Consumers’ Trust in Supermarkets vs. Online Giants

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By Published On: July 30, 20180 Comments

New research, conducted by Monash University, shows that most consumers trust supermarkets more than online-only retail giants such as ASOS, in findings released today.

The first annual Monash University Business Schools Australian Consumer, Retail and Services (ACRS) Consumer Retail Trust Index 2018 found that consumers perceive online retail and discount variety stores as the least trustworthy of the retail industry.


In findings released today, Paolo De Leon, who is a research consultant for ACRS research unit with Monash Business School’s Department of Marketing, commented, “Surprisingly, despite the e-commerce and online shopping boom, the least trusted retail sector was online-only retailers who were rated well-below their retail counterparts.”


With fears around users’ privacy and the collection of data, it is crucial to customers that they are assured that the data they are providing is secure. This is of particular importance when it comes to supermarket rewards schemes.

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According to researcher Paolo De Leon, where and how customers gain their trust differs between the online retail industry and supermarkets. “Unlike the retail industry, overall when it comes to clothing, retailer’s communication and products are also key in driving trust. This differs again for supermarkets, where we saw trust in information security emerge as important,” This trust in security that customers want from supermarkets, did not translate to clothing, footwear and accessories where key trust factors were communication and products.


More than 630 Australian consumers took part in the research where ratings of trust were collected for automotive, food and beverage, media and entertainment, and financial services business for comparative purposes.


The research indicated that there were five key retail trust attributes: employees, store presentation, product quality and innovativeness, communications, and information security. Dr. Eloise Zoppos, Senior Research Consultant at the ACRS research unit, highlighted how the research indicates the need for retailers to understand the factors that drive a consumer’s trust.


“Our research found that trust has a strong impact on loyalty and the likelihood to recommend,” Dr. Zoppos also highlighted how important it is as retailers to know how customers trust and their areas of what areas they are sceptical of. “Trust varies greatly by retail sector. Brands and retailers need to know their trust drivers and which trust levers to pull, as it’s only after that point that an effective trust building strategy can be developed.”


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Heather Bone