Consumer trust in the digital age: Part 1

August 9, 2018

The facts about whether or not consumers trust digital platforms to conduct business and personal transactions in the age of “Fake News”

Consumer trust in the digital age This year, we decided to take an extensive look at the state of consumer trust in the digital channel. We wanted to understand how today’s era of “Fake News,” bot accounts, widescale data breaches and identity theft  are affecting consumers’ willingness to conduct business and personal transactions in the digital channel – and learn what consumers expect from the businesses and websites they’re using. We’ll be releasing the key findings from our survey and a full analysis in September 2018 but, until then, we wanted to share a glimpse into some emerging trends.

Among other things, the findings from this year’s survey confirmed that trust is the new currency of the digital economy. Consumers want to be sure that the websites, platforms, businesses and individuals they’re transacting with are who the claim to be. Of the 1,176 consumers interviewed in this year’s survey, many indicated that they had either been deceived online or expected to be deceived online at some point in the future. It’s not surprising that a considerable number of people today feel so much distrust online, but it’s a testament to the precautions and due diligence businesses should take to protect themselves and their customers. 

The numbers:


Never getting the product/service they paid for (43% of respondents) or getting stuck with a product or person different than what was described (42%) were the most common outcomes among those who have been deceived online.


A quarter (24%) of survey respondents have, at some point, met someone in person who was different from how they described themselves online.


Younger respondents were more likely to have had an anonymous online profile or to have pretended online to be someone other than who they really were, compared to older respondents (28% of respondents aged 18-29 have done so compared to 11% of those over 65).



Younger respondents were also significantly more likely to have met a person who was different from their online profile (31% of those aged 18-29 had this experience compared to 10% of those over 65).


Most survey respondents (81%) said they would be at least somewhat concerned about meeting a stranger in person in order to pay for or receive an item they purchased. 

Stay tuned for our next installment of Trust in the Digital Age next week, as we delve more specifically into consumers’ current perceptions of social media – and their biggest concerns.

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