Retail CX Trends You Need to Know: Trust and Mistrust are Earned

Today’s empowered customer has brands asking themselves a major question: Do ideals like trust and loyalty still exist between individuals and institutions?

It’s a fair question. Customers in 2018 have endless options when it comes to retailers, so brands need to differentiate themselves in order to get and keep their customers loyal—or risk losing out to a competitor. Additionally, in the fallout of recent customer data scandals, it’s understandable that customers may not have the same level of trust when it comes to brands.

It’s the blurry lines around these two topics that inspired InMoment’s most recent study of retail customer experience (CX) trends.. We surveyed 1,300 U.S. consumers to understand the state of trust and loyalty, as well as customer perception about retailers’ attempts to offer more experiences versus simple transactions. What we found was a veritable goldmine of good news and informative insights that we’ve compiled into the “2018 Retail CX Trends Report.”

We found that trust and loyalty definitely exist (and definitely matter to customers), but there are three major themes our research uncovered that are vital to understanding the nature of these two sentiments between brands and customers in 2018. In this post, I’d like to share the first theme we uncovered in our research: Trust and mistrust are EARNED.

Consider this statistic from our research: 88 percent of respondents agree that trust is “extremely important” when deciding where to shop (with 40 percent say they strongly agree). It’s not surprising that customers want to shop with brands they trust. What is surprising is that brands might have some misconceptions about what earns and breaks customer trust.

When brands talk about gaining and keeping their customers’ trust, most discussions and assumptions center on data security and privacy. Major events like the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal, the launch of GDPR in Europe, and discussions over more stringent national legislation continue to push this issue to the top of newsfeeds. However when we asked consumers about the most important actions retailers can take to build trust, the top pick by far (55 percent) was “deliver what they promised.” Keeping data safe came in at just 13 percent, and other factors like personalization and supporting shared values registered only in the single digits.  

The inverse is also true, and to an even greater degree. The failure to live up to a brand’s promise was the “biggest deal breaker” for consumers, with 67 percent choosing this as the chief reason for losing faith with brands they previously loved. Failing to keep data safe and sharing it without permission registered at just 17 percent.

To recap, trust definitely matters to customers, isn’t solely determined by data privacy, and can be broken if brands don’t follow up on their promise. But what does it mean for the bottom line?

Well, data indicates there’s a real payoff for earning and keeping consumers’ trust.  Approximately two-thirds of consumers will buy more, shop more often, and recommend trusted retailers to friends and family. Nearly 50 percent of consumers say they are willing to spend 11-50 percent more with brands they trust a lot, versus those they trust very little. And nearly 10 percent say they’d spend more than 70 percent with trusted retailers.

When it comes down to it, a customer’s trust in your brand really does pay, but it is not simply given. It must be earned.

To learn more about the latest retail CX trends, download the full report: “ 2018 Retail CX Trends: Trust and Loyalty in the Experience Economy”

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