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What Matters Most to Consumers?

We recently polled 2,000 American consumers to find out their shopping deal-breakers, and what causes them to switch to competing brands.

One night last fall while scrolling Instagram, the future flashed before me. It was a picture of a bigger, better, smarter toaster oven that could help me cook Thanksgiving dinner in half the time. 

Before taking the plunge, I researched features online, read reviews on Amazon, and finally walked into a nearby retailer to check it out in person. Each touchpoint added a layer of information to my buying experience and worked together to build the vision of being a master chef—if only I had this toaster oven in my kitchen. 

The truth is a customer’s experience—and the underlying product content that supports it—will make or break your brand. 

According to a recent survey conducted by OnePoll, inconsistent or obsolete product info online is the top reason consumers will reconsider buying a brand. Keeping content accurate and updated in every sales channel is critical to converting a shopper to a buyer. 

If I had encountered conflicting information about the new toaster oven in any one of the many channels I shopped, my 20-year-old toaster oven would still be collecting dust on my counter. 

For instance, imagine if I found different product dimensions between the website and marketplace listings, one that fit my counter and one that didn’t. Sure, I could go to a store to measure it, but I would question what else might be wrong. 

Will it really hold a whole pizza? 

Will it really help me cook that much faster? 

If a company can’t give me quality information, are they giving me a quality product? 

Trust requires consistency and reliability, and it can easily be broken with a single data error. Every touchpoint must work in harmony to craft a deeply personalized connection between the product and customer. 

Even after purchase, feeding the customer experience with content remains essential. Consider the ultimate outcome your customers want. How can you help them achieve it after purchasing your product? 

I didn’t want a new toaster oven. I wanted to create great meals for my family. As I set up my new appliance, I was excited to watch how-to videos and search for recipes on the brand website. The research found that I’m not alone in this excitement, with nearly half of consumers who recently switched brands enticed by enhanced product experiences. Online communities and product videos help customers engage further with your brand and entice them to incorporate more of your products into daily routines. 

When Thanksgiving rolled around, I bragged endlessly to my family and friends about how cooking was such a joy with this toaster oven in my corner. My mom was so impressed, she had it on her wish list before we left for Black Friday shopping. 

It wasn’t a checklist of features driving her to look for a new appliance, it was my experience with the product from discovery through support that inspired her to be a master chef too. In fact, family and friends impact our brand loyalty even more than influencers, celebrities, or third-party reviews. The value of word-of-mouth recommendations—based on personal experience—can far outweigh paid placements.

As marketers, we need to remember the power of customer experiences and establish the infrastructure to support them. 

  • Keep product content accurate and updated in every sales channel to convert shoppers to buyers.
  • Create enhanced product experiences to engage customers at every stage of their journey.

With product data so critical to success, marketers need a central source of product truth, such as a Product Information Management (PIM) system. By connecting people, systems, and processes in a unified platform, teams significantly improve data accuracy and consistency while simplifying and accelerating go-to-market processes. PIM establishes the framework to aggregate, manage, enrich, and distribute product information, enabling the engine of engagement that feeds customer experiences.

See the full results from our customer survey.

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Post by
Jill Mueller
Director of Product Marketing, Propel

Jill has a passion for bringing brands to life to drive strategic growth. Her experience in both retail and manufacturing provides a strong balance of marketing, development, and production knowledge. Most recently, Jill worked with private-equity-backed firms to identify and execute market growth opportunities, including channel expansion, product category launches, and global supply chain improvements.

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Jill Mueller