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Brand Trust Will Play Key Role in 2021 Shopping Trends, Survey Finds

  • Small retailers continue to enjoy significant trust among customers, according to a recent survey
  • However, customers were generally more likely to consider larger retailers to be better capable of taking actions to strengthen customer trust
  • Reliability was considered to be the most significant trust-building factor

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Customers are more likely to trust small, local retailers than they are to trust larger retailers, according to a recent survey by the digital commerce solutions company Avionos. However, the company also warns that customers have grown more willing to change brands and that small businesses must step up their level of service to remain competitive.

The survey of 750 consumers in the United States looked at how respondents developed trust in a brand and how that trust would influence their shopping habits in the summer of 2021. Sixty-two percent said they trusted smaller companies, compared to just 36 percent who put more trust in large retailers. Eighty-three percent said they would pay more for a product or service from a local retailer, with 42 percent saying they would do so because they believed the business shares their values.

However, respondents also considered larger retailers more capable of taking actions to build customer trust in six out of 11 categories, including offering fair prices, making on-time deliveries, and offering up to date info on website and apps. Small businesses scored higher marks in their ability to respond to customer feedback, make a positive social impact, and be transparent about their processes.

  • Avionos says customers have been more willing to experiment with new brands since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 81 percent shopping with at least one new brand since March 2020
  • Customers are more likely to feel a brand cares for them if they offer an easy online purchase experience (27 percent), respond quickly to inquiries (20 percent), or take extra safety precautions (17 percent)
  • Brands have an opportunity for sales lift, as 48 percent of respondents said they’ll spend more in the summer of 2021 than they did in the summer of 2020
  • Forty-five percent of respondents said reliability would help build their trust in a brand, while 21 percent cited fairness and 11 percent named a great online reputation

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