Trust is a delicate thing, and even more so when you’re asking people to spend their hard earned money. This is why trust is so darn hard to come by for most marketers. In fact, fewer than 25% of online consumers in the U.S. trust ads in print publications, and it’s even worse for digital media. This is why brands need to connect with consumers authentically.
At the heart of every sale is trust. Do consumers trust your brand? Do they trust that your product will fulfill all its claims? Do they trust it is worth spending money on? All of these factors come into play every time a shopper clicks “add to cart”, and if you can’t earn their trust, chances are – your products didn’t end up in said cart. If you would like to learn more about how to deal with abandoned carts and more, check out our marketing strategies blog.
So if consumers don’t trust marketers and advertisers when shopping, who do they trust? Turns out – it’s other consumers. According to Forrester research, shoppers trust other consumers 3x more than traditional marketing messaging. And much to the dismay of most businesses, it’s for good reason.
For starters, shoppers trust other consumers more because they are seen as a neutral party. Whether through word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family or online reviews, these real people sharing their opinions have no vested interest in whether a particular product is purchased or not. This is why consumers are 92% more likely to trust peer recommendations over advertising. They just want to be helpful. That’s it.
Consumers are also looking for authenticity. This means when they are looking to learn about a product, they want to know everything, warts and all. Shoppers are savvy enough to know that your advertising and branded content will only highlight your products’ best qualities. In a survey by marketing research firm Lab42, 76% of respondents said most ads were either “very exaggerated” or “somewhat exaggerated.” Consumers don’t want hyperbole; they want a full and clear picture of the product before they buy, whichis why consumers want to hear from real people about their real experiences.
As mentioned before, consumers are savvier than ever, which has led them to become more curious and active when researching products. Even if a consumer is initially swayed by an advertisement, they will follow up by seeking out more information. According to Google, 54% of read online reviews before making a purchase. This includes reading product information details and consumer reviews. The days of impulse purchases may not be dead, but they are definitely waning as consumers put in the effort to research products before buying.
So it may seem like all doom and gloom. No one trusts you, your marketing copy, or your advertising efforts. But I implore you to resist the urge. Yes, it is true that consumers trust paid media far less than they used to, but they are still open to learning about your product and services. You just need to speak to them on their terms. Connect with consumers authentically and try to leverage the voice of other consumers through tactics such as testimonials or ratings and reviews. When you do so, you might just find them more receptive, and trusting of your brand.