Mistrust around review authenticity sees online shoppers demand human interaction in the ecommerce buying journey


This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Mistrust around review authenticity sees online shoppers demand human interaction in the ecommerce buying journey.

Mistrust around the authenticity of User Generated Content (UGC) and reviews has seen online shoppers placing more value in human interactions in their online buying journeys a new report from iAdvize, the conversational commerce provider, suggests.

Original research of 2,000 UK consumers in the ‘Reach out and I’ll be there: Why do brands abandon high-intent customers at the point of purchase?’ report from iAdvize revealed that 60% of shoppers remain sceptical of the authenticity of UGC content and reviews left by other shoppers online, while 47% of shoppers say they often mistrust digital sources of advice.

And, with the rise of marketing spend on social influencers - fees per sponsored post by influencers with four million followers now cost brands almost £1800 on average* - online shoppers are also questioning the validity of product recommendations via these channels and are increasingly looking for human advice when deciding on an online purchase.  

When it came to trust, 60% of shoppers said they would have more faith in advice given by an independent expert over a social media influencer and 45% would trust human advisors over online advice sources alone.  

While 40% of shoppers now say they want human interaction in the online buying process, almost a third (29%) of consumers would spend more with retailers who offered a blended online and off-line support in the buying journey, combining human and digital advice. 

Stuart Gordon, UK Country Manager at iAdvize, commented: “Consumers are vulnerable to a range of rational and emotional anxieties during the critical moments immediately before a potential sale. These anxieties are usually triggered by a range of factors including cost, value, suitability, available alternatives and how other people will view the purchase.  The key to building customer trust and confidence is to develop conversations that deliver the high-quality information that shoppers need, when they need it most, via the right channel. To achieve this, brands and retailers need to adopt a unified and integrated approach to customer engagement and assisted buying.”

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