Sites such as Facebook and YouTube are amongst the least trusted websites in the UK, with each brand only trusted by 12% of the population, according to a study of British internet users out today. Despite the fact that three quarters of the total UK online population belong to a social networking community* (more than anywhere else in Europe), internet users show a lack of trust in some major online brands.
Established online brands such as easyJet and FirstDirect proved to be more trusted than social networking sites. Word of mouth proves to be an influential opinion former with two thirds of internet users stating that they are more likely to trust an online brand that has been recommended to them. Commissioned by the impartial price comparison site, PriceRunner│http://www.PriceRunner.co.uk, the YouGov study also revealed that 41% of those that surf online are more likely to trust a website if they have an offline presence and almost one in four people (22%) said simply having a logo they recognise or like gave them confidence in a brand.
Despite choosing to buy online to save time on the phone or in store, a third of people are more likely to use an online retailer that provides telephone helpline options if required. Awareness is also important and almost four out of ten internet users said they felt more comfortable using a website they had previously read about in newspapers or magazines.
Green issues are moving up the agenda for online brands too with over one in ten having increased faith in companies that appear to be environmentally aware.
Spending online reaches record high
Trust in online retailers is at an all time high, with consumers buying online spending a record £4.2bn in February 2008**. Savvy consumers are using price comparison services to help them get the best price on their online purchases but there’s room for further savings, with 15% of people admitting that they use price comparison sites to ensure that they got a good deal on a purchase already made.
The study also looked at internet users’ understanding of how different price comparison services work. Seven out of ten people said they would be disappointed to learn that the pricing information they are being offered by some sites is influenced by advertisers. And, 77% of internet shoppers went as far as saying they would be angry if they learnt that some comparative pricing sites push consumers towards a particular product over another for their own financial gain. They would prefer to use a comparison site that is impartial and lists the most number of retailers regardless of advertising arrangements.
James Roper, CEO, IMRG (Interactive Media in Retail Group), gave his thoughts on the topic “It’s not surprising that consumers are spending more online than ever before as there are a number of great services that allow people to make sizeable savings of time and money. But, different comparison services list their products in different ways – the consumer needs to ensure that they understand how the website they are using works and ensure it is giving them the information they need – whether that be price including delivery, biggest choice of retailers, etc. We would always advise people to do as much research as possible before making any purchase.”
Mattias Berg, UK managing director, PriceRunner│http://www.PriceRunner.co.uk, said: “Using price comparison services is all about saving money and people need to be sure they have as much accurate information as possible before making a purchase, particularly regarding pricing. This is why we created our pledge for the impartial price comparison truth*** to offer our users certainty about the information they are getting from us. In short, we will always ensure that we list the cheapest price first and include pricing information from all retailers, regardless of any advertising arrangements.”
** Source, IMRG
*** See notes to editors
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Notes to Editors:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,073 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th - 27th March 2008. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
What builds trust of online brands?
1 Personal recommendation 65%
2 They have an offline presence too 41%
3 I have read about them in the media 38%
4 They have a telephone helpline 36%
5 I like/recognise their logo 22%
Please note that these figures do not total 100 as those surveyed were asked to tick all that apply
***OUR PLEDGE FOR THE IMPARTIAL PRICE COMPARISION TRUTH
At PriceRunner.co.uk, we believe that all price comparison sites should offer impartial pricing information.
We feel so strongly about it, that we’re pledging a series of guarantees about our company, signed by our UK Managing Director.
We will always list the cheapest price first, regardless of any commercial relationships with retailers
Other price comparison sites get paid to show the consumer certain prices first, but with PriceRunner, the first price is always the lowest price.
We will be impartial and honest, showing the best products and prices without prejudice
At PriceRunner we actively search for and list non-paying retailers to give you a comprehensive and impartial view of all the prices available for a product.
If you find the product you wish to buy cheaper anywhere else, email us at email@example.com and we’ll review the retailer and its offering, and if they meet our criteria we will make our best efforts to list it within two working days.
We will genuinely check millions of prices and update them constantly to provide the lowest price available
PriceRunner’s technology scans thousands of websites across the internet daily to find a price match to products held within our database. To complement this process we also have a team of over 70 full-time ‘PriceRunners’ that manually add any prices and/or products that fall out of our automated matching process.
We also have a team of people in the UK, France, Sweden, Germany and the US that manually add retailers to our database that our spider does not pick up automatically, based on their local market knowledge.
We expect the very best from our third party category partners (*)
There are some categories on our site where we partner with trusted companies to provide us with price comparison information. We do this for utilities and insurance, for example. Today, we strive to work with the most consumer friendly partners in the UK market.
Beyond that, our intention is to have all our partners commit to provide their listing information on PriceRunner.co.uk in accordance with our unique pledge within 12 months time.
We will never rest in our quest to bring you The Price Comparison Truth
At PriceRunner, we are determined to save consumers money by giving the whole truth. That means not only providing the lowest prices we can find, but consumer reviews, detailed buying guides, the PriceRunner Forum (where our users can discuss the latest deals and retailers) and PriceRunner Mobile – all the power of PriceRunner on the go.
That is why only PriceRunner can really bring you The Price Comparison Truth.
………And PriceRunner will also seek the lowest prices online with information from high street stores
PriceRunner employs a team of ‘PriceRunners’ in the UK to check prices in selected high street stores as a reference to our pricing information. We focus on large and well-known retailers, and the data is collected and presented on PriceRunner on a weekly basis.
UK Managing Director
www.PriceRunner.co.uk, a division of ValueClick, Inc. (Nasdaq: VCLK), is the UK's most comprehensive and independent price comparison company. Online prices are updated on a daily basis by a specialist team that develops and manages cutting edge technology which hunts down the cheapest online prices available. PriceRunner is unique in that, unlike other price comparison sites, a dedicated team of PriceRunners also checks prices in high street stores. PriceRunner always lists the cheapest price first and is completely independent in that it lists all retailers, regardless whether they pay or not, to provide consumers with a complete overview of the market.
ValueClick, Inc. (Nasdaq:VCLK) is a leading global provider of digital marketing solutions, enabling advertisers, agencies and publishers to reach consumers through all major online marketing channels. Through its four main businesses; vcmedia, Commission Junction, Mediaplex and PriceRunner, ValueClick provides a comprehensive portfolio of digital marketing solutions.
For more information, please visit www.valueclick.co.uk
This release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, ValueClick’s ability to successfully integrate its recently completed Fastclick and Webclients mergers, trends in online advertising spending and estimates of future online performance-based advertising. Actual results may differ materially from the results predicted, and reported results should not be considered an indication of future performance. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements are detailed under “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission made from time to time by ValueClick, including: its Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 31, 2006 and amendment to its Annual Report on Form 10-K/A filed on April 21, 2006; its current report on Form 8-K filed on February 27, 2006; recent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Form 10-Q/A, other current reports on Form 8-K; its amended registration statement on Form S-4, filed on September 27, 2005; and its final prospectus on Form 424B3 filed on September 28, 2005. Other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, the risk that market demand for online advertising, and performance-based online advertising in particular, will not grow as rapidly as predicted. ValueClick undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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