75 per cent of UK shoppers trust other customers over retail staff

Despite retailers’ best efforts to improve customer experience and engagement, research by conversational commerce platform iAdvize has found that the majority of UK consumers look to peers when making a purchasing decision, rather than the retailer or brand.

A recent survey conducted by iAdvize has found that three quarters (75 per cent) of customers trust their peers’ opinions and knowledge of products more than those of retailer staff, and more than half (54 per cent) find previous customer product reviews more influential than retailer advice.

A further 17 per cent said that they would be more persuaded to buy something if they were offered assistance by another customer over a member of staff. This highlights the need for retailers to implement authentic customer service platforms and to champion existing loyal customers in an advocacy role to better connect with customer needs.

Whenever customers need help, it is essential to offer the right channel. 85 per cent of consumers said they want to be offered a choice of customer service options when seeking help during their purchasing journey.

Key findings:

  • 54 per cent of UK shoppers find previous customer product reviews more influential than retailer advice when making purchasing decisions
  • More than half of consumers believe instant online advice is the most convenient way to get questions answered
  • 68 per cent want to get an answer to a query about a product they are buying within 30 minutes

Live web chat came out on top in terms of convenience and demand with almost three quarters (73 per cent) of respondents claiming they’d find live chat helpful. And over a quarter (26 per cent) said chat would make them more likely to shop with the brand online and purchase more. Indeed, 79 per cent of customers said that they’d find live online chat with a savvy peer or regular customer helpful when seeking information to influence their buying decision.

Upcoming channels such as live video chat, messaging app chat and social media communications also rated highly among the ‘newer’ customer support channels that customers would like to see retailers embrace.

Julien Hervouët, CEO at iAdvize, said, “It’s interesting to see the crucial role that regular customers now play in the sales process as it’s often an area that many retailers leave uninfluenced. But with 58 per cent of regular customers claiming they would help their preferred retailer in an advocate capacity, and 1 in 10 willing to give up their time for free, retailers need to seriously consider a strategy for greater brand endorsement.”

He continued: “With more than half (53 per cent) of consumers saying that instant online advice is the most convenient way to get their questions answered, retailers need to ensure that they are exploring new channels to remain relevant to the modern day, cross-channel consumer. We live in an age where channel, experience, authenticity and convenience must all work together to drive business success – and peer chat solutions, such as ibbü, could be the way forward.”

To read the full report: http://landing.iadvize.com/en/reserch-two-way-street