Ecommerce data plays a vital role in scaling and growing a brand. It helps business owners make better strategic decisions, improve marketing plans, reduce costs, and more.

With COVID-19’s dramatic impact on ecommerce in 2020, getting the latest facts about consumer behaviors is crucial for brands to create an effective strategy for a post-pandemic world.

The Salsify “2021 Consumer Research Report,” which surveyed 1,802 U.S. consumers who shopped online between June and December 2020, found three important changes in consumer expectations.

These insights can help your brand better understand your customers and know how to adjust strategies accordingly to fulfill their needs.

Change 1: Trust Became Critical for Online Shoppers

Since the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers worldwide have switched to online shopping at an accelerated rate. Our survey revealed that 40% of US consumers relied on ecommerce to purchase everything.

Approximately 43% of consumers didn’t plan to return to their pre-pandemic behaviors and continued buying more online.

Ecommerce brings consumers so many options. What was often once a choice between a few brands is now a global mix of hundreds — making consumers ask who they know and trust before making a buying decision.

We found that about 37% of shoppers limited in-person shopping to the stores they trust. Up to 86% of consumers were willing to pay more for something if it comes from a trusted brand.

Brand trust isn’t a new concept, but with the rise of ecommerce, consumers have become more skeptical, thoughtful, and selective about their shopping behaviors.

Change 2: Trusting a Brand Is More About Product Quality Than Other Values

The big question around trust is how to create it best. And unsurprisingly, the key is product quality.

More than one-third of surveyed consumers value high-quality ingredients, materials, and craftsmanship. They look to what a product is made of and how it’s made to determine whether to trust a brand.

Next was that brands implement corporate social responsibility like sustainability and fair labor practice (27%). Other consumers (18%) said they trust a given brand because they deliver good customer service and support charitable causes.

Pie Chart Graphic Shoring That 40% of Shoppers Believe Craftsmanship Is the Most Important Buying Factor SalsifySource: 2021 Salsify Consumer Research Report

Change 3: Brand Trust Requires an Excellent Product Experience

Consumers’ responses to our survey lead to some important insights about the relationship between brand trust and product experience.

First, many surveyed shoppers rely on digital information to evaluate a brand. When asked “what makes you trust a product online,” nearly half of consumers considered “high-quality images and detailed product descriptions” one of the top factors.

Second, on a digital shelf, brand trust all came down to the robustness of a product detail page (PDP). Customer reviews top the list as the most helpful factor for consumers to decide whether to buy.

The following criteria are product images, product rating, and product materials, which make sense because they help consumers understand what a product is and how it fits their needs.

A substantial number of respondents also shared they make buying decisions based on videos, user-generated content, or brand values and history.

A Line Chart Showing That 62% of Shoppers Cite Customer Reviews as Being the Most Important Factor When Deciding to Buy Salsify 2021 Consumer Research Report

Source: 2021 Salsify Consumer Research Report

Ecommerce Tips for Creating Excellent Product Experiences

Based on our insights, we have compiled a list of tips to help you build engaging product experiences that drive business results.

Put Product Quality Front and Center

Showcase product quality clearly on each product page. Include information about name, sizes, colors, model, materials, specifications, how-tos, and the like.

The goal is to make customers understand precisely what you’re offering and how it benefits their lives right the first time they land any of your product pages.

Leverage Extended Attributes

Add extended attributes to create highly detailed product information and deliver a superior shopping experience for consumers.

Engage With Imagery

Display videos and images to demonstrate product quality and product details where necessary.

Build Trust With Feedback and Testimonials

Feature helpful customer feedback and testimonials in your product description to build trust with consumers.

Review, Optimize, and Repeat

Regularly review your digital properties. Remove products if they’re no longer available or out of stock. Update product pricing if there is any change. Don’t let customers experience any fear, uncertainty, or doubt while making their selection.

Learn how consumer trust can make or break a brand. Download our 2021 Consumer Research report to keep updated with the latest ecommerce data about brand trust and use it to adjust your strategy right away.

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