Back in May, we launched our webinar series to discuss with our key partners what the Future of eCommerce looks like in a post-COVID world.
We were delighted to welcome Trustpilot to present the 5th session in the series, and this is what they had to report...
Creating internet trust
Back in February (when the world was still semi-oblivious to the impending pandemic), Trustpilot carried out a study into the role of reviews in creating consumer trust.
The key learning from responses in this study was that trust in brands is eroding (an 11% decline was seen in trust from ages between 18 and 65). On a positive note however, respondents were more than happy to explain why - consumers know what they want, and they want it now!
88% of consumers reported that they check reviews online before making purchases. Consumers find confidence in the voice of their peers - there’s less trust in brands themselves but they trust the opinion of like-for-like individuals.
62% of respondents reported that if they knew platforms were censoring reviews, they would stop using them. More importantly, 64% of consumers globally reported that they would prefer to purchase from a responsive company over one that appears perfect - consumers want company to join in the conversation and empower discussion, rather than having a 100% clean ‘track record’. Consumers know that the odd thing may go wrong, but what they are more bothered about is how you resolve that.
So, what should brands do?
Has COVID-19 changed the way consumers use reviews?
Following the announcement of lockdown, a second follow-up study was conducted (to over 1,700 UK consumers) at the end of March to gauge early shifts in consumer behaviour where brand trust was concerned.
During lockdown, it was reported that 27.5% of consumers are checking more reviews than they did prior to COVID-19, 75% want to see how companies are handling the virus, 566% of respondents are more worried about scammers than they were before, and there was a 22% decrease in brand trust - people are more skeptical of reviews.
So, what do consumers want now?
The role of reviews in social proof
Social proof has a powerful psychological effect on consumers; it is seen as third party validation which is considered more authentic and trustworthy.
Especially throughout lockdown, when the world has shifted online, visual representations of social proof (such as badges, ratings, reviews) have become more important than ever and have an incredibly strong influence on shopping behaviour.
Of all participants, 66% reported that the presence of social proof would increase their likelihood to purchase the product, with 86% stating they would make a purchase after seeing a positive star rating and/ or reviews on the homepage and a similar 85% confirming they would be influenced to purchase by a positive star rating and/ or reviews on a product page level.
With consumers having been forced to shop online, many brands have welcomed customers who have never shopped online before, meaning it is more important than ever for brands to ensure customers can trust their business.
If you missed the session and want to access the webinar, don't worry - we know how busy it has been recently! We’ve recorded the session for you, and have made it available for anyone who missed out.