With every passing day consumers are being stimulated to purchase products by e-commerce sites with greater information richness, improved user friendliness, and larger coverage. Even though the internet has only been around for the past 15 years or so, it has changed consumer activity considerably.
However, whether e-commerce sites empower consumers to make better decisions when purchasing a product should be questioned. While many have written that improved decision capability comes with the increase of information, most consumers are feeling overloaded with sheer volume of information at the point of purchase. The irony is that the total amount of available information has passed the point of what consumers are able to process. E-commerce sites that offer too much information confuse rather than clarify consumers. This may be very surprising, but the fact is that consumers just use a small amount of the available information when making decisions (Caildini, 2001).
Besides, e-commerce merchants have to remember that consumers are “cognitive misers” who try to decrease any amount of cognitive effort when making decisions and as a result of that are willing to settle for an imperfect solution in return for a deduction in search costs (Häubl & Trifts, 2002).
Due to these facts, building text-heavy e-commerce sites, including long bullet point product specification pages, is not improving consumer decision accuracy. Instead, e-commerce merchants should focus on building product videos that:
- focus on the most essential features in the product,
- give a good product demonstration,
- highlight purchase information (price, delivery, and payment security),
- have a short duration,
- are well integrated
- and are SEO optimized.
By allowing consumers to watch product videos, the cognitive effort will decrease as easier access to the important information is granted. Along with the decrease in cognitive effort, consumers’ decision accuracy will get improved as more information can be accessed and processed in less time.
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