The move from a physical to an Internet retail model has made brand trust a necessity for success.

Why trust is the only currency of online retailing

The Internet has shifted the balance of power from the retailer to the consumer. The rise of social media and review sites has put building trust at the forefront of online retail.

70% of consumers responding to a global survey said they trusted online reviews.

“All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” – Bob Burg, Author and Convention Speaker

Research shows that 90% of consumers have had a buying decision influenced by a positive online review, proving that online reputation should be a key focus for your business.

In the world of eCommerce, where everybody’s offering the next ‘best deal’, how do you stand tall above the competition?

 TRUST! – Build trust in your brand. Take notice of what your customers are saying about you, via social media or online reviews. Learn from THEIR experience!

Why trust?

  • Nobody wants their fingers burnt – Consumers need to be able to differentiate between the good, the bad, and the downright ugly.

  • Buy with confidence – The internet is a faceless entity. Customers value the opinions of those who’ve already had dealings with your brand.

  • 79% put as much trust in online reviews as they do personal recommendations.

Online trust is earned, not bought.

Consumers place more trust in “earned media” such as:

  • Word-of-mouth (92%)

  • Personal recommendations (92%)

  • Social media feedback (70%)

  • Online reviews (70%)

… than in traditional advertising methods.

63% of customers are more likely to purchase from a site that has consumer feedback, with customers trusting online reviews nearly 12 times more than manufacturer descriptions.

“There’s […] a belief that acting unethically leads to profitability, and behaving ethically is unprofitable. In fact, the opposite is true.” – Richard Beevers, Director of Customer Plus

Trust = Profit.

Building brand trust through online reviews and feedback has been shown to increase sales conversions by 58%.

When we talk about currency online, we’re not just talking about money. More and more businesses are encouraging their customers to ‘pay with an action’.

  • Some companies allow you to download an eGuide in return for a tweet, for example.

  • Many businesses enter consumers into a prize draw in return for ‘Liking’ their Facebook page.

  • Online ‘trust signals’ are so important to these businesses that they’re willing to pay for them. with real world rewards.


  • e-Commerce is built on trust.

  • Online reviews are a ‘currency’ online – in the sense that they’re what customers use to either reward your company, or to ‘punish’ you by trying to decrease your sales.

  • In this way, online reviews can be seen as a measure of trust.

  • Online retailers which understand the value of trust will be the most successful over the next decade.

“In a networked world, trust is the most important currency.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google

Learn more about building trust in your brand online in the eGuide: How to Sell Your Brand Through Socially Shared Reviews