Consumers will dump brands they don't trust

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
woman with shopping bags

Poor product quality is not the only factor that erodes consumer trust in a brand.

According to U.S. findings of a new global consumer survey from online marketing platform Bazaarvoice, after losing trust in a brand, 85% of respondents will avoid using the brand again. The most common way respondents indicated a brand could lose their trust was by products being poor quality/damaging easily (66%), followed by receiving dishonest brand/product information (55%).

More than four in 10 (43%) respondents said a brand having fake and fraudulent reviews would cause them to lose trust. In some good news, if a customer still trusts a brand, 57% said they would buy from that brand again after one negative product experience. 

The survey also reveals the authenticity of a brand’s reviews can affect its bottom line. If a shopper suspects a product to have fake reviews, 31% said they would not buy the product, 28% would not trust other reviews, and 26% would not trust the brand. 

Diving deeper into consumer opinions about fake reviews, when asked what makes them most suspicious that a product may have fake reviews, respondents cited seeing multiple reviews with similar wording (59%), the review content not matching the product (50%), and an overwhelming number of five-star ratings/positive reviews (35%). 

The majority (73%) of respondents believe the retail industry needs new standards to combat fake reviews. They think these new rules should require that only customers who made verified purchases should be able to post reviews (42%), all products be tried and tested among legitimate consumers before launch (34%), and daily monitoring of customer content be done to weed out fake reviews (27%). 

On average, respondents believe that an appropriate level of punishment for brands in breach of these standards is a fine of 14.7% of their annual revenue. As a point of reference, survey respondents were told that in data privacy, the penalty for breaking the terms of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can be up to 4% of revenue. Respondents still felt stronger penalizations were needed for brands violating consumer trust with fake reviews.

Findings were taken from U.S. survey responses from more than 10,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Australia.

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