Online Shopping in 2019

Just as a product’s placement in a grocery store affects purchases – “eye level is buy level” – brand’s must continue to fight for shelf space in online retail. MarketingLand updated it’s 2018 guide, which delineated consumer preferences for personalization and trust, to meet 2019’s unique challenges. Andrew Weber advises brands to maintain active management of their product pages, with three key learnings:


1). Consumers Want More Pictures & Videos

In 2016, the average consumer sought three images per product when they shopped online. Now, however, that number has doubled, with additional expectations for video. These numbers are especially true on online retail behemoth Amazon, where the expected number of product images is six.

Data from Marketingland’s survey of over one thousand consumers who purchased at least one item in 2019.  

Takeaway: Online, you compete not just with category competitors, but with indirect competitors as well; your product page must beat out every other experience your shoppers have. In the future, don’t just attempt to meet minimum expectations, but push forward emerging product page innovations, such as augmented reality of 360 degree views of the product.


2). Customer Want the Most Information, Not the Lowest Price.

You can likely recall a time when you were searching for a product, and found one that was a few bucks cheaper than average, but looked a little sketch; no consumer reviews, scant product details, and maybe only one picture.

This scenario resonates with 70% of consumers, who said that “not enough information provided” as the number one reason they abandoned a product page – beating out “price too high” and “concern that product is counterfeit.” Moreover, “unfamiliar brand” was the least cited reason that a consumer left a product page.

Takeaway: Your product page is just as much a part of your product as the actual product is, and is earning a bigger role in consumer decision making. That means that you can test new brands and product innovations with little resistance as long as your product detail page has enough information to satisfy shopper questions.


3). Consumers Want Answers, Now

It’s easier than ever for consumers to search for the exact product they need to find their “perfect fit.” Reviews from other shoppers do hold weight, but what consumers are valuing more than anything else are brands themselves answering specific questions on online product pages.


Across age groups, consumers expect brands to remain vigilant and engaged with their product pages. 

Takeaway: Use consumer questions to identify what information is missing from the product page, and use that bolster your detail page to support point #2. To responsibly and effectively field consumer questions, consider on-site chats to offer personalized service. At the very least, form a digital team that can respond to question in under 24 hours.


From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:

  • Imagine you are a marketing manager for Pilot brand pens. Your blue pen does not show in the top 10 for the query “blue pen.” Looking at what your competitors are doing, how could you improve your product page? What are your competitors doing well?
  • Once best practices are determined, what must be done to disseminate these improvements across product categories? How can success on one page be repeated across departments and product catalogs?