The pandemic has changed the way consumers shop, with 43 percent of those surveyed for Salsify’s 2021 Consumer Research Survey responding that, post-pandemic, they will continue to shop more online than in stores. Less than 10 percent of shoppers under the age of 44 said they prefer in-store shopping. The heightened emphasis on online shopping has placed brand trust as the top priority in the eyes of consumers. The study of more than 1,800 consumers found that nearly 90 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for something when it comes from a brand they trust.
Trust hinges on a number of factors but, first and foremost, it’s about quality. Forty percent of respondents said the most important factor is high-quality ingredients, materials and craftsmanship. Nearly 30 percent said corporate responsibility was the top factor in building trust, but only 16 percent of respondents said good customer service.
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As brand leaders shift their investments online, there are certain product elements that are critical in building trust. Forty-five percent of consumers said that high-quality images and detailed product descriptions is one of the top three reasons they trust a product online. Without these elements, nearly one-third of consumers said they wouldn’t buy a product online. However, more than half said they are very likely to buy when they receive personally relevant images, videos, text, and reviews on a product page.
“Success on the digital shelf means ensuring that your products are front and center wherever consumers search, and instilling brand trust. This study proves that exceptional commerce experiences–high quality product images, descriptions, and reviews–positively benefit both,” said Rob Gonzalez, CMO, Salsify. “The algorithms that drive decisions across hundreds of retail sites and search bars look for refreshed and relevant content; that same content can result in consumers paying more for your product.”
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Additional findings from Salsify Consumer Research include:
- The digital shelf extends beyond online purchases. Brands with vibrant brick and mortar sales can’t afford to overlook the impact of digital shelf experiences in-store. Nearly 50 percent of shoppers check for digital coupon codes. Curbside has also put more pressure on stores to have a fluid digital strategy: More than 40 percent of shoppers ordered online and picked up in the store.
- Social commerce is increasing. Thirty percent of consumers – six times of those in 2018 – bought something directly from a social media site in 2020.
- There is a real demand for direct to consumer (D2C). Consumers are more trusting toward D2C brands: Thirty percent of shoppers ranked “being sold directly by the brand manufacturer” as a top three reason to trust a product online. One-fifth of consumers expect to shop directly on brand sites this year.
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