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THE SALSIFY SMARTER MERCHANDISING BLOG

How Consumers Shop for Electronics: Research, Compare, Repeat

Posted by Salsify on 9:00 AM on April 26, 2018

Nowhere does the omnichannel shopping experience stretch between in-store and digital more than with consumer electronics. The journey is uncertain, often changing with each consumer, their need and location. One thing’s for sure: Consumers do their research.

In a recent Salsify survey, we found consumers are more likely to opt for brands with whom they’ve had a great experience. Meaning, the product content answers their questions or concerns and the positive reviews are plentiful. This is especially true for considered purchases like electronics.

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Use these 5 steps as a guide to create the product experience that consumers buying electronics crave.

1. Ease the research process with relevant product information

Vital to the electronics shopping journey is plentiful, trustworthy, relevant information. After all, few people would set out for a new 60” TV without knowing their facts. In the case of the 1,000 U.S. consumers we surveyed, great product images or videos are baseline requisite. Listings with more bullets convert higher 51% of the time. Manufacturers’ information that answers questions is most important 61% of the time, whereas a familiar or trusted name is only most important 60% of the time.

2. Curate reviews convert the sale

Having solid content and positive reviews equates to trustworthiness, and according to the respondents, 74% of the time, the most important attribute consumers encounter while shopping is positive reviews. In fact, 62% of responders said they read 5 or more reviews when purchasing electronics.

We also found that if two listings appear side-by-side in an Amazon search engine results page (SERP), the listing with more reviews will convert higher and outrank the competitor 58% of the time.

If your product pages are lacking positive reviews, take a step back and analyze why. Is the comment process difficult or cumbersome? Has the feedback been requested from consumers? Is the product not great? Whatever the case, reviews are essential and a dearth is a red flag for consumers.

3. Provide a clear, compelling value message

For electronics, lowest price is most important just about half the time. That said, consumers want value and while the MSRP remains marginally the same, brands can sate the value need by offering bundles and free shipping.

Retailers like HSN and QVC offer bundles well, and brands could take a page from their book. For example, along with a 13’ MacBook Air, HSN and QVC both give bundle options that include combinations of protective sleeves in various colors, headphones, wireless mouses, and more. For phones, they include a car charger, case, external powerbank, data, and minutes. Where consumer don’t have need for bundles, like large TVs, these retailers offer free shipping. And then, across the board, protection plans, flexible payment options, and software vouchers are granted.

Moral of the story? Where brands are trying (as they should be) to sell direct to consumer, brands will need to dabble in perceived values and add-ons to compete.

4. Cater to the vigilant researcher with product content along the customer journey

The shopping journey is not linear and where many consumers begin with research, they also sprinkle more research between each step. This legwork is often started at home then completed in-stores, where 77% of shoppers use their mobile devices to reconfirm information, specs, and price. And sometimes that in-store recon is just another research phase. All this to mean, you don’t know exactly where and when your consumer is shopping, so cater to each step.

5. Cultivate strong customer loyalty 

What we also found when brands provide a positive experience on the product page and then follow through with an exceptional product, is consumers keep coming back. They also write reviews and spread their experience via word of mouth, in effect helping the brands with consumer-generated marketing.

With this thought, we leave you with a few words from Forbes: “Economic and technological shifts have rewritten the shopping journey. What was once transactional in nature is instead focused on relationship building. Each step of that journey – whether offline or online – is centered on how to elevate consumer engagement in order to deepen said relationship.”

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Topics: Customer Experience, Consumer Marketing, Electronics


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