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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : January 25, 2017

Consumer trust not the same in every language

Consumers are increasingly shopping online across borders and new research reveals that there is one important consideration common among shoppers from all countries considering a new retailer - trust.

by Helen Leggatt

Global research reveals that consumers across the world are increasingly comfortable shopping online across borders, more so in Asia. The research, published last year by Pitney Bowes, showed that while 94% of consumers shop online frequently within their own home markets, two-thirds (66%) have also made a purchase online from outside their home country.

The countries with the highest number of cross-border shoppers were all in the APAC region with Singapore taking top spot (89%) followed by Australia (86%) and Hong Kong (85%).

trust.pngA new report by Retail Week and Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind, highlights the need for retailers that are internationalizing their brand to acknowledge the different views consumers hold depending on their country.

One element that consumers prioritized in nearly all countries was the issue of trust. Among the 5,000 customers surveyed for the report, from China, France, Germany, the UK and the Middle East, trustworthiness was the top reason given by customers when choosing to shop with a new retailer.

In fact, trust outranked other factors including value for money and product choice. There were, however, some markets in which trustworthiness performed more strongly; particularly in China, due to its continuing issues with counterfeit goods.

"Cultural, social and local nuances can have a very real impact on what shoppers expect," said Gemma Goldfingle, features editor of Retail Week, in her foreword to the report.

In France, celebrity endorsements are not de rigueur - just 1% of French respondents to the survey said they trusted celebrity endorsements of products compared with 33% in Abu Dhabi. Meanwhile, 45% of Middle Eastern shoppers said that they trusted reviews of products on social media, while just 14% of UK and German respondents said the same.

Globally, consumers were most likely to be put off shopping at a particular retailer by high prices, with 70% of respondents ranking this as one of their top three deterrents. Consumers in the UK and US were particularly price sensitive, while those in the Middle East were less likely to cite cost as a deterrent to shopping with a particular retailer. In fact, consumers in the Middle East were found to be more likely to value quality and luxury over price.

"Shoppers around the world have widely differing views on what matters most to them so you need to know where to allocate your budget for maximum effect," said retail expert Tom Leman of Pinsent Masons. "With so many retailers eyeing international growth, understanding what garners a consumer's trust will make you stand out from the crowd. Set against the backdrop of fierce competition, getting this right has taken on new levels of urgency."

Tags: consumer survey, cross-border, ecommerce, international

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