Lately we’re talking a lot about how product questions create roadblocks to sales. A recent Vizu poll showed us that 61% of the people surveyed received answers from retailers less than half the time. What do they do when they can’t find their answers? They abandon their purchase or go elsewhere.

So where do consumers turn? Our Vizu poll results told us…

49% start with a search engine
So, if you don’t have search engine-friendly content, your customers won’t find you. User-generated content is quickly capturing top billing on search engines like Google. Nielsen BuzzMetrics found that 26% of search results link to user-generated content, and this number will continue to grow.

13% start with a friend or family member
Word of mouth is already filling this information gap offline. Manufacturers and retailers must bring this discussion to the point of purchase and preserve the conversation for future visitors

 13% start with a manufacturer site
To consumers, a manufacturer should have the answers. Unfortunately, most manufacturers don’t allow consumers to ask them questions directly, forcing them to work to find the data. This may lead to their abandoning the sale (or choosing a competitor who can answer the question).

Less than 11% turn to a retailer, either online or in-store
Consumers struggle to find answers at retail sites and don’t seem to have confidence that in-store associates have the answer. Retailers should heed this call to help facilitate Q&A online, allowing customers to help themselves. Manufacturers must take action as well. Facilitating this dialogue on their site creates an invaluable asset that can be syndicated to the retail channel.  

Facilitate active, user-generated Q&A online and make it easy for manufacturers and retailers to respond. Succeed here and, regardless of the point of purchase, consumers will have all the information they need to click the “buy” button.

-Chad 

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