23rd April 2021

Competing on trust is an emerging feature for brands vying to provide unique value for customers but the professionalisation of trust is in its infancy, according to new QUT research.

The Trusted Retail Innovation White Paper released by QUT’s Centre for Future Enterprise shows how retail innovations can be trusted-by-design and finds new ways explore trust options.

Leading researcher and Centre Director Michael Rosemann said trust literacy in many organisations is low despite being data rich.

“The increased appetite for private data, uncertainties in tech-intensive retail outlets and growing reliance on online shopping is driving the need for ‘trust-intensity’ in the retail sector,” Professor Rosemann said.

“The focus on trust and the opportunities as they relate to emerging technologies make it a strategic priority in many organisations.”

The White Paper is informed by interviews with executives from 7Eleven, Brisbane Airport Corporation, Australia Post, Flight Centre, BCF, Yum! Brand, Coles, and Walmart and discussed ways for how technologies can shape trusted customer engagements.

There are 20 billion devices connected to the Internet and it is estimated by 2023 that number will jump to 29 billion with four devices per person.

Professor Rosemann said the quantum leap in next generation data sources meant trust management needs to reduce uncertainty and increase confidence among customers.

“Imagine a world where retailers know better than their customers what they enjoy from a range of products that often exceeds more than 20,000 items?” he asked.

“This would not only cover continuous replenishment, but also new items in the shopping bag, items that the customer is not aware of, but very much enjoys.

“Such an experience would be similar to music streaming services where the provider has a better capability than the customer to select the next song.”

To coincide with the release of the report a retail panel webinar is being hosted by QUT on Thursday April 29.

Key speakers include Amart Furniture Head of Digital, Rachel Khoo and Cisco Global Retail Strategist Bill Farnsworth. They will be joined by Professor Gary Mortimer, a leading researcher in retailing, marketing, and consumer behaviour.

PhD researcher and Emcee of the event, Chelsea Phillips, said leading companies want a direct exploration of trust and its translation into the digital sphere.

“Trust is something people inherently feel but cannot directly see or touch,” Ms Phillips said. “It is subjective and varies from person to person.”

She said designing trust into digital systems can move beyond current risk management strategies to be tailored toward customer engagement.

“In the future we will see a move to what is known as extreme trust and provide products and services suited to the customer,” she said.

“While extreme trust does involve extreme personalisation to customers, there are additional tactics that it can encompass.

“This can include creating an omnipresent workforce where customers connect with any staff member at any time to support their shopping experience.”

The research was commissioned by Cisco.

More information about the Trusted Retail Innovation Webinar is available here

A copy of the White Paper is available upon request.

MEDIA CONTACT: media@qut.edu.au

 

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