the importance of product discovery for e-merchants

In this comprehensive white paper, Attraqt discusses the challenges of product discovery for retail and e-commerce players and the growing importance of this topic in ensuring good performance. The study notably compares the strategies put in place by e-commerce leaders and the strategies of more modest players. This study by London Research is based on a survey of over 350 companies specializing in retail.

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Product Discovery: Presenting the right product to the consumer

Retailers can offer a wide variety of products across a large number of touchpoints: website, app, marketplaces… But this product offering presents many challenges for e-commerce players: how to offer the right product? How not to overload consumers with products they don’t want? You also need to be able to recreate an experience close to walking through a physical store. A consumer who doesn’t know what he wants must be able to accidentally discover a product he wanted but wasn’t looking for.

This product discovery problem is essential, mainly due to shoppers’ impatience: a third of them give up on browsing a site after 10 minutes and two thirds of shoppers never return to a site that offers a poor search experience! If products are categorized incorrectly or presented in a way that does not match how the customer is looking for them, they will not be purchased.

Product Discovery combines website research, personalization and merchandising to guide shoppers to find the product they are looking for as quickly as possible.

The importance of offering the right products to customers

According to the Attraqt study, e-commerces know that the problem of product choice is a reality. 80% believe that many buyers don’t know what they want until they see it. For 65% of the professionals surveyed, it is mainly due to the multiplicity of products offered. Half of respondents believe that shoppers have a hard time finding the product they are looking for.

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While this finding is shared by most respondents, Attraqt notes a difference in maturity depending on the type of respondent. Major e-commerce companies are more aware of this product choice problem.

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Product Discovery benefits and barriers to its implementation

When Attraqt asks e-commerce professionals about the benefits of Product Discovery, the answers clearly show that it can optimize many aspects of customer relationships.

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The first advantage of a strategy is increased sales, for 64% of respondents. This is followed by better customer loyalty and a better visitor experience on the site. Optimized Product Discovery also enables a better omnichannel experience as well as better brand awareness. The advantages are therefore multiple and are present in the long term.

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When e-commerce professionals are asked about the KPIs they choose to measure their actions, we see the importance of Product Discovery. The main metric used to evaluate performance is conversion rate (56%). Other KPIs are overall sales (50%), average order value (47%) and cart abandonment rate (42%).

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Despite the advantages of Product Discovery, there are still obstacles to its integration into an e-commerce strategy. Difficulties can be operational, technological or organizational. If we go into details, the volume of products (30%) and the number of personas (29%) represent the two main difficulties. This is followed by a lack of low-quality measurements, data, and metadata. To get the most out of Product Discovery, retailers need to address these underlying issues.

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The remainder of this study focuses on the importance of choosing the right technological solutions to have a global view of the subject. Once again, leading companies stand out with an integrated approach to product discovery that includes website search, merchandising and personalization. On the other hand, conventional e-retailers have a more siled approach to product discovery, with different solutions that are not integrated.

Other points covered are a comprehensive look at what good product discovery technology should bring and in particular the growing importance of AI for e-commerce leaders.

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