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Survey: Omnichannel brand experience underwhelms consumers

Consumers want seamless brand information across digital touchpoints, but often don’t get it.

According to a new survey of more than 500 U.S. consumers from online brand management firm Yext and Forbes Insights, 60% of respondents expect brands to deliver consistent, accurate information across online touchpoints, including a brand’s website, third-party sites, apps, and social media. However, only 50% of respondents believe that brands do well in providing a consistent and accurate experience across search channels.

Respondents report visiting a brand site because they can get all of the information they need there (57%) and the information is accurate (54%). In addition, half of surveyed consumers use third-party sites and apps to find information about a variety of brands at one time, while one-third do so to find objective information.

Results also indicate consumer familiarity with a brand impacts what digital information sources they trust. Forty-eight percent of current customers cite a brand’s website as one of their most trusted sources for information, while 47% report being more likely to trust third-party sites, including search engine results, directories, and social media, when discovering a brand for the first time. Only 20% of both current and new customers trust social media sites to deliver brand information.

Unfortunately for brands, consumers often blame them for a negative online experience, even if it is out of the brand’s control. One-third of respondents almost always blame a brand when they encounter inconsistency and inaccuracy in their quest for information online, regardless of the source.

Following a negative online experience with a brand, including finding inaccurate information, 28% of consumers tend not to buy that brand’s product or service at the time and 26% may share their bad experience with others. Additionally, respondents cite poor customer service (41%), requests for too much information (31%), and websites unconducive to finding information (30%) as the main causes of frustration and disengagement with a brand. More than four in 10 (43%) wish brands would improve security and make it easier to connect with customer service.
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