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Failure to provide clear product information risks losing Christmas consumers

Date: December 11, 2017

Category: Industry news

We know more people are now buying their gifts online in the run up to Christmas than ever before

It’s quick, easy and can all be done from the comfort of your sofa or while having your lunch at work.

And people have become savvier and want to know more information about the product they’re buying before heading to the virtual check-out. Not only do they want to know dimensions and colours but also where it was made.

To have a better understanding of what consumers really think about product information when purchasing gifts online, we commissioned YouGov to conduct a survey of British adults.

And the results were conclusive, leading us to warn retailers and online sellers that if they don’t have their product information correct and up-to-date they could risk losing consumers to the competition – unthinkable in the build-up to Christmas.

Christmas infographic

Consumers value clear product data

91% of adults said it was important to view product information before buying Christmas gifts online and if product information is missing, more than 1 in 2 Brits (56%) would consider not using that company in favour of going to a competitor.

Christmas infographic

When asked what they would do if they received an incorrect Christmas gift ordered online and found it was wrong due to the incorrect display of product information online, 45% of British adults would complain to the retailer, 42% would send the gift back and expect a refund and over a third (35%) would return the gift and hope the correct one arrived in time for Christmas.

Christmas Infographic

And 1 in 3 adults (30%) have experienced buying a gift online but when it arrived, found that it wasn't the product they were expecting.

We then drilled down into the figures further and found there was some key differences between different age groups and also how many children were present in a particular household.

Christmas Infographic

When British adults aged 55 and over were asked about their experiences with buying gifts online 96% said being able to see all the information about a product was important and if product information was missing, 68% would consider not using that online seller and go to a competitor.

In contrast, if product information was missing, 64% of British 18-24 year olds would remain with the seller and refrain from going to a competitor.

And where there were three or more children in a household, only 31% would complain if they received a wrong product due to the incorrect display of product information and 64% would remain with the seller instead of going to a competitor if product information was missing

We know that many retailers and online sellers are doing a fine job in providing robust product information. But what our survey demonstrates that if they fail to provide comprehensive information about their products, they run the risk of receiving complaints, will need to spend an inordinate an amount of money and time on processing returns and worse still, could even lose customers to their competitors.

This would be disastrous – especially in the run up to Xmas.

Grocery retailers lead the way in accurate product data

The grocery retail sector has long-suffered from a lack of accurate and consistent product data. Not only does this incur unnecessary costs and administrative headaches for retailers and shoppers alike but the shopper suffers as they are denied vital and accurate information about what they are purchasing.

In response, GS1 UK and our retail partners have together come up with a new industry-governed service that will offer a universal format for retailers and suppliers to share and manage product data and images.

productDNA:hub is a new transformative service that will increase the amount of accurate product data and images, reduce the amount of checks needing to be done by retailers and help retailers have one universal way for sharing product data and images amongst retailers and suppliers.

And all of this will help the retail industry to get back to their primary purpose – increasing efficiencies and delivering excellent services and value to their customers.

You can read more about productDNA:hub and how it will transform the retail industry, while registering for the latest news.



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