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The winning sectors of containment … and the others

In 2020, our daily life has experienced upheavals that were impossible to imagine a few years ago. The health crisis has changed the way consumers do their internet research and shopping, while businesses have had to adapt to new channels and consumer behavior, and new audiences. Given the constant adjustments brands are making in 2020, what can businesses expect in 2021? Post covid, consumer behavior will undoubtedly change once again, forcing companies to reorient their strategies as well.

To better understand the evolution of consumer behavior in 2020 and to shed light on the trends to watch in 2021, we studied the activity of consumers around the world on our platform from July 2020 to January 2021. The data presented below is based on on data as of January 31, 2021.

Top 3 industries most valued by consumers in 2020

Customer reviews say a lot about the buying habits of consumers. They consult them for various reasons, but especially when they plan to make a purchase: the number of views of company pages, by industry, tells us a lot about the products and services popular in 2021. Here are the top 3 of the year:

# 1- Shopping & Fashion, in particular casual fashion for casual and leisure clothing, adapted to the new rhythms of life and work at home.

# 2- Electronics & Technology, when households are equipped so that parents and children can continue their activities at home.

# 3- Money & Insurance. There is a whole range of financial products and services, and the pandemic has made us realize that our own financial situation can change at any time.

Top 5 products and services consumers rated most often in 2020

Consumers write reviews when a shopping experience has elicited an emotion, positive or negative. Helping peers make better purchasing decisions, sharing experiences with other consumers, or rewarding a business for exceptional customer service are some of the reasons today’s buyers leave a review at the end of their day. their buying journey.

From July 2020 to January 2021, Trustpilot recorded 22.4 million service category reviews, and over 3 million product category reviews. In France, this represents 1.8 million reviews, products and services combined. France is therefore the third country that publishes the most Trustpilot reviews, behind the United Kingdom and the United States.

Reviews on services: Top 5 by business sector between July 2020 and January 2021 worldwide

# 1- Business services: 2.8 million reviews (12.5% ​​of all reviews received)

# 2- Shopping & Fashion: 2.7 million reviews (12% of all merchant reviews)

# 3- Home & Garden: 2.6 million reviews (11.6% of all product reviews written during this period)

# 4- Electronics & Technology (around 2 million reviews)

# 5- Money & Insurance (around 1.4 million reviews)

All categories saw a drop in reviews received in late summer and early fall 2020, and most of them saw an increase in the number of reviews filed again at the end of the year – in connection with Black Friday, Cyber ​​Monday and Christmas, very active online shopping periods. The Business Services, Shopping & Fashion, Home & Garden, and Electronics & Technology categories experienced the highest peak of merchant reviews in Q4 2020. They were also the most frequently rated sectors at the same time. in 2019 – i.e. outside the crisis period.

Product Reviews: Top by business sector between July 2020 and January 2021 worldwide

The 5 categories that received the most reviews during the same period are:

# 1- Home & Garden: 509,000 reviews (16.9% of all reviews)

# 2- Shopping & Fashion: 492,000 reviews (16.4% of all reviews)

# 3- Beauty & Well-being: 388,000 reviews (12.9% of all reviews)

# 4- Electronics & Technology: 227,000 reviews

# 5- Events & Entertainment: 180,000 reviews

For most of these categories, the number of reviews collected remained relatively constant during the summer and fall of 2020, but then increased sharply in December 2020, due to Black Friday and in anticipation of Christmas.

However, the three sectors with the most product reviews – Home & Garden, Shopping & Fashion, and Beauty & Wellness – saw sharp declines in late summer and early fall (August and September), and an earlier and larger rebound in October 2020: Consumers made fewer online purchases in these categories in mid-summer, when sanitary measures were relaxed in most countries.

Delivery and Quality of Customer Service: The Reasons Consumers Write the Most Reviews in 2020

To better understand why consumers leave reviews on our platform, Trustpilot teams analyzed millions of 1- and 5-star reviews written between August and December 2020. Here’s what came out:

-Delivery is one of the most frequently mentioned keywords in 5-star reviews written between August and December 2020 – it’s featured in over 1.3 million reviews, or no less than 17% of the total 5-star reviews. It is also one of the most frequently cited words in 1-star reviews, with over 174,000 mentions, or around 14%.

-Another word that appears frequently in 5-star reviews is “customer service”, with just over 500,000 mentions in the same six-month period.

Analyzing the 1-star reviews left between August and December 2020, we found that this same word, customer service, was among the top reasons consumers wrote negative reviews – this word appeared in 210,000 reviews, or approximately 18% of all 1-star reviews during that six-month period.

This review data confirms that in times of crisis, customer service is one of the most important assets businesses can use to build trust, boost satisfaction, and retain customers. Despite the crisis, companies must always strive to deliver an exceptional customer experience and invest in their customer service. The companies that have been able to continue to deliver their products quickly and efficiently while providing excellent customer service are the brands that have made a difference in the eyes of consumers.

Companies that respond to reviews score higher

Responding to reviews can have a huge impact on customer satisfaction with your brand.

The more companies respond to reviews, the better their scores. By responding intelligently to reviews (and especially negative reviews), companies strengthen the relationship with their customers.

2021 trends

In uncertain times, consumers rely more than ever on the opinions and advice of others, seeking confirmation and validation from third parties. Naturally, this has profoundly affected the number of reviews read and written on platforms like Trustpilot over the past few months.

It can be said that customer reviews have become a valuable tool, both for consumers and for businesses. Customers today want to deal with more human brands that put the needs of their customers first. Customer trust is the most important asset of a business in times of crisis.

So what can we expect in 2021?

After more than a year of shopping online, it’s clear that consumers need human interaction and contact more than ever.

In recent months, we have seen brands organize online events and offer virtual tests (companies like Fenty, Lancôme or IKEA were already offering these possibilities to their customers) to give their customers experiences that are as real as possible.

But the growing desire of consumers to buy from small businesses and independent brands could also mean that people will return to frequenting brick-and-mortar stores as social life picks up.

Faced with the explosion of reviews, companies are constantly innovating, adopting new technologies, creating new content (for example by advertising their products with videos) and offering quality customer service. to ensure that buyers are always happy with their online experience. And when brick-and-mortar stores reopen and consumer behaviors change again, it is imperative that all businesses continue to learn from customer reviews, both online and offline.