Are vendors delivering better online experiences than multi-brand sellers?
According to a survey from Astound Commerce, 55 percent of consumers prefer to shop directly at a brand manufacturer website rather than go to a retailer who may sell multiple brands.
Further, 54 percent believe brand manufacturer websites can deliver more comprehensive product information, in addition to enhanced customer service, better prices and more personalization options.
The survey is somewhat biased as it comes from 1,000 consumers who shop online and have visited a brand manufacturer’s website in the past six months. Two out of three had purchased at least three products on brand sites in the past six months.
The appeal of vendor websites is also contradicted by other results in the study. For instance, 72 percent indicated they prefer to shop at online retailers where multiple brand manufacturers are sold. The same 72 percent also agreed they prefer to shop at physical retailers where multiple brand manufacturers are sold.
In its study, Astound said it believes that shoppers admit to still preferring multiple brand retail experiences likely because it’s a “long entrenched behavior.” But the authors believe the “pendulum may be shifting” towards manufacturer websites in part because of vendors’ ability to provide a higher level of service and engagement as well as information for research.
Among the reasons consumers shop online with brand manufacturers were:
- Assortment: 45 percent of respondents expect a broader assortment of the vendor’s brand versus retailers with multiple brands;
- Information: 54 percent expect more comprehensive information and guides about the product and category at vendor websites;
- Brand engagement: 37 percent expect a more engaging experience (video, social elements, etc.) on a brand manufacturer’s website than a retailer’s;
- Competitive pricing: Half expected better prices on a brand manufacturer’s website than on a retailer’s website;
- Customer service: 44 percent expect better customer service.
Stated Astound in a press release, “The multi-dimensional role of the brand manufacturer illustrates the value consumers place on information and channel consistency, especially as almost half of online shoppers have visited mobile and social channels along with digital and physical stores.”
- Astound Commerce Global Brand Survey Reveals Over Half of Online Shoppers Prefer Shopping Directly With Brands Over Retailers – Astound Commerce
- 2017 Global Brand Shopper Survey (study) – Astound Commerce
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are vendors positioned to provide a higher level of online engagement, information and service to consumers versus websites of multi-brand sellers? What advantages do multi-brand selling websites have?