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How Time-Tested Techniques Can Tank with Consumers

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A new report suggests most manufacturers’ websites don’t meet consumers’ standards. (iStock/fizkes)

Noting that the “digital consumer age is here,” a new report warns manufacturers to step up their game if they want to continue to reach customers who are migrating away from brick-and-mortar stores.

“In the digital ecosystem, branded web experiences are becoming a crucial part of the buyer journey,” observes Siteimprove, a software as a service (SaaS) company. “As consumers move online, manufacturer websites are one of the first sources of information consumers look to for product information and other helpful content, and it’s an area where many manufacturers have significant room to grow.”

In a new report written with Capgemini and Adobe, Siteimprove says the old approaches don’t necessarily work anymore. “For years, many manufacturers relied on the same time-tested approach to craft their customer journey: Drive consumers to customer service reps and retail stores, where they could ask questions, check prices and, in many cases, experience the product for themselves,” the companies note. “But in the digital age, these service intangibles are lost, forcing online shoppers to turn to new ways to make confident buying decisions.”

“Achieving Success in the Age of the Digital Consumer” includes several observations that manufacturers (and retailers) would be wise to heed:

  • Word-of-mouth matters more than ever to inform decision-making.
  • Product information and reviews take the spotlight.
  • Most manufacturer websites don’t meet consumer standards.
  • A brand’s website offers a powerful place to start building equity.

Manufacturers need to recognize they are living in a much-changed world. “In this new digital ecosystem, B2B manufacturers have a clear opportunity to integrate direct-to-consumer strategies that capitalize on changing online behaviors,” Siteimprove says. “The digital customer journey looks different. It leverages unique product research strategies, requires a tailored user experience and includes additional technological barriers that can make or break a brand’s digital success.”

For more insights, the complete report can be downloaded here.

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