A Cisco study called “Catch and Keep Mobile Shoppers” (infographic) highlights changes having a major effect on retailing. The key take-aways:
• 71% of shoppers interviewed want access to digital content in stores, either on their own devices or via touchscreens
• Online resources like ratings and reviews on retail websites have strong influence in shoppers' buying decisions
• Overall, they want mobile, self-service access to information and personalized services.
The study adds that 1 in 3 are using mobile searched to guide purchases. That’s up 20% from the previous holiday shopping season.
Taking a broader view a study by Baynote found consumer product reviews among the most influential purchase decision factors (infographic). Reviews ran a close fourth behind price, free shipping and merchant reputation.
Adding to the chorus is a study of consumer electronics purchasers just released by Weber Shankwick and KRC Research. It caught my eye because it focused on the consumer electronic category and found that consumer reviews have become more important than expert reviews. That’s saying something in that category! This report also has takeaways about what marketers should be doing:
• Include reviews on the website. That means being open and transparent by including negative reviews. The report notes that 31% of the reviews have to be negative to cause consumers to doubt product quality.
• Product pages should read more like reviews. Avoid product speak and marketing speak!
• Encourage reviews on the retailer’s own site and on others, including social networks. Making optimal use of social networks require a community manager to encourage reviews and ensure they receive a customer service response if necessary.
• Marketer’s can’t directly influence reviews, but they should carefully curate the external ones that are posted to their own site. The report also suggests care in disseminating information to professional experts so their reviews are more likely to focus on issues of importance to consumers.
• Buyers consult reviews at various stages in the purchase process, so provide content that is relevant to each stage.
This report doesn’t specifically address mobile, but it’s obvious that the type of content they recommend can—and should—be mobile as well as available on a traditional website. The content should also include a healthy component of consumer-generated product reviews!