New Research Shows 24 Per Cent Of Brits Would Stop Purchasing From A Company Involved In A Public Scandal

Fri 1st Mar

New research by a global affiliate network, Awin, has revealed that 24 per cent of Britons would stop purchasing products from a company if it was involved in a public scandal, with a breach of data/privacy the most likely incident to turn customers off.

More than three quarters of Britons think trust is a crucial part of the consumer experience, and the third most important reason to repeatedly shop from a brand.

A data breach was the most likely incident to stop Britons buying from a brand, whilst ‘public efforts to reduce the brand’s environmental impact’ was the most likely reason to increase trust in a company.

The study was undertaken by the team at Awin as part of ongoing research into the relationship between consumers and businesses. More than 2,500 people over the age of 18 were questioned about their opinions surrounding brand trust.

It was found that more than three quarters of Britons (76 per cent) think that trust is a vital part of the consumer experience. In fact, when asked what makes them repeatedly purchase from the same company, ‘trust’ (16 per cent) came out third, behind ‘price’ (40 per cent) and ‘quality of product’ (21 per cent).

When asked if a public scandal would make them stop buying products from the company caught up in the incident, only a quarter (24 per cent) said that they would.

“Trust is a vital part of the consumer experience, and is something that can at times be fickle, not to mention hard to earn and easy to break. Companies that put the customer first will be more likely to earn their trust and keep them coming back.” Kevin Edwards, Group Client Strategy, Awin

Keen to find out more, respondents were given an extensive list of potential scandals and asked which (if any) would cause them to stop purchasing products from a brand, and the most popular answers were ‘a breach of data/privacy’ (41 per cent), ‘allegations of sexual misconduct by a senior member of staff’ (23 per cent) and ‘selling a product with racist connotations’ (19 per cent).

Just six per cent of respondents said that a company not paying tax would cause them to stop buying products by the brand in question. When asked if they paid attention to how much tax a business pays, just 24 per cent said that they did, although 81 per cent were in agreement that large companies should pay more tax.

Researchers also wanted to find out what would increase consumer trust in a brand, so when respondents were given an extensive list of possible options, the most popular answers emerged as ‘public efforts to reduce environmental impact’ (54 per cent), ‘public efforts to reduce gender pay gap’ (47 per cent) and ‘being active and responsive on social media’ (39 per cent).