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An eCommerce Relevance study revealed that shoppers believe a brand experience gap exists between brick-and-mortar stores and eCommerce sites.  This perceived gap allows savvy retailers to improve their online shopping experience, including offering product protection early in the buyer’s journey.

This ongoing battle for retailers to improve online shopping is not new but is not improving. 91% of shoppers say they encountered at least one problem online in the past year.

The most likely issues cited by consumers were slow websites, not finding what they wanted, and disorganized app navigation. Despite lockdown restrictions loosening for months, shopping online remains the primary mode of consumption for many of those responding to the survey.

Consumers crave accessible digital experiences, with 93% of respondents saying they expect the online shipping experience to be equal to, if not better, than in-store.

Retailers know that a consumer’s time is precious, so speeding the customer journey is an effort well spent. Consumers do their research online before purchasing. So make sure if they come to your site first, it is organized and will satisfy their need for more information.

One of the reasons why consumers are not going directly to brands is because those brands have not set themselves apart as memorable. Most respondents said they would pay more if they could find what they sought in just a few clicks. And 48% of respondents said that supporting content adds value to products.

Retailers that can create a compelling brand experience on a more personalized level will provide the relevant remedy that consumers seek.

And retailers need to make sure they are tapping into the preferences of younger demographics. Millennials and Generation Z respondents are the most likely to turn away from retail giants like Amazon to gain a more personalized shopping journey.

Millennials, born between 1980 and 1994, make up 26% of the total U.S. population with a growing income and shopping.

Gen Z, born between 1994 and 2001, represent the most racially diverse segment, with 25% of the total population in the U.S. They are the first generation to grow up with smartphones and social media, with a sizable number eligible to vote this year.

These generations say they are 51% more likely to share personal data with brands they trust if it improves their buying experiences. Online shoppers demand the same personalized attention from observant in-store sales assistants.

Cookie-less browsing, privacy laws, and e-commerce site challenges leave brands scrambling to determine shopper intent and serve relevant recommendations and content.

In times of uncertainty and disruption, buyers want to save money, reduce frustration and feel confident about their purchase decisions. Shoppers must believe they are doing the right things to secure buying outcomes.

The most successful brand marketers understand and address shoppers’ emotional and financial needs throughout the buying journey.

Offering extended service contracts to customers is one way brands can exceed customer expectations and improve customer satisfaction. Retailers’ e-commerce sites should provide easy ways to add product protection at the time of purchase. Optimized sites include product protection throughout the buying journey, not just at checkout.

The benefits of extended service plans should be easily accessible to in-person and online shoppers. Retailers that sell Centricity extended service plans can grow revenue and build customer loyalty that lasts a lifetime.

Centricity partners with retailers and manufacturers to provide customized product protection solutions that drive revenue and result in loyal, happy customers. If you want to learn more about product protection plans and customized implementation and training for your team, contact us today.

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