Productsup has launched the business growth report, a study comparing business priorities for the year ahead with today’s consumer expectations. The report reveals a sharp contrast between what consumers want and how businesses intend to meet demand amidst the downturn and provides decision-makers with actionable takeaways on how to create a competitive advantage by straying from the norm.
It identifies four key areas where businesses should focus their attention in 2023:
Businesses’ concern over the quality, consistency, and accuracy of product information across global campaigns is on the rise. Sixty-two per cent (62 per cent) of businesses fear poor product information is creating negative online experiences, up 72 per cent year-over-year. Additionally, 55 per cent feel it could leave them vulnerable to competitors, up 49 per cent.
Considering 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, companies need to have full control over their product data ecosystem.
Nearly half (49 per cent) of businesses recorded increased demand for sustainable products in 2022, but 34 per cent of consumers say brands and retailers make sustainability information too difficult to find.
Providing shoppers with more transparency in the supply chain by adding ESG data to product labels, listings, and ads can have a significant impact on sales and brand loyalty. In the year ahead, 55 per cent of businesses plan to increase their level of sustainable product information to meet evolving consumer expectations and differentiate themselves from competitors.
The metaverse and digital collectibles
In light of scepticism across the industry, many businesses are avoiding virtual and augmented reality experiences. Only 14 per cent of businesses believe consumers are much more likely to purchase a product based on in-store AR experiences, such as augmented fitting rooms. That number drops to 13 per cent for online VR and AR experiences, like the metaverse and digital collectibles.
Yet when compared to consumer data, 42 per cent of consumers said they’re more likely to purchase a product after experiencing VR or AR in stores, and 40 per cent expressed interest in purchasing ‘pure virtual’ goods in the metaverse. Companies that show caution toward these innovative technologies now miss an opportunity to make their mark in the space before clear leaders emerge and win over younger shoppers.
With tighter budgets, only 24 per cent of businesses expect to increase overall ad spend this year. They’re pulling back on newer channels – 79 per cent of businesses don’t intend to increase Snapchat, or TikTok ad spend – and instead focusing on the platforms they’re more familiar with, like Facebook and Youtube.
This dip in activity from advertisers opens up more ad space for others to grab – and at discounted costs. Businesses should take the opportunity to secure top advertising spots on some of the most-used channels 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 at Productsup. “History has shown that harsh economic climates reward the brave outliers who embrace change and go all in on innovation. To be successful in 2023, companies have to be willing to experiment and invest in areas that are outside the norm.”