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Which UK supermarket chain provides the most trusted shopping experience online?

Produce Business report

There might be debate over which supermarket chain provides the lowest average cost per shopping experience or the nicest looking store, but when it comes to another category – trust online – one stands out from the rest.

Lidl was chosen by British consumers as the safest in terms of being the least intrusive, according to a survey done by the Ethical Commerce Alliance and its Retail Trust Index.

Lidl scored 83.53 points out of a possible 100 to place No. 2 overall among all UK brands behind B&M bargain stores on four measures of ease and protection of online shopping – privacy, security, accessibility and shopper perception.

Tesco was next best among the grocery chains, at No. 15 with 66.79 points, while Sainsbury’s was 16th with 65.63 points. Discount rival Aldi placed 26th with 58.8 points, while Waitrose (57.17) and M&S (56.78) finished 28th and 29th, respectively. Asda, Co-op, and Morrisons all placed inside the Top 40.

Where Aldi really shined was on privacy, or limiting their cookies and trackers in the first load of a homepage. It scored a perfect 100. Morrisons, by contrast, had an abysmal 28.2 points.

“Households have had to contend with an incredibly volatile last few years, but throughout it all, we at Lidl GB have continued to show that we’re truly on the side of shoppers and have done everything in our power to ensure that they continue to have access to the best quality products at the lowest possible prices,” Georgina Hall, Head of Communications & CSR at Lidl GB, said. “ We’re a business built on trust and transparency, and it’s humbling to see that this has been reflected in the results of the Retail Trust Index.”

Inside the survey

More than 2,000 UK shoppers took part in the study done in August, and 100% of them admitted they do all of their shopping online. Although Lidl received perfect scores in terms of privacy and security (which measured past breaches, all retailers effectively got the same score), it was not the best on accessibility or shopper perception.

In terms of accessibility, or taking “contrast errors, alerts, features and ARIAs (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) into account”, it trailed Co-op by nearly 15 points and also was behind Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Waitrose by a few points.

Lidl also did not score best in “shopper perception” or perceived trust. Tesco, M&S, Sainsbury’s, Asda, and Aldi all ranked higher.  

Considerations for retailers

Regardless, the ECA says it is important that retailers or brands consider perceptions of consumers and their online shopping experience. Nearly 75% of shoppers say online trackers are intrusive, and nearly a quarter of them will shop at other stores or shop in store, rather than buying online.

Many are turning to privacy enhancing to foil trackers, limiting the information retailers can see and likely costing chains that spend big money to try to track shoppers. More than 60 percent of consumers say online brands don’t effectively communicate what they are tracking and why, leading to negative perceptions of those brands.

To build more trust, retailers should outline clearly their data policies, be transparent and enhance cybersecurity where possible.



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