Shoppers walking
Akeneo's consumer research reveals a shift in shopping habits of price-conscious consumers. KENA BETANCUR/AFP

Product experience company, Akeneo, has released its anticipated yearly survey titled 'Product Experience Satisfaction Around the World' in a move to dig deeper into the complexities of customer behaviour and purchase decisions.

The poll carried out in 2023, highlights the significance of consistent, rich and educational product experiences across various online and offline channels while highlighting the relevance of brand values, easy returns and cutting-edge retail technologies.

The survey's results show that customers around the world have a strong need for compelling product experiences that cut across several touchpoints. Consumers want frictionless and interesting encounters with the goods they want, whether they are purchased offline or online.

The survey also finds that shoppers favour businesses that share their values, have hassle-free return policies, and use cutting-edge retail technologies. In today's budget-conscious world, shoppers have a propensity to be picky with their purchases, frequently sticking with reputable brands.

All of this points to the necessity for merchants to prioritise factors under their control in today's economic climate. Some of these factors include product experiences, in order to create compelling product tales, drive brand loyalty, and persuade price-conscious shoppers to choose their brand.

The third annual B2C survey from Akeneo displays a number of interesting findings. First and foremost, 60 per cent of consumers cancel their transactions because they are unable to locate sufficient information about the items they wish to acquire. Additionally, 66 per cent of consumers now spend more time researching possible purchases and looking for more comprehensive product information.

Surprisingly, 84 per cent of buyers research things online before making offline purchases, whereas 77 per cent browse products in-store but end up making their purchases online.

The direct impact of product information on return rates is another important discovery. Due to false pre-purchase information, almost 54 per cent of consumers have returned a product. Additionally, one of the top two services that a company should provide, according to 40 per cent of customers, is a streamlined return procedure.

It is important to note that over two-thirds of consumers say they are interested in using upcoming technologies like virtual reality tools, voice assistants, and virtual reality (VR) tools while shopping. Similarly, a similar percentage thinks that a more enjoyable shopping experience would turn them into devoted patrons. Additionally, 40 per cent of customers are prepared to pay more for brands that support their values and 58 per cent of consumers have made an internet purchase.

Commenting on the findings, Kristin Naragon, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Akeneo stressed the importance of recognising the significance of both online and in-person interactions between consumers and brands. Naragon emphasised the need for an omnichannel product experience strategy rather than solely focusing on digital shelves.

According to him, retailers must prominently display their product stories wherever their customers go to fulfil the promise of a superior customer experience (CX). He further explained that a robust customer experience (CX) strategy cannot exist without a solid product experience (PX) strategy.

Akeneo's research aims to equip merchants with insights into consumer behaviour, enabling them to craft exceptional product experiences and apply that knowledge across all shopping and post-sale channels.

Akeneo revealed that it has the goals of learning more about business-to-consumer (B2C) product experiences, omnichannel buying trends, and improved shopping experiences. The survey, which was conducted from February 22 to March 8, included 1,800 customers who were 18 or older from France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, and China.

Two brand-new questions that highlighted the value of having access to product information and the impact of influencers on purchasing decisions were notable additions to this year's study.