Consumer trust shifting to retailers and manufacturers: study
June 05, 2012 | Chris Powell | Comments
Family and friends still most-trusted influencers, but losing ground to companies
Canadian consumers’ trust in retailers and manufacturers more than doubled in the past year according to a new study by IBM.
At the same time, consumers are more intelligent, instrumented and interconnected than any time before; they use the web, mobile devices, in-store kiosks and the like to obtain brand information, obtain coupons and compare features, and then disseminate that information through social networks.
It is a “shoppers market,” says IBM, and brands must keep pace with consumers in order to remain successful.
The findings are part of a global study by the technology company into consumers’ shopping beliefs, attitudes and habits. The results are based on interviews with more than 28,000 people in 15 countries – including more than 2,000 people in Canada – and by listening to approximately 1 million digital conversations.
The study found that while family and friends still rank high among consumers’ trusted influencers, they lost some ground to retailers and manufacturers in the past year. The latter two scored 26% of the “trust ranking” score among consumers – 12% and 14% respectively – up from a combined 13% in 2011. Family and friends still account for 48% of the trust ranking score, although that is down from 53% in 2010.
“The survey shows Canadian retailers are gaining traction as they begin to recognize trust – which is the strongest driver of both advocacy and spend – matters,” said Pinar Cardwell, associate partner in IBM’s retail consulting practice, in a release. “Retailers must monitor consumer dialogue and sentiment on how well they are faring. Retailers who listen and engage in these dialogues will be best-positioned to build trust and loyalty by addressing consumers’ evolving expectations.”
The survey also found that Canadians are “digitally savvy” in their shopping, with 51% saying they would use mobile devices to check out at a retail location and receive point-of-sale promotions. Sixty eight per cent of respondents said they were not concerned with security when using their mobile device.
Consumers are now sharing their experiences widely online – giving them more control and influence over brands. They are also seeking a more personalized shopping experience, the study found.
The study also found that 13% of Canadians are willing to use three or more technologies – such as websites, social network, videos or mobile devices – to shop. The idea of buying with a TV remote in response to a commercial or product placement within a show is also gaining in popularity, said the report.