A new study published today has revealed customer trust in companies has taken a dramatic nosedive since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. While 2020 marked the change in consumer habits, the world watched as 2021 cemented those behaviours. One sticking point for customers, the study from DotDigital revealed, was the use of their data – and rightfully so.
The findings revealed 72% of online shoppers would refuse to buy from a brand who they felt had not been responsible with their data – a figure up 86% for over 65s, compared to 56% of 18-24-year olds.
The Rise of the Responsible Marketer, the report title, provided an insight into the imperatives for businesses to take a customer-centric approach to marketing.
The study also shared 56% of respondents said they had become more mistrustful of how companies are using their data during the course of the pandemic.
It also found 51% of participants said they had felt far more aware of how their data was being used by online businesses and brands.
The findings highlight the stark difference between expectations and reality when it comes to customer trust, which I found of great interest while devouring the results of the study.
The report read: “Brands must therefore put data stewardship at the heart of their marketing efforts not only to reassure consumers but to build the long-term meaningful relationships that drive loyalty.
“The explosion of ecommerce, brought about by the Covid pandemic, which has seen record growth in new cohorts of shoppers coming online, is good news for brands, but comes with a number of new challenges around consumer expectations, the capabilities of current technologies, and the limitations of processes built for a more permissive marketing environment.
“The imperative is for more responsible marketing that will enable brands to meet their regulatory responsibilities as well as reach and sell to consumers more effectively.”
This analysis couldn’t be more accurate. The pandemic has brought great new challenges for businesses, brands, customers and the global economy that has seen many businesses collapse as a result of not making that all-important shift to digital. But at the same time, while customers experienced a lack of control, it’s good to see it’s been clawed back when it comes to how businesses use their data.