Due to a variety of factors — from the ongoing impact of the pandemic to the rise in private-label offerings — brand trust and loyalty are harder to maintain than ever.
In an effort to understand the importance of a brand’s reputation, the factors that drive consumers to change preferred brands, and more, Salsify surveyed more than 4,000 consumers across the U.S., Great Britain, France, and Germany.
Here are some key findings from Salsify’s “Consumer Research 2022” report.
1. Consumers Are Willing To Pay More for Products From Brands They Trust
When respondents were asked which factors have driven them to buy a higher-priced item when shopping online, better reviews and a trusted brand name topped the list across all four markets.
For example, 50% of U.S. consumers and approximately 57% of British consumers claim they’ve paid more for products with better reviews.
Meanwhile, shoppers in France put more importance on brand trust than better customer reviews (44% versus 34%) when considering a higher-priced item.
2. Consumers Research Aspects of a Company’s Reputation Before Buying a Product
Salsify’s “Consumer Research 2022” report found that consumers will do extensive research before making a purchase. The following are some of the top things the surveyed shoppers claim to research about a company before buying a product from them:
- Product quality;
- Customer service; and
- Reputation among consumers.
Product quality is most important to the French market, with 60% of shoppers saying they research this factor when considering a purchase.
In Germany, consumers are much more focused on product quality (52%) and good customer service (37%) than reputation among consumers (13%).
3. Consumers Sought Low Prices and Better Delivery During the Pandemic
When respondents were asked which factors determined a change in their retailer or brand preferences during the pandemic, discounts and offers topped the list across all four markets.
French shoppers are the most price-motivated shoppers, with nearly 43% of respondents ranking discounts and offers as a top factor. In addition, more than a third of shoppers in this market (35.12%) look into free delivery and returns when considering a change in their brand or retailer preferences.
But free delivery and returns are most important for U.S. shoppers, with more than 40% of respondents selecting this factor. During the pandemic, about a quarter of U.S. respondents (24.82%) also expected reliable package tracking and on-time delivery from brands and retailers.
4. Consumers Believe There Isn’t a Significant Difference in Product Quality Between Private-Label Products and Branded Equivalents
A private-label product (also known as a store-brand product) refers to one that is manufactured by a contractor or third party but sold under a retailer’s name.
Meanwhile, a brand product is produced and sold by the same manufacturer, under that brand’s name.
For years, private-label products were often considered to be lower quality than branded equivalents. According to Salsify’s research, this is no longer the case.
When asked about the quality of private-label products, 74% of respondents in Great Britain and Germany said they consider private-label products to be just as high-quality as brand products.
In the U.S. and France, the percentages are a bit lower. Still, about two-thirds of respondents (66% and 65%, respectively) shared that they generally view private-label products and the branded equivalents to be the same quality.
Most consumers across all four markets (97% in Great Britain and Germany, 95% in France, and 94% in the U.S.) buy private-label products in one or more categories.
2 Tips on How To Establish Brand Trust and Loyalty
1. Leverage Customer Reviews and Testimonials
In today’s competitive world, brands rely on customer testimonials to demonstrate their value in the market.
Collecting and sharing reviews is a great way to engage with current customers and attract new ones.
To collect reviews, you can send out a post-purchase survey, run a giveaway in which customers can win rewards for leaving reviews, send free or discounted products to influencers to try out, and more.
By taking these types of actions, you can gain visibility into the customer journey and better identify your shoppers’ needs — allowing you to assess their emotional connection with your brand and the specific areas they may want you to improve upon.
After gathering reviews, you can share this content on product pages using tools like PowerReviews.
Remember that it’s not just about sharing positive customer feedback; negative reviews provide a great opportunity to demonstrate the speed, quality, and genuine care of your customer service team.
2. Deliver Consistent Messaging Across Channels
When your product content and messaging are truly aligned across all your channels, your customers will have a consistent omnichannel shopping experience — ultimately driving customer loyalty and brand trust.
Delivering this type of experience requires seamless data alignment across your teams. For example, ensure your product team keeps your marketing and customer service teams informed about the latest stock levels and any new arrivals.
In addition, ensure your marketing team regularly assesses whether product information is accurate and up to date across your product detail pages, emails, social media channels, and retailer partners.
Genuine Consumer Relationships Are Built Online, Too
In an increasingly online world with fewer and fewer face-to-face interactions, consumers are assessing reviews, product quality, and other factors to determine whether a particular brand deserves to have them as a loyal customer.
Stand out in this crowded marketplace by demonstrating your unique value and delivering the consistent omnichannel shopping experience today’s consumers seek.
For more insights on how to overcome the top challenges to brand trust, explore our “2022 Consumer Research.”