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    2024 Shopper Behavior: Here’s Why Shoppers Aren’t Buying Your Products

    February 6, 2024
    9 minute read
    2024 Shopper Behavior: Here’s Why Shoppers Aren’t Buying Your Products

    If a fear of shopper behaviors like cart abandonment or high return rates are tormenting your organization, here’s a hard truth: It’s not them. It’s you.

    But there’s hope. Salsify’s “2024 Consumer Research” report reveals insights from more than 2,700 shoppers in the U.S. and U.K., breaking down what moves them through the modern buying journey, highlighting how shopping habits are changing and revealing what makes or breaks the “buy” for them.

    Explore the top online shopper behaviors that explain why consumers get conversion cold feet before purchasing your products — or later return them — as well as what you can do to combat noncommittal consumer behavior.

    Shopper Behavior: Top 6 Reasons Shoppers Stop the ‘Buy’ Online

    Even if the consumers checking out your products show promising initial interest and traffic, they might take a closer look and run the other way. It stings to hear, but there are a variety of reasons why consumers might just not be that into you.

    1. Shoppers Shy Away From High Prices

    Salsify research found that 58% of shoppers abandoned a purchase due to high prices. While this may not seem like anything new — price has historically been a top factor for spending — growing concerns about the economy have only exacerbated shoppers’ focus on cost.

    Research also found that 39% of shoppers have recently increased their focus on budget-friendly options, and 35% have even prioritized essential purchases over nonessentials.

    One thing is clear: Shoppers want a deal — and they aren’t afraid to look elsewhere to get it.

    2. Shoppers Avoid Products With No or Low Customer Ratings or Negative Reviews

    For 56% of shoppers, products must have been vetted first by their fellow shoppers, or they’ll abandon a sale online. 

    This strong preference for ratings and reviews is an interesting contrast to brick-and-mortar buying, where shoppers have little-to-no insight into how others before them enjoyed the product.

    3. Shoppers Skip Products With No or Low-Quality Product Images or Videos

    Whether they’re browsing online or in person, shoppers want to see what they’re getting. That’s why product images have a strong draw online, with 45% pointing to no or low-quality images or videos as a top reason for abandoning a sale.

    From stylized editorial images and photo galleries showing products in use to instructional videos highlighting core features, multimedia content supports online shopper behavior in the buying journey — and it’s essential for meeting modern buyers in the right ways at the right time.

    4. Shoppers Shun Incomplete or Poorly Written Product Titles or Descriptions

    It’s true: Shoppers care about good writing — and for 42% of them, bad product titles and descriptions are enough to abandon their shopping carts in search of something better.

    Not only is good writing essential for ecommerce search engine optimization (SEO), but it also ensures shoppers can quickly understand the basic features and components of your products (without having to review details with a magnifying glass).

    5. Shoppers Steer Clear of Items With Inconsistent Product Content Across Channels

    The buying journey is no longer linear. Today’s shoppers move seamlessly between digital and physical channels, including social media, product review websites, Amazon, brick-and-mortar shops, and more.

    When shoppers see different or even conflicting product information on different channels, it breaks trust — and it breaks the sale for 41% of shoppers.

    Product content must be consistent across the digital shelf, and teams must be equipped to deliver consistent experiences across channels to ensure shoppers feel ready to click “buy.”

    6. Shoppers Keep Away When There’s a Lack of Brand Trust

    Trust is an important part of the buying journey, and it takes time to develop it with shoppers. For 34%, a lack of brand trust is reason enough to skip a sale. Shoppers’ general risk aversion to new things highlights why it’s so essential for brands to deliver excellent product content and engaging shopping experiences.

    Images and videos. Ratings and reviews. Product content and consistency. There are endless ways to ensure you deliver just what shoppers need at the most crucial parts of their buying journeys.

    Better Product Content Is Your Best Bet to Woo Customers

    Taking a hard and honest look at your product content and the experiences you offer is necessary for growth. After all, doing so is a natural shopper behavior wherever consumers find you on the digital shelf.

    Better Product Content Reduces Abandoned Cart Rates

    Not all customers can see you the way you want to be seen. You also can’t control where a consumer first interacts with your product. Offering an omnichannel experience, while positive and necessary, can pose challenges if your product content or images are inconsistent across channels.

    Since consumers can’t physically engage with your product — whether it be clothing, a grocery item, furniture, or a piece of hardware — you have to give them the next best thing through the content and experience offered on your page.

    There’s no such thing as too much information, but be mindful to prioritize the content a consumer needs to know and present information in digestible ways through bullet points, comparison charts, imagery, and more.

    Incorporating less-than-stellar product reviews can also boost consumer confidence, as it helps maintain transparency with potential customers. Even if your product isn’t shown in its best light, you can let your customer service skills shine by showing how your team rectified the situation — either by offering a discount code or a personalized suggestion for something that will better suit the customer’s needs.

    Additionally, just because consumers might be unfamiliar with or wary of your brand doesn’t mean your reputation can’t improve. And if you’re trying to tap into new markets, you can set your products up on social media and shopping apps, the top two ways consumers find new products, according to Salsify research.

    Better Product Content Decreases Return Rates

    Even if some consumers become customers, their loyalty might not last. A return isn’t the end of the world, but what can prevent one the next time a customer engages with your company?

    Comprehensive product content. This also includes enhanced content like videos, image galleries, 3D imagery, and more.

    You don’t have to (and shouldn’t) rely on your in-house content and imagery alone. Another content-based way to combat returns is user-generated content (UGC). According to Power Reviews research, 67% of shoppers say that viewing user-generated imagery and videos makes them less likely to return online purchases.

    From Goodbye-ing To Buying Now

    The way to win (and keep) more customers, avoid costly returns, and win the digital shelf in 2024 and beyond all coincide: It lies with bettering yourself — your product content, that is — and being committed to providing a reliable, enjoyable experience wherever and whenever consumers cross paths with you. 

    Tapping into customer research for insights into what fuels shopper behavior doesn’t hurt, either.

    2024 Consumer Research

    Explore Salsify's "2024 Consumer Research" report and accompanying executive explainer to dig into more of what's making consumers tick (and not).


    Written by: Yvonne Bertovich

    Yvonne Bertovich (she/her) is an editor and writer at Salsify, reporting from Knoxville, Tennessee. With a longtime passion for research, she enjoys flexing her perspective on ecommerce, trends in consumer behavior, and health and wellness.

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    What's Making Modern Shoppers Buy? Download the "2024 Consumer Research" and executive explainer to learn what's making consumers buy these days — and come back to your brand for more. DOWNLOAD NOW