Consumer Study Reveals Convenience Stores Among the Least-Trusted Brands

SALT LAKE CITY — Convenience stores are among the least-trust brands, while grocers are the highest, according to a new consumer study from InMoment.

Grocers are the most trusted brands, with an average of 37 percent, followed by big-box retailers at 20 percent and c-stores at 8 percent, reported Convenience Store News sister publication Progressive Grocer.

According to the 2018 Retail Trends Report, more than two-thirds of consumers (67 percent) said brands lose their trust by failing to keep promises using misleading advertising and providing poor products and services.

Despite the failures, retailers can win back consumers' trust: more than half of respondents (55 percent) said that brands can gain their trust by delivering on their promises, while 19 percent said brands must provide consistent experiences if they want to be trusted.

Other findings of the report include:

  • Only 13 percent of consumers said retailers keeping data safe is important to them, while other factors like personalization and supporting shared values registered only in the single digits.
  • Brand loyalty prevails, as a whopping 83 percent of consumers consider themselves about the same or more loyal to brands than their parents, and almost 30 percent of millennials characterize themselves as more loyal than their parents — the highest percentage among all demographics.
  • For those loyal consumers, 42 percent attributed their loyalty to doing more research and having first-hand experience, with 35 percent saying it's because they have more choices.
  • Loyalty and trust lead to more customer feedback, with 90 percent of consumers saying they are considerably more likely to share ratings, and 70 percent said they'd share detailed commentary about their experiences.
  • More than half of consumers (53 percent) said that their "recent, enjoyable" shopping experience was in a store.
  • Product quality was identified as the top retail interaction that transforms a purchase into an "experience," with personalized treatment in-store following, at 30 percent.

"There are many myths about today's empowered customer. We hear that they're stingy with their data, fickle with their dollars, and easily swayed by gimmicks and perennial sales. The data in this study, however, tell a very different story," commented Brennan Wilkie, senior vice president, customer experience, at InMoment. 

"Today's customers — millennials included — are more than willing to trust and happy to reward brands that keep their promises. They will open their hearts and wallets, serve as advocates, and share their increasingly valuable feedback and other data," he added. "However, just like any other relationship, trust and loyalty must be earned. This is the mandate of every retailer, of every brand, of every industry."

InMoment's 2018 Retail Trends Report surveyed 1,300 U.S. consumers to understand the state of trust and loyalty, as well as customer perceptions of retailers' attempts to offer more experiences rather than simple transactions.

Salt Lake City-based InMoment Inc. is a customer experience management company.

Convenience Store News and Progressive Grocer are properties of EnsembleIQ.