Faced with a global pandemic, shoppers leaned into certainty. When choosing how to shop, 37% of US consumers said they limited all in-store shopping to “only stores I trust,” according to the latest Salsify Consumer Research Report, which surveyed more than 1,800 buyers. An additional 40% relied exclusively on online shopping last year, opting for either delivery or curbside pickup.
Earning consumer trust leads to profit. Personal consumption took an 11% year-over-year dive in Q2 2020, yet 86% of consumers said they were willing to spend more with a trusted brand.
When asked why they’ve paid more for similar products online, those same shoppers ranked “a brand name I trust'' over all else. Better product reviews, reduced shipping costs, and quicker delivery were each valued less than the brand itself.
What makes a shopper trust a brand?
In determining whether to trust a brand, shoppers look to what a product is made of and how it's made. Forty percent of shoppers said materials and craftsmanship earned their confidence in a brand. More than charitable giving or political statements, a brand's first responsibility to its shoppers is to deliver a quality item.
Expect even more online shopping post-pandemic
Salsify’s research found that 43% of consumers expect to do more shopping online, rather than returning to their pre-pandemic behavior. In-store, shoppers can touch and try the product. On the digital shelf, brands must find ways to convey the quality of their products on the screen. The onus is on each brand to bring product details to life.
Engaging product content is essential—not optional
Consumers look to product reviews and ratings, as well as product descriptions, images, and other details. In fact, 45% of shoppers said "high-quality images and detailed product descriptions" are among the leading reasons they trust a product online.
This high-quality, up-to-date product information is also what wins a top spot in search rankings. The algorithms that drive decisions across hundreds of retail sites and search bars look for refreshed and relevant content, and reward the leaders in the category. If your product page is driving high conversion rates for a retailer like Amazon, the product page will continue to be displayed when new users search.
It’s on a brand manufacturer not only to build a quality product and an authentic message, but to deliver key product details to every endpoint the shopper is looking to buy on. For the last two years, Salsify’s consumer reports found that nearly a third of online shoppers bought something directly through a social media channel.
Consumers want quality above all else
Consumer trust is not tied to a company’s age or a company’s image. Our research found that consumers want quality products above all else. It is up to modern brands to ensure their products’ best attributes are on full display at every possible interaction and digital touchpoint a shopper might turn to.
For more insights, download the 2021 Salsify “Consumer Research Report.”
— Cara Wood, Brand Journalism Director, Salsify