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Online stores are great and we use them, but we don’t trust them

Posted August 1, 2018

Most of our things nowadays we buy online. That is the new norm – we just love the convenience of it. But do you trust online retailers? Scientists from Monash University revealed that people tend to trust supermarkets more than online-only retail giants. You may wonder why, but the reasons are actually quite simple – human interaction.

Despite being hit hard by the popularity of online stores, supermarkets are still the most trusted retailers. Image credit: Velela via Wikimedia

Not only customers trust traditional retailers more, but online-only retail giants are at the top among the least trustworthy stores. Even scientists are surprised to hear that, because of how successful e-commerce has been recently. In fact, many major traditional retailers have been facing financial problems due to goring online-only market. However, customers are openly saying that they don’t trust those hugely popular online stores. And there are many reasons why. Some don’t like the lack of possibility to interact with the product before buying it, some don’t like them because of lack of human interaction and some just don’t think they are safe in terms of personal information.

These are also reasons why people seem to trust traditional retailers. Most trusted retailers are supermarkets, pharmacies, sporting goods stores and computer/technology shops. People trust them mainly because of employees and product presentation, but quality of products and innovativeness seem to be very important as well. Meanwhile discount stores and online-only retail giants were the top among the least trusted retailers. Paolo De Leon, one of the authors of the study, said: “Unlike with the retail industry overall, when it comes to clothing retailers, communication and products are also key in driving trust. This differs again for supermarkets, where we saw trust in information security emerge as important”.

Scientists surveyed more than 630 Australian consumers. They defined trust as belief that these companies will do what is right. A lot of distrust in online retail giants comes from recent concerns about data security. You have to provide a lot of personal information to an online store, despite all the news about security breaches and leaks. Meanwhile traditional supermarkets do not require that much information and you see what you are buying. Furthermore, you see people who are selling things to you, which also contributes to the feeling of trust.

But what implications does this have? Well, not many. Customers are more likely to recommend those companies that they trust. It also shows that online stores still have to grow loyalty in their customer base and the best way to do that is ensuring security.


Source: Monash University

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