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Walmart Most Trusted in Curbside Pickup, New Survey Says

BrandSpark study finds trust in e-commerce has waned overall
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A new survey from BrandSpark, which looks at Most Trusted Services in e-commerce and online apps amid the pandemic, finds that Walmart and Amazon are nearly tied for most trusted grocery delivery service, but Walmart is far and away the most trusted in grocery pickup this year.

The results of the eighth annual BrandSpark/Newsweek Most Trusted Awards (BMTA), voted on by more than 10,000 American shoppers, are based on the comprehensive BrandSpark American Trust Study, “which reveals that Americans are taking note of how companies are responding during COVID-19 and are responding in kind with their trust,” says the company.

While the survey revealed that 19% of consumers identified an e-commerce site whose COVID-19 response fueled an increase in their trust during the pandemic, 18% of consumers lost trust in an e-commerce retailer or service provider during the pandemic. This trust erosion was due to the perception that prices were raised, deliveries were delayed, and businesses appeared not to support their workers, according to BrandSpark.

“Building consumer trust is one of the most effective ways to grow and sustain market share during volatile times like these,” said Robert Levy, president of BrandSpark International, in a statement. “While the dramatic spike in online shopping has led to broader exposure of an array of brands, the survey findings show consumers still gravitate to brands that provide consistency, quality and fair prices, and are relied on by other consumers. However, those brands must act with integrity, and those that do are being rewarded with customer loyalty.”

To Levy’s point about the role of fair prices, Walmart has been long known for its affordability, and the retailer dominated on grocery pickup, with 49% of trust share.

“Walmart overwhelmingly wins pickup,” Adam Bellisario, BrandSpark program manager, told WGB in an email. “Kroger has 9% of trust share, which is overshadowed by Walmart, but large in proportion to the rest of the pack.” And while “H-E-B has a modest trust share, given the regionality of H-E-B, it is impressive that they pulled a 3.2%.”

But when it comes to consumer trust in grocery delivery, the share is fairly split between Amazon (24%) and Walmart (22%), with Instacart nabbing third place (19%).

Participants in the BMTA voted for the brands that they most trust in 84 categories. BrandSpark and Newsweek create these exclusive annual awards to help consumers shop smarter, they say.

“With more consumers logging more hours online, brand behavior is being magnified,” said Bellisario. “Brands and marketers need to use these historical times to positively impact Americans’ lives in meaningful ways. Corporate citizenship and brand trust will be inextricably linked for the foreseeable future.”

Don’t miss the December Winsight Grocery Business print edition, in which WGB and BrandSpark reveal the overall Most Trusted Food Retailer in the nation. To explore the winners or suggest categories to study, visit BrandSpark Most Trusted.  

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