For many years, internet marketing experts have been preaching a mantra that "Content is King." The internet has certainly changed greatly with advent of the mobile internet and more powerful devices, but even so, the importance of quality content hasn't diminished. In fact, the quality of a business's content has become an important factor in consumer's shopping behavior, as a recent study from Episerver shows

Episerver recently surveyed 1,000 consumers to learn more about their shopping habits and what factors influence their decisions. Amongst other things, the survey showed that incomplete and inaccurate content on a website can kill a potential sale. .

According to Episerver's report, 'Reimagining Commerce', the lion's share of consumers (98 percent) have been dissuaded from completing a purchase because of incomplete or incorrect content. For about one in three consumers (32 percent) such inaccuracies will scuttle the deal, every time, whether on a website or app.

To look at it another consider this: Of the people surveyed by Episerver, only 38 percent cited "found a suitable somewhere else" as their reason for not making a purchase on a site or app. This means that more than 60 percent of the time, a lost sale on the website is the result of the website, not the competition.

According to the report, 21 percent of incomplete transactions were as a result of incomplete content, and 14 percent were due to incorrect content. To be fair, these weren't the most important factors, but the other reasons were also related to the things consumers find on the site, so it's still content related.

When shoppers came to a site with the intention to buy, the most important factor is price. Two out of three (65 percent) consumers said that when they didn't buy from a site or app when they came with the purpose of shopping, the price was the reason. Similarly, 41 percent cited difficulty navigating the site.

"Our study shows consumers really care about content when shopping online, not only the quality and accuracy, but also how it's delivered to them," said Ed Kennedy, senior director of commerce at Episerver, according to media reports. "Complete and accurate content is now table stakes, and brands looking to go above and beyond must consider personalization."

Episerver's report also reveals that most consumers (92%) visit a brand's website for the first time for reasons other than to make a purchase. Forty-five percent visit a website during product discovery - searching for products - while a quarter are carrying out price comparison and more than 1 in 10 are looking for store details.

The data shown here is just a fraction of the information available in Episerver's full report on customer experiences. It's worth looking at and can be downloaded for the price of your email address. You can get the Reimagining Commerce report from their website.

The most important takeaway from this research is that business owners need to review their sites periodically to make sure they are up-to-date, accurate, and easy to navigate. Failing in any of these matters can lead to lost revenue.

For more recent research on internet marketing, read this article on building customer loyalty in 2017.