While a bad consumer experience with your brand may not be the end of the relationship with that customer, some issues exist that even the most forgiving and loyal of customers simply cannot overlook. One poor customer service experience can often be forgiven, but receiving bad product information on your website may be what finally drives away digital customers.

In August 2015, Shotfarm released research gathered from respondents at least 18 years old about their experiences with inaccurate product information on website brands. When asked how likely they were to continue buying from a brand with inaccurate product information on its website, the findings weren’t favorable:

  • Very unlikely – 53%
  • Slightly unlikely – 34%
  • Likely – 10%
  • Very likely – 4%.

So, while 14% of respondents would be willing to try ordering from these websites again, the overwhelming majority of 87% (numbers are slightly off due to rounding) would take their business—and their digital shopping dollars—elsewhere.

Worse still, with over half of respondents identifying as “very unlikely” to continue doing business after a bad product information experience, one typo on a company’s website could drive away a significant percent of new customers.

When Shotfarm asked how important accurate product information was to digital shoppers, nearly all (95%) placed some level of importance on it, while almost 80% referred to it as “very important.” Since online shoppers use the product information on a brand’s website as their primary source of information gathering during the decision-making process, this data is unsurprising.

An October 2015 study performed by Instant.ly for Needle confirms these findings. They asked study participants about what aspects of the online shopping experience most frustrated them. Again, bad product information led the pack:

  • Inaccurate sizing and versions/ensuring the item is an appropriate match – 60%
  • Too many options – 29%
  • Length of time to research, view and purchase products – 28%
  • Not enough or confusing details – 24%
  • Missing the personalized attention an in-store sales associate would provide – 22%.

While bad product information is another major pain point in this study, the 28% mentioning the time it takes to research and purchase online deserves a closer look. Although they don’t specifically state it in this survey, it’s possible that the research time is directly related to the digital shopper’s ability to find all the information they need from a source they can trust to provide accurate product information.

The Shotfarm study did provide some hope. Roughly half of US digital shoppers still believe that the manufacturer’s website is the best place to get complete, accurate information about the products they want to buy. Unfortunately, less than one-fifth had the same faith in third-party retailer sites.

Although this demonstrates that Americans still believe they have the ability to find the information they need online, third-party retailers have room for improvement if they want to regain the trust of shoppers.


eMarketer. Accurate Product Info Is a Pain Point for Digital Shoppers. December 8, 2015.