Amazon tops survey of most-trusted ecommerce brands

Despite recent controversies, the online giant ranked first in 18 of the 24 product categories examined in BrandSpark's survey.

Amazon has once again emerged as the most trusted ecommerce brand among Canadian consumers, according an annual survey by market research firm BrandSpark.

Winners in 24 product categories were determined based on the volume of unaided mentions brands received in the survey, which asked consumers the brands they trusted shopping from most in each category. Ties were declared in cases where there was a difference of less than 3% between brands.

Based on a survey of 6,900 Canadians, the ecommerce giant was named the most-trusted brand (or tied as one of the most-trusted companies) in 18 of the 24 product categories ranked by BrankSpark this year. That’s significantly better than in last year’s survey, which saw Amazon top 50% of the categories in ecommerce.

It appears consumer trust in the company persists despite the numerous controversies it has faced over the years over what critics see as its questionable business practices, monopolistic behaviour and privacy issues.

Amazon exerts significant influence over entire product categories, and its model, such as its Prime Day paid-subscription service, have served as inspiration to other businesses looking to strengthen their relationship with consumers, such as Loblaw with its PC Insiders program.

While Amazon won a majority of ecommerce categories, some specialized retailers – such as Best Buy, Sephora and Sport Chek – ranked highest in their categories.

According to BrandSpark research, two-thirds of Canadians say Amazon has changed the way they shop both in-store and online. This includes doing additional research on products, buying a greater variety of products, comparing prices across channels and making fewer trips to the stores.

That said, loyalty to ecommerce brands remains relatively high, with only 16% of consumers stating they have lost trust in an online retailer as a result of receiving lower quality products than advertised, not receiving purchases, and having difficulties getting a refund. Meanwhile, 71% of Canadians cited “unfiltered customer reviews on brand websites” as one of the means of building trust. Seventy-five percent believe companies show more accountability and care for their customers by listening to online reviews and feedback, and 66% appreciate receiving discounts or special offers that are tailored to their interests based on the websites they visit, according to insights gleaned from the survey.

BrandSpark’s most-trusted list also includes the service brands across 37 different categories, including 26 new ones introduced this year. Loblaw’s PC Optimum program, which faced difficulties shortly after having launched, has grown into Canada’s most-trusted loyalty program. Other notable winners include SkipTheDishes, which surpassed UberEats with 26% more mentions as the top food delivery site, as well as GoodFood, which overcame HelloFresh in meal kit deliveries.

The full list of the most trusted brands, for both categories, can be found below.

Around half of Canadians say they have lost trust in a service provider due to hidden fees, rising prices, and difficulty having complaints resolved, according to survey results. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed said reliable customer support improves their trust in a brand, while 59% said the same of consistency of high quality goods and services.

BrandSpark’s top ecommerce brands, 2019

Baby & Children’s Clothing: Old Navy / Carter’s OshKosh / The Children’s Place (tie)
Baby Supplies / Gear: Amazon
Beauty & Cosmetics: Sephora
Books: Amazon
Cameras & Photography Supplies: Amazon
Electronic Gaming / Videogames: Amazon
Health & Wellness: Amazon
Home Décor: Amazon / Wayfair (tie)
Home Entertainment (Televisions, Stereos, etc.): Amazon / Best Buy (tie)
Home Improvement / Renovation: The Home Depot
Household Cleaning & Laundry Products: Amazon
Housewares / Kitchenware: Amazon
Laptop / Desktop Computers: Best Buy
Major Home Appliances: The Home Depot
Mattresses: Amazon
Men’s Clothing / Fashion: Amazon
Personal Electronics (Headphones, Bluetooth Speakers, etc.): Amazon
Pet Food & Supplies: Amazon
Recreation & Outdoor Gear: Amazon
Shoes / Footwear: Amazon
Small Home Appliances: Amazon
Sporting Goods: Sport Chek
Toys & Games: Amazon
Women’s Clothing / Fashion: Amazon / Hudson’s Bay (tie)

BrandSpark’s top service brands, 2019

Alarm Service: ADT Security Services
Auto Classifieds (Online):
Auto Insurance Provider: Intact Insurance
Auto Repair Service Chain: Canadian Tire
Buy and Sell Classifieds (Online): Kijiji
Car Rental: Enterprise
Cashback Rewards Credit Card: Capital One Costco
Cellular Network Provider: TELUS / Rogers / Bell (tie)
Cellular Network Provider (West): Telus
Cellular Network Provider (Ontario): Rogers
Cellular Network Provider (Québec): Vidéotron
Cellular Network Provider (Atlantic): Bell
Cruise line: Norwegian / Royal Caribbean (tie)
Discount Cellular Service Provider: Koodo Mobile
Flight Booking Service: Expedia
Food Delivery App/Site: SkipTheDishes
Gym / Fitness Facility: GoodLife Fitness
Health Insurance: Blue Cross
High Speed Internet Provider: Bell
Home Insurance Provider: Intact Insurance
Hotel Booking Site: Expedia
Investment Management Service: RBC / TD (tie)
Life Insurance Provider: Sun Life / Manulife (tie)
Life Insurance Provider (Québec): Industrielle Alliance
Loyalty Program: PC Optimum
Meal Kit Delivery Service: Goodfood
Mortgage Provider: RBC / Scotiabank / TD (tie)
Mortgage Provider (Québec): Desjardins
Music Streaming Service: Spotify
Oil Change Service Chain: Mr. Lube
Real Estate Agency/Brokerage: RE/MAX
Travel Insurance Provider: CAA
Truck Rental Service: U-Haul
TV Nightly News: CTV
TV Service Provider: Bell
Vacation Package Provider: Expedia
Weight Loss Program: Weight Watchers