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Effects of Covid-19: consumers value trust, reputation and conversation

By Anna Zwettler

Apr 22, 2020

New data reveals that 77 percent of consumers hold businesses more accountable than ever, as ‘trust’, ‘reputation’ and ‘conversation’ become almost as important as ‘price’ and ‘convenience’.

In response to the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, shoppers not only want to be reassured about fulfilled orders and inquiries, but they also judge businesses based on factors such as employee treatment.

That’s according to research commissioned by digital marketing firm Bazaarvoice which drew on data from over a billion monthly international shoppers in the company’s network of retailers, brands and other sites.

It highlights the growing importance for brands and retailers to create more personal and engaging relationships with their consumers.

The survey reveals that retailers face high expectations from consumers in terms of online communication, with 89 percent saying that they expect a brand to respond to their question on social media within 24 hours.

The data also highlights the importance of mutual consumer trust, with 78 percent of shoppers saying they have confidence in user-generated reviews and 39 percent believing product reviews to be the most important part of an online product page.

It is likely that, in the future, consumer demand for businesses to respond to feedback and questions will increase even more, as shoppers are currently unable to engage with store staff in person before buying an item.

Suzin World, senior vice president of marketing at Bazaarvoice, commented in a statement: “Brand trust is increasingly a key factor in shopper decisions, and businesses face a significant challenge when it comes to offering convenience and low prices while building deeper, trusted relationships and engaging in meaningful conversation.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has only accelerated the shift to interactions moving online with brands needing to think smartly about how they build trust and meaningful engagement at a time when shoppers may never set foot in a store or interact with a human representative.”

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