Consumer confidence has continued to fall as a result of COVID-19. As a result of the falling confidence, there are clear signs of how and what a retailer should prioritise to create a sustainable future.
In a new report from Qualtrics, there are major drivers which cause a consumer to gain and lose trust with a retailer. According to the survey, 62 percent of respondents said that ‘actions brands take in a time of crisis will have a major impact on brand trust’.
Increasing trust is a difficult aspect for retailers in such a trying time, but one of the determining factors of driving trust includes the treatment of staff, which accounts for 43 percent of trust for consumers. Furthermore, 43 percent of consumers said levels of trust increased when brands did not ‘take advantage’ of the crisis.
In contrast, messages of ‘hope and optimism’ only had a 13 percent chance of increasing trust between retailer and consumer, and statements of ‘strong moral principles’, boosting confidence and trust by only 16 percent.
“Trust has a fundamental role to play as businesses begin to reopen their doors and rebuild operations. In these uncertain times, high levels of trust mean consumers can feel confident in choosing to engage with your brand,” said Lisa Khatri, the Brand Experience and Research Lead for Qualtrics in APJ.
“While the operational impact of the restrictions is temporary, their influence on consumer behaviours and attitudes will be long-lasting. Over the last month, we have seen huge changes in the ways consumers engage with brands, and these will continue to evolve each time restrictions change. For businesses to remain relevant, they need to keep a pulse on consumer behaviour, drivers of brand preference, and how their actions at each stage can positively influence how the brand is viewed.”
Messaging remains one of the strongest aspects of boosting trust for consumers in Australia. As such, 66 percent of respondents wanted to hear how retailers were responding to the crisis, 48 percent were interested in the impact on distribution and 45 percent inquired about a change in products and services.
“Social distancing restrictions have limited the ways businesses can interact with their consumers, which means regular and effective communications through traditional channels is critical to keeping people engaged,” Khatri explained. “For communications to be effective, however, brands need to find a balance in how often they are communicating and the topics being discussed. This approach actively demonstrates the value brands bring to keep their customers’ attention in rapidly changing markets.”
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