites and tailor their marketing messages.