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Building brand trust: Digital experiences outweigh in-person experiences

Building brand trust: Digital experiences outweigh in-person experiences

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For most Gen Z and Millennial consumers, digital customer experiences are now even more important than in-person experiences in building trusted relationships with brands, found a recent study by Adobe titled Adobe 2022 Trust Report. The study added that 71% of consumers say relevant, personalised content delivered at the right time increases their trust, and this rate is even higher (77%) in Gen Z and Millennial consumers. On the other hand, more than half of consumers (58%) will stop purchasing from a brand that doesn’t provide personal experiences they value.


More than half (55%) of global consumers and 66% from APAC say they will never give the brand their business again when trust is broken. A majority of global consumers plan to spend at least US$500  per year with trusted brands - including 29% who intend to spend an additional US$500 or more per annum. 

“The digital economy in Greater China is bigger than ever,” said Tony Ng, managing director of Greater China, Adobe. “The exponential growth in eCommerce has brought the concept of trust exchange sharply into focus. When done right, many customers will reward brands with loyalty and spend. When trust is broken, most consumers will walk away, many forever,” he said.

Despite the importance of building trust with consumers, the senior business leaders interviewed by Adobe said that earning trust is becoming increasingly tricky. A large majority of executives (75%) around the world say that since the pandemic began, they have had a harder time building and maintaining trust with their customers.

Bridging the data trust gap

Brands’ use of personal data is a key driver of mistrust among consumers, said the report. The research reveals that 79% of global consumers are concerned with how their data is being used, and 34% are ‘very concerned’. Only 31% of consumers believe the benefits of providing their data to companies are greater than the risks.

The majority of consumers also say they’ll stop purchasing from brands if they experience data governance failures. This includes 69% who would stop purchasing from a company that used their data without permission, and 68% who would do the same if their data preferences are not respected.

Despite this clear message from consumers, 71% of executive leaders agree that the benefits customers receive from companies collecting data about them outweigh the potential risks; and only 41% of global leaders say that having strong data privacy and governance processes is a top priority for their companies.

In APAC, consumers outline a number of factors that can both increase and decrease their trust in brands and enhance the digital experience, with technology playing a prominent role. Almost three quarters (72%) say their trust in brands increases when technology is used to personalise their experience, far higher than the global average of 56%.

Around 72% of global consumers say they trust AI to improve their customer experiences at least some extent, while this is even higher among APAC consumers (87%).

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