Customer trust and business driven by online reputation, recent study found

Posted on Monday, August 5, 2019 by Abby Draper

Shoppers online and in-store are much less likely to buy from a company with a bad online reputation, says a recent study.

Consumer review website Trustpilot in July released the study on “The Value of a Trustworthy Brand Reputation.”

The study showed that 90% of online shoppers choose not to buy from a company they think has a bad reputation. This can be determined by negative or no reviews, an outdated or unsecured webpage, and a stance or lack thereof on social issues.

Woman shopping in a store. 

Even though this reputation is online, Google found that 42% of customers research the company online while they are physically in the store.

So, what makes a good online reputation? First, Trustpilot says, is getting customer reviews. They said 9.3% of people report trusting a company with no reviews, and that bumps up to 60% trusting a company with just one review.

Transparency is also key, and Trustpilot said companies should not delete bad reviews or write fake ones. Another recent study found that 52% of reviews and 30% of Amazon reviews were fabricated. So, customers must feel you are authentic.

“Even negative reviews can allow you to rebuild relationships with your customer base, identify areas of development and improve customer experience in the long run,” Trustpilot writes.

Especially with online shopping, having a secure, updated page increases the possibility that a customer will trust their information is safe on your website. Trustpilot said consumers “lose trust in brands that have outdated websites (77%) (and) unsecured websites (88.4%).”

Trustpilot said many consumers now consider how seriously companies take social responsibility. For example, 82.8% of American surveyed said they are more likely to trust a company that is transparent about how it sources its products; 80.8% trust a company that seems to prioritize the wellbeing of its employees; and 70.2% trust a company whose website and social media are clear about its mission and values.

A company’s reputation spreads to its online presence now more than ever. Customers search for reviews, how a company presents itself online and its transparency when making purchase decisions. If you don’t already have reviews, Trustpilot’s survey results show that is the most important way to build online reputation and lead consumers to choose you or your clients.

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