The E-Commerce Trust Divide: A Gap Between Platforms and Sellers

A recent study by Chubb reveals a striking disparity in consumer trust within the e-commerce landscape: consumers trust the platforms themselves more than the individual sellers utilizing them. This ‘E-Commerce Trust Divide’ highlights the need for platforms to address the factors causing this gap and build trust in both aspects of the online shopping experience.

Reasons for the Divide:

  • Lack of Transparency: Consumers often have limited information about individual sellers, making them hesitant to trust their reliability or product quality. Platforms can address this by implementing seller verification processes and providing detailed seller profiles with information like customer reviews and return policies.
  • Concerns about Seller Responsiveness: Consumers might worry about poor communication or delays in addressing issues like returns or defective products. Platforms can create clear guidelines and enforcement mechanisms for seller responsiveness, ensuring timely and professional communication with customers.
  • Fear of Fraud: Of the consumers who make purchases online via both e-commerce and social media platforms, three-quarters indicate they have encountered instances of financial fraud, while over half (55%) have encountered payment losses due to technical issues. Additionally, more than 40% report frequently receiving damaged goods.

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From the seller’s side:

– A notable trust gap is evident among an increasing number of shoppers who have embraced social media commerce platforms, with 85% expressing trust in these marketplaces.

– Conversely, there is a lack of trust from e-sellers towards social media commerce sites across various aspects:

– Managing inventory (75% distrust)

– Handling refunds and returns (69% distrust)

– Shipping and fulfillment (67% distrust)

– Payment processing (65% distrust)

– Security and privacy (58% distrust)

– These insights stem from ‘Crossing the e-commerce trust divide,’ a global survey commissioned by Chubb and conducted by iResearch Services, highlighting the disparity in trust between consumers and e-sellers in the e-commerce landscape.

Some other key findings include:

– Payment security ranks as the paramount concern for consumers in the realm of e-commerce, with nearly 80% globally highlighting it as their foremost worry.

– Trust in social media marketplaces extends across generations and genders, with Gen Z, Millennials, and Gen X showing greater comfort with social media commerce compared to other sales channels. Men demonstrate a higher propensity for shopping via social media platforms than women, with a notable gap of 61% to 31%.

– Among the surveyed regions, Latin American consumers emerge as the most avid users of online stores, with 25% shopping online several times a week—twice the rate observed in other regions. Additionally, 74% of Latin American respondents visit and purchase from e-commerce platforms several times a month, surpassing North American, European, and Asian consumers.

– Consumer confidence in online purchases could be bolstered by the presence of insurance, although price sensitivity remains a significant factor. A majority of consumers express a desire for insurance coverage to protect purchases, particularly in categories such as electronics, home appliances, exercise equipment, and clothing. Many consumers indicate a willingness to pay an additional one percent of the item price for insurance coverage.

Bridging the Gap:

  • Platform Responsibility: Platforms hold significant power in shaping the e-commerce ecosystem. By implementing strict seller vetting processes and guaranteeing minimum standards for seller conduct, platforms can build trust in the overall experience.
  • Building Seller Trustworthiness: Platforms can encourage sellers to build positive reputations by offering incentives for good customer service and transparent business practices. This can incentivize sellers to prioritize customer satisfaction and build trust organically.
  • Empowering Consumers: Providing consumers with tools and resources to evaluate seller reliability helps them make informed decisions. This includes access to detailed seller information, comprehensive customer reviews, and clear return and refund policies.

By addressing the E-Commerce Trust Divide, platforms can create a more secure and trustworthy environment for both consumers and sellers. This will ultimately lead to a more sustainable and prosperous online shopping experience for everyone involved.

Amy McNeece, Senior Vice President of Digital Consumer Partnerships for Chubb in North America, emphasized the importance of a seamless and trustworthy customer journey, whether it occurs on social media or e-commerce platforms. She noted that issues such as delivery problems, product damage, and online scams can swiftly erode consumer trust, underscoring the criticality of customer loyalty in the digital commerce era.

Methodology used by Chubb:

In November 2023, iResearch conducted a survey commissioned by Chubb, gathering insights from 500 online consumers and 525 e-sellers worldwide. The participants engaged in various online channels, including e-commerce platforms and social media marketplaces. The survey encompassed regions such as North America, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, with a diverse representation of respondents.

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Also catch; Episode 175 of The SalesStar Podcast: Go-to Market and Marketing Best Practices with Bryan Law, CMO at Zoominfo

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