Shopper trust in a retailer and/or brand is playing an increasingly important role in the purchasing process, new insight from Shoppercentric.
The research demonstrates that trust is more than a corporate issue – it’s something that shoppers consider at two levels - Corporate integrity, which relates to corporate responsibility, staff / supplier treatment, transparency, consistency and heritage but also Tangible delivery - about the business’s ability to meet the shopper’s individual needs and expectations during the actual purchase process.
The purpose of this new research was to find out what trust means to shoppers: what they are thinking about when deciding whether or not a brand or retailer is trustworthy; and what role it has in the decision making processes.
Also trust in the context of shopper purchase decisions, and whether trust – in brands and in retailers – is being re-considered as a result of the recession.
“Shoppers don’t spontaneously talk about trust as a purchase decision factor in its own right, and yet they recognise that trust is playing a role in their decisions,” said, Managing Director at Shoppercentric, Danielle Pinnington.
“In our research it emerged that trust is an amalgamation of a whole range of factors that a shopper may take into consideration when judging whether or not they want to shop in a certain retailer or buy a particular brand.”
She continued: “At a very basic level, shopper trust is created when a retailer or brand delivers against a shopper’s needs or expectations – you have to be delivering at the coal face – at the point of purchase.
“Failure to deliver against these – even on just one occasion – can undermine a shopper’s trust to the detriment of the retailer or brand.
Key findings from the research showed that trust in the retail and manufacturing sectors have been affected - by changes in the context in which retailers and brands now operate.
Some 22 percent of Shoppers have been forced to re-evaluate their needs due to budgetary constraints prompted by salary cuts and redundancy.
Additionally, 92 percent of shoppers are buying into more promotions now than 12 months ago. However retailers are awash with special offers and promotions so shoppers are no longer buying on the basis of trust in the original price but on the reduced price instead
It also found that 38 percent of shoppers are using stores they didn’t use before and 56 percent of shoppers are trading down from branded goods to supermarket own label products, and from supermarket top tier own label to lower tiers
“In designing the trust building strategy for a business, both retailers and brands need to consider where shoppers turn to in an experience vacuum, and the sources of information that shoppers are likely to reference,” added Pinnington.
“Businesses that put shopper relationships at the heart of their stores will be the long term winners, regardless of recessions or market changes.”
She concluded, “It’s all about making a real connection in order to engage, to generate trust and therefore loyalty. The brands that have stood the test of time have all been able to point to ‘trust’ as a key part of their success. It goes without saying that a business that understands and builds trust is looking to the long term future.”
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