Survey: Influencers have little influence on consumer trust

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Retailers looking to build brand trust with consumers should focus on the experience they provide, rather than celebrity endorsements.

According to a new survey of 522 U.S. online shoppers from retail marketing technology company Bluecore, a leading 40% of respondents said the factor with the most impact on their trust of a brand is successful purchase experience. This was followed by a successful customer service experience and time spent using the product and having it meet expectations at 22% each. 

Ten percent cited recommendations from friends and family, and only 5% said recommendations from a trusted celebrity or influencer. Gen X respondents age 25-54 were most likely to cite influencer recommendations (8%), while boomer respondents age 55 and up were least likely to pay attention to influencers (2%).

Looking at what factors cause consumers to lose trust in a brand, a leading 28% of respondents said faulty product, followed by poor customer service experience (26%), inadequate customer service experience (21%), acceptable product – just not suited for me (11%), negative reviews from friends/family (6%), and poor or irrelevant digital communications (4%). 

Influencer reviews also have minimal impact on the negative side, tying with “other” in last ranking at 2%. Two percent of respondents in all age cohorts cited influencers as having primary impact on their losing trust in a brand, except for millennials age 25-34 (1%).