High Streets Initiative · 9 May 2017

Hairdressers and dentists prove best at winning local consumer trust

Consumers are more likely to trust, and revisit, their local hairdresser

Two fifths of people in Britain are more likely to put their faith in local independent businesses than larger companies, with dentists, hairdressers and gardeners seen as the best at winning local consumer trust, new research has found.

In contrast, car dealers, estate agents and lettings companies were viewed as the types of local businesses least likely to win local consumer trust and give customers a fair deal.

Gauging the views of over 2,000 British shoppers, a new UK-wide survey conducted by Yell Business revealed that at a time of wide economic uncertainty in Britain and a growing mistrust of big business, smaller local companies are increasingly seen as the most credible.

The findings demonstrated the growing significance of personal recommendations to people’s shopping habits. As many as 77 per cent of consumers said they would happily take the advice of a friend or family member when pointing them towards a local shop or service they hadn’t previously used.

Commenting on the research, Yell CEO Richard Hanscott said that local business owners should continue to consider investing in technologies and digital marketing that could widen their online and social media presence.

He added: “Our findings emphasise the need for local companies to understand their audience’s decision-making journey when choosing a local supplier.

“Public sentiment towards established institutions such as governments, media and large corporates is at a record low, and the need for reliable information is growing. Our research shows that local businesses are stepping up to the plate to fill this trust vacuum.”

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Read more from our recently launched High Streets Initiative

This article is part of a wider campaign called the High Streets Initiative, a new section of Business Advice championing independent and small retailers by identifying the issues that put Britain’s high streets under pressure. Visit our High Streets Initiative section to find out more.

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Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.


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