Study Ranks Canada's Most Trusted Online Retailers

Meta: One online retailer dominated many of the categories surveyed. 

Toronto-based market research firm BrandSpark International has announced its 2016 'Most Trusted Awards' winners for Canadian Online Retail. The results were ranked based on the greatest volume of mentions from survey participants.

Survey participants named the online retailers that they consider their Most Trusted in 12 household and personal shopping categories. Listed below are the national winners:

Below is an expanded list that includes the top 3 winners in each category: 

The BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards recently announced results for 150 consumer packaged goods product categories and 16 retail store categories. In April, we profiled BrandSpark's retail store category study which ranked Canada's most trusted retailers

Robert Levy, President and CEO of BrandSpark International, said: "Seven in 10 Canadians identify themselves as online shoppers. They want to find great prices on the brands they trust, discover exciting new products, and demand an intuitive shopping experience and lightning fast service. Now shoppers can find out which online retailers were voted most trusted by other shoppers in a national survey." He went on to say, "The annual BrandSpark Most Trusted Awards honours the retail and product brands that Canadians trust most, those they would recommend to friends and neighbours."

The study also discusses how brands build and maintain trust, by consistently strong value (often driven by low prices or high-value promotions), a strong selection of quality products, and a consistent and convenient shopping experience. This is at least as true for online retailers as for brick-and-mortar, though online price competition can be even fiercer, and out-of-stock issues can be even more damaging, according to the study. 

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Consumer reviews play a key role online, with six in 10 shoppers saying they regularly look at reviews to support their purchasing decisions. Mr. Levy said: "When real problems arise with products or the shopping experience, it is important that retail and other brands react transparently and quickly to take responsibility and address the issue. The best e-commerce retailers have greatly overcome the limitations of a lack of physical stores by providing no-hassle returns and other service".

Overall, the big winner across several categories is Amazon, which may be of concern to some homegrown retailers. The study recognized Amazon as being trusted by the most shoppers for books, toys & games, and housewares/kitchenware. Amazon also tied with other major national retailers in diverse categories including electronics and personal care. "Amazon has created its own eco-system for shoppers, who can purchase electronics alongside household items or even food products, receive personalized recommendations backed up by extensive consumer reviews, and receive their products quickly with free shipping," said Mr. Levy. "They have set the tone for e-commerce retail, but major retailers like Walmart and Best Buy have also created sophisticated e-commerce platforms, and other online-only retailers like are carving out their own spaces."

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Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: July 14, 2016