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Retail marketers face numerous challenges from today’s consumers. Brand loyalty is fleeting, growing consumer expectations necessitate investment in customer experience, and shoppers spend more time on Amazon than the other top 10 retailers combined. But consumers’ stated demands seem to exceed even what the best brands selling on Amazon seem to offer them, per the findings [download page] of a study by Salsify.

As an example, the 1,000 US consumers surveyed stated they wanted an average of 6 product images when looking at a product on Amazon or another retailer – up from 3 in the same survey carried out in 2016. But the average number of images that the top 10% of products by Amazon Sales Rank include is considerably lower, with each of the categories studied having between 2 and 4 images on average.

The report also found respondents expecting a minimum of two videos and an average of 112 reviews when looking at a product online.

That’s noteworthy, given that the number of positive reviews was also cited as a more important indicator of product quality than a trusted brand name. That was true for every age group except those age 65 and older.

Clear product images and product reviews were also the two most important factors of a great online shopping experience in a previous study of online shoppers by Namogoo.

Creating such a volume of product content may appear daunting. So what else do shoppers expect from brands that marketers might be able to provide? When asked to choose one sign that indicated a brand or retailer understood them, 30% share of respondents pointed to the option that said product reviews are from people like themselves.

Beyond that, 20% share said that relevant recommendations was the sign that spoke to them, while 15% share indicated that the best sign a brand understood them was it remembering their purchase history.

The last two examples have been backed up by other research, where consumers expressed a desire to be known across touchpoints and to receive recommendations based on products recently viewed. But consumers can also be creeped out by product retargeting, and some want retargeting to be stopped completely.

In terms of the other aspects that shoppers point to when feeling understood by a brand or retailer, 13% noted that the best sign was that the corporate mission reflects their values, while 12% wanted product images/videos to reflect their lifestyle and 9% wanted their name used at sign in.

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: 1,000 US adults were surveyed, all of whom had made at least one purchase online in 2018.

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