Going Against the Norm

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A new report identifies 4 business priorities for creating a strong customer experience.

“Business Growth Report,” a study released by New York-based product-to-consumer software company Productsup, reveals a sharp contrast between what consumers want and how businesses intend to meet demand amid an economic downturn. The study compares business priorities for 2023 with consumer expectations from 2022. 

The report identifies four key areas where businesses should focus to create a competitive advantage by straying from the norm:  

One

Product information
Consumers reported that knowing more detailed information about products was one of the top factors that would entice them to choose one brand or retailer over another. However, 62% of businesses fear poor product information is creating negative online experiences — up 72% year over year. Additionally, 55% of businesses feel offering more information could leave them vulnerable to competitors, up from 49%. Companies need to have full control over their product data ecosystem.   

Sustainable shopping
Nearly half (49%) of businesses recorded increased demand for sustainable products in 2022, but 34% of consumers say brands and retailers make sustainability information too difficult to find. Providing shoppers with more transparency in the supply chain by adding environmental, social and governance data to product labels, listings and ads can have a significant impact on sales and brand loyalty.  

The metaverse
Only 14% of businesses believe consumers are more likely to purchase a product based on in-store, augmented reality experiences, such as virtual fitting rooms. Yet 42% of consumers say they’re more likely to purchase a product after experiencing virtual reality or AR in stores, and 40% expressed interest in purchasing “pure virtual” goods in the metaverse. Companies that show caution toward these innovative technologies miss an opportunity to win over younger shoppers.

Ad budget
With tighter budgets, only 24% of businesses expect to increase overall ad spending this year. They’re pulling back on newer channels — 79% of businesses don’t intend to increase Snapchat or TikTok ads, instead focusing on Facebook and YouTube. Businesses should secure top advertising spots on some of the channels most-used by millennials and Gen Z.   

“If most businesses are struggling to drive sales, move out inventory and reach new customers, then it’s time to stop following the majority,” said Marcel Hollerbach, chief innovation officer for Productsup, in a news release. “To be successful in 2023, companies have to be willing to invest in areas that are outside the norm.” 

The report is based on a survey of 755 decision-makers from 16 countries.