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Consumer Trust: Summer 2020

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Every day, people share information with brands, whether they are mundane things like the browser used to access a website or a bit more personal like a birthday. In some cases, what is shared and how it is used is clear, sensible, and unconcerning. In other cases, people may rightfully have concerns. Understanding that innovation and improvement requires meaningful audience understanding, the need for trust between individuals and companies is tantamount.

To answer this question, and to gauge shifts over time, DISQO has been asking a sample of our audience to share their perspective. Each month, we surveyed people, asking them to which degree they trust various types of companies to protect and respect their data.

Today, we are sharing the results of the first six editions of that study, covering the first half of 2020!

Specifically, the study, uncovers consumer trust related to the following:

  • Social media platforms
  • Search engines
  • Online retailers
  • Financial institutions
  • Media companies
  • Market research firms

A direct download of the report is available on the report page, which includes 20 new charts. Here are the top takeaways from the study:

  • Trust has increased across every category. When looking at trust over the first half of 2020, we noticed an increase in every category, ranging between 4% and 24%.
  • Trust in social media platforms has grown the most. Over the course of six months, trust in social media has grown by 24% — the largest increase seen within a category. Climbing steadily from 33% in January, it experienced a slight drop in May (-4%), but increased to 41% in June. Nevertheless, social media still remains as the least trusted source.
  • Search engines have seen the second largest growth rate. While trust in search engines was reported at 39% in January 2020, as of June 2020 that number has increased to 46% — a relative 18% improvement! As a result, search engines are still trusted more than social media platforms.
  • A majority of people now trust media companies. As of June, trust in media companies has reached a majority, marking a 13% increase since January.
  • Market research firms are trusted more than media, search, & social. Approximately 61% of people report trusting market research firms in June 2020, which is larger than the trust for media companies, search engines, and social media sites! Over the course of six months, this category has experienced a 15% increase in trust.
  • Trust in online retailers is fairly strong. Trust in online retailers has increased by 11% since January, with 62% now reporting some degree of trust in retailers. Subsequently, online retailers are the second most trusted source on the list.
  • Trust in financial institutions has seen the smallest increase. Trust in financial institutions has experienced a small 4% increase since January. While this industry experienced the least growth over the time period, it has remained the most trusted among the verticals surveyed. Indeed, as of June, 73% report some level of trust in financial institutions.


Updates to this report will be made available on a quarterly basis. If you’d like a deeper analysis of consumer trust for your brand or industry, please reach out!

For additional highlights, methodology, and access to the full report, visit the Consumer Trust report page.

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