Shoppers have always bought products they trust from stores they trust but as the economy gets tighter shoppers are even more careful how they spend their money and trust gets even more important. One of the reasons why web based retailers have been so successful is that they built trust into their operating model. This was reflected in customer service, returns policy, pricing and customer reviews. Creating and maintaining customer trust has played a key part in their success.
Physical stores still have big advantages over web based stores because it’s easier to build trust when you are face to face in a physical store where shoppers can actually see and touch the products at the shelf edge. It was therefore disappointing to read that an Ipsos MORI survey of 1,546 supermarket shoppers revealed that 31% of people were less likely to trust supermarkets now than in the past. Increasing trust in web based stores and reducing trust in physical stores like supermarkets is not good news for the high street and shopping centres. The 47% of shoppers who said that they felt misled by various offers are therefore much more likely to consider shopping with a web based retailer.
Retaining and building shopper trust in physical stores needs to be a priority and must begin at the shelf edge. Clear and straightforward pricing and offers are key components to build trust along with ability to quickly change any information in-store that is either wrong or misleading.