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Study Affirms Importance of Appearance Throughout the Omnichannel

Salsify research finds that shoppers will abandon online and in-store purchases if they think product page quality is poor
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
Digital shopper stock pic
A new report from cloud-based solutions company Salsify outlines the demands of information-seeking omnichannel shoppers.

As it turns out, consumers really do judge a book by its cover – or, in this case, groceries by their appearance – both online and in store. According to a new report from commerce experience management platform Salsify, nearly half of shoppers won’t buy a product if they don’t find detailed information online and nearly a third (30%) say they won’t purchase something if images are missing or of poor quality. 

Findings from Salsify’s new report, “Consumer Research 2022: How to Meet the Demand of Omnichannel Shoppers,” uncovered other ways that consumers seek out information about the products they encounter digitally and in brick-and-mortar stores. When evaluating products, U.S. shoppers primarily look for lower price, familiar or trusted brand names, same-day delivery options, positive reviews and product selection and availability. Increasingly, consumers eye products for recyclability details and information on sourcing and sustainability.

The report also underscores the importance of the digital channel in providing products as well as information. Salsify’s research shows that 68% of shoppers will purchase in store and 56% of those in that same group also will buy products online through a retailer’s site. In contrast, 66% of respondents say they did not buy groceries online before the pandemic.

The grocery channel remains important to today’s shoppers, even as their lifestyles have changed. Only 13% of U.S. consumers are likely to buy directly on a brand site, compared to 26% of French shoppers and 19% of British buyers. At the same time, shoppers in this country are fairly brand loyal: 45% of American respondents said they were willing to pay more for a similar product if it came from a brand they trusted, compared to just 30% of shoppers in 2021.

"As economies reopened, the omnichannel experience has evolved," said Vijayanta Gupta, SVP of growth strategy for Salsify. "It's no longer purchasing in-store or online. Shoppers have blended the experience to create a journey that personally suits them. This has massive implications for omnichannel retailers optimizing the digital shelf to provide access to the information consumers want when they want it through brand pages."

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