Home Study Indicates Consumers Are Tiring of the Online Endless Aisle
July 8, 2024

Study Indicates Consumers Are Tiring of the Online Endless Aisle

Posted In: Retail Articles

A survey of consumers in 12 countries conducted by Software Advice suggested online shopping is becoming increasingly challenging because of what the software purchasing guide identified as decision fatigue.

The survey, which included consumers in the United States an Canada, indicated shoppers are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of search results, ineffective filters and unreliable reviews, making it harder to find what they truly want.

Today’s online consumers face a unique challenge as they can shop more products than ever, yet they find that it’s harder to find the right products, even with the early promise of artificial intelligence, according to Software Advice. Most consumers surveyed start their product search on retailer websites, at 52%; search engines, at 67%; or e-commerce marketplaces, at 46%. However, they are met with an overwhelming abundance of unhelpful search results, including sponsored, inaccurate and irrelevant product listings, Software Advice concluded.

Search filters are supposed to help consumers narrow their options, and 77% of consumers regularly use them when shopping online, according to Software Advice.  Still, filters are imperfect tools riddled with frustrating issues, the company noted. Regular users report filters are often incorrectly applied to products, cited by 45% of respondents;  lack a helpful degree of specificity, by 44%; or are too sparse to meaningfully narrow product selections, by 34%. Although reviews are important, with price being the only factor more critical to consumer purchasing decisions, when it comes down to personalities, only 34% of respondents trust critiques from social media influencers, according to Software Advice.

Today, social media significantly impacts online shopping behaviors, with 30% of consumers starting their product search on platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. Two evident factors complicate the buyer journey, said Software Advice: Consumers are inspired by social media trends, but most make final purchases outside of such platforms; and many retailers don’t incorporate trending social media keywords into their websites. Rather than seamlessly connecting social media-savvy shoppers to their products, retailers often let consumers try to connect the dots between what’s on social media and what retailers are selling online, according to Software Advice.

Software Advice recommends retailers enhance the online customer experience by adopting advanced search software and leveraging review management systems. In addition, the company pointed out, faceted search and AI-driven review summaries can reduce decision fatigue.

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