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Fashion outperforms other retail sectors for positive reviews during cost of living crisis

Chloe Burney
03 May 2023

Data from Trustpilot’s ‘Online Review Index’ reveals positive reviews for clothing are up by 5% in Q1 2023, suggesting fashion businesses are listening to customer concerns.

Fashion retailers are listening and responding to consumers who raised concerns about poor customer service during the cost of living crisis.

Trustpilot’s Online Review Index tracks customer sentiment in reviews by analysing relevant keywords and topics and scoring their sentiment (positive, neutral or negative) using cutting-edge Natural Language Processing techniques.

The data collection revealed a noticeable increase in positive reviews for clothing and fashion businesses from January to March of 2023, up by 5%. Meanwhile, the percentage of negative reviews was down by 3%. This marks a turnaround for the sector after positive sentiment dropped by 4% at the end of 2022.

Nearly a third of consumers said companies had used the cost-of-living crisis to treat them poorly by "taking advantage of the difficult circumstances".

In reviews, customers mention that they are particularly impressed with the levels of customer service they received when interacting with fashion businesses, as well as the quality of the products themselves. Fashion companies were praised for clothing being ‘true to size’ as well as for timely deliveries.

Although clothing and fashion retailers experienced increases in positive sentiment, other sectors did not. For example, personal finance and car companies lagged with very small increases in good reviews compared to most other sectors.

Mieke De Schepper, Chief Commercial Officer at Trustpilot, said: "This latest data is promising and suggests clothing and fashion retailers have heeded our warnings since we first launched the Online Review Index last November, investing in improving their customer experience to help boost consumer sentiment across our review platform. As the cost of living crisis continues to bite, this is a reassuring sign for the retail sector which we hope will boost consumer confidence.

"That said, the hard work is far from over and in a turbulent economy businesses should be mindful not to sit on their laurels. Ensuring you provide an excellent customer experience everytime is one of the best ways a business can win brand loyalty, and maintain a trustworthy reputation online."

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