Product Info Key To Online Retail Success, Survey Finds

Shoppers are more likely to spend time browsing and purchasing from Web sites with complete and compelling product information, analysts with WebCollage found.
Never underestimate the importance of product information -- especially when it comes to online shopping -- or so claims a survey released this week.

WebCollage, a Web marketing company for manufacturers and channel partners, found that shoppers are more likely to spend time browsing Web sites with complete and compelling product information and they are more likely to make purchases. The company's 2007 Survey of Online Consumer Product Research Habits, conducted among online shoppers earlier this year, found that device compatibility is also important.

Both factors can lead consumers to linger longer on Web sites and search for secondary products, the company said.

Sixty-seven percent of respondents said that detailed product benefits and capabilities are important pieces of information when they search for products. Sixty-one percent said system requirements are important and the same percentage said they want to know what items are included with a product.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said it was important for them to be able to compare models, while 51% said they also wanted warranty information. Manufacturers' product overviews (48%), lists of new features (45%) and lists of compatible accessories (44%) also ranked relatively high in importance.

"Customers want to know things like how a product works, its complete set of features, and accessories and whether the product is compatible with products they already own," Jed Alpert, VP of marketing for WebCollage, said in a prepared statement. "That's why manufacturers need to focus on providing their retail channel partners with complete product information, first and foremost."

Last on the list were: larger or alternate product images (31%) and product tours or demonstrations (27%).

Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they would visit a competitor's retail Web site to find the information they needed and 55% said they would go to a manufacturer's Web site.

Zoomerang, an online survey services provider, drew 333 adult respondents over 18 years old, who shopped online at least once in the past year.