Survey: Brand trust pays big dividends post-pandemic

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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A new survey indicates that brands which took steps to build trust with consumers during COVID-19 will benefit as spending heats up.

According to “New Habits Die Hard: How Trust Will Define Shopping in Summer 2021,” from digital marketing technology provider Avionos, more than three-quarters (77%) of surveyed consumers have come to trust certain brands more due to their actions during the pandemic. And 99% of those say they will continue shopping with those brands after restrictions ease.

The survey of 750 U.S. consumers who had shopped at both a major retailer and a small, local business since March 2020 also reveals that nearly half (48%) of respondents say they will spend more on shopping in summer 2021 than they did in summer 2020, and 37% say they will spend more on big-ticket items like cars and vacations in summer 2021 than they did in summer 2020.

The most popular ways for brands to build consumer trust include offering fair prices (48%), delivering correct, accurate orders (43%), and following COVID-19 procedures such as social distancing and regular sanitization (40%). Respondents are also more likely (62%) to trust small, local businesses than national retailers (36%) when it comes to trust-building offerings like fair prices and delivering orders on time.

Additionally, while 63% of respondents are still overwhelmed by increased brand communications, that number is down 15% from November 2020, during the middle of the pandemic and early holiday messaging barrage.

“After a year of caution, consumers are itching to spend more this summer. Given the new shopping reality is a combination of in-store and online purchases, the success of individual retailers will hinge on companies’ ability to maintain the trust they built with customers during the pandemic through reliable delivery, accurate online inventory and safe in-store procedures, in addition to offering great digital experiences,” said Scott Webb, CEO of Avionos. “The standard conveniences of fast delivery and cheap prices aren’t going to cut it anymore. Retailers must anticipate shoppers’ ever-changing needs and ensure their offerings meet these evolving demands to retain their market share, whether they’re a local business or a household name.”