How E-Commerce Businesses Can Inspire Credibility & Trust With Gen Z

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on August 5, 2021

With the crowning of each new generation, there’s an implied truth that, the younger the consumer, the more they are “all in” on everything digital. Gen Z is a fully digital native consumer group and is coming into the focal point of marketers more each day. Contrary to common assumption, research is showing that Gen Z consumers are taking a much more skeptical approach to online shopping. This means that over time, stores will have to make a greater effort to inspire trust from Gen Z consumers.

Tidio decided to have a closer look at the subject and surveyed 1,198 people to see if there are any golden rules on how e-commerce businesses can earn the credibility and trust of Generation Z shoppers.

Their latest report, What Makes a Website Trustworthy?, has some interesting findings:

  • About 34% of Gen Z shoppers believe that the majority of online stores are untrustworthy.
  • Overuse of large promotional banners and popups doubles the number of customers who don't trust a website.
  • Modern website design and quality seals (related to products) improve website trustworthiness. Together, they can improve the number of people who find websites trustworthy by 30%.
  • In open-ended questions, one of the most crucial trust factors that were frequently mentioned was information.

The report also explores these topics:

  • The tricky double-edged sword elements (e.g., celebrity endorsement)
  • Issues that make an online store suspicious
  • Differences between Male Shoppers and Female Shoppers in perceived trustworthiness of the online store

You’ll be fascinated to dig into this research in depth, but first listen to what our resident Gen Z expert Isobel Finlayson, Senior Account Director, Mando-Connect (UK), had to say about Tidio's report:

It is unsurprising to read Gen Z’s scepticism around online stores; after all this generation have grown up in the era of Fake News and Finstas so their critical faculties have been constructed from an early age to not take information at face value. They are right to be sceptics as sadly with the wonder of tech and cultural innovation, has come more elaborate ways to scam unsuspecting customers.

As the research highlights, for Gen Zers there are tell-tale signs to look out for, with typos (45%) and ugly designs (41%) setting off the biggest alarm bells. Equally, glowing reviews and big discount banners that look too good to be true are usually too good to be true. Scammers are even investing in social media advertising to build brand credibility which has sparked calls for better regulation around advertising.

Online shopping became a huge Covid trend and early signs show that despite the opening-up of bricks and mortar stores, Gen Z would still prefer to buy fashion items online due to convenience. Read this article for more about Gen Z shopping behaviours. Furthermore, the Mando-Connect research on ‘What Brits want from Promotions’ confirmed that the majority of Gen Z favoured free shipping over in-store discounts which was the inverse for other generations so it’s important to get the online shopping experience right for this valuable cohort.

The outcome? Brands and business that are legit will need to work harder to ensure they hit the checklist of how to win Customer trust as highlighted by Tidio. And for the scammers, Gen Z are on to you and thanks to sites like, will be able to verify sites before making purchases meaning less will fall victim to the trap.  The risk lies with the older generations and much like millennials had to advise their parents to not part with their bank details over the phone, Gen Z must educate their elders in the same way.

Check out the full Tidio research here to learn more and if you want to get the scoop on just about anything related to Gen Z, reach out to Isobel.