Availability of information on various channels has changed the way consumers shop and research, and many company executives and consultants have noticed. According to LeaseTrader.com, the number of people who skip the test drive has doubled since 2007. McKinsey & Company consultants found more 60% of skin care consumers research online after purchase, and Apperian found customers trust digital diagnostic tools more than in-store salespeople.
However, retailers have been unable to correctly guess which digital features their potential consumers prefer. A Krillion & E-tailing Group survey asking retailers and consumers what they thought were the most important site features found discrepant results. Retailers thought keyword search were the most important feature, ranked sixth by customers. Ability to view in-store inventory was the most popular feature among consumers, whereas retailers ranked in-store product locator as the 49th most important feature. In-store pick-up, ranked ninth by consumers, was thought to be least important among retailers.
As e-commerce and web-influenced sales grow, it’s important for retailers to correctly identify consumer needs.