Trustpilot announcements
April 27, 2023

Fashion retailers bounce back following criticism through cost of living crisis: positive sentiment in consumer reviews jumps in just three months after nosedive in 2022

  • Data from Trustpilot’s ‘Online Review Index’ suggests fashion businesses have started to listen to customer concerns raised during the cost of living crisis     

  • There’s been an increase in positive sentiment in reviews of clothing and fashion businesses on Trustpilot in the first quarter of 2023 - up 5% from January to the end of March 

  • While clothing and fashion businesses are leading the way in 2023, personal finance and car companies were among worst performers with minimal increases in positive sentiment

  • Latest data comes after positive sentiment nosedived in the last quarter of 2022, decreasing by 4%, with negative sentiment in reviews increasing by 5% 

  • Consumers complained that some businesses had used the economic situation to treat them poorly, using unfair practises or taking advantage of the difficult circumstances   

  • Trustpilot’s ‘Online Review Index’ provides a quarterly dip into review data, highlighting customer sentiment across the platform - one of the world’s biggest online review platforms   

LONDON, UK. For immediate release, 27 April, 2023 - Fashion retailers are starting to listen to consumers who raised concerns last year about poor customer service during the cost of living crisis, according to new data being published today from the leading consumer reviews brand, Trustpilot

Trustpilot’s ‘Online Review Index’ - which tracks customer sentiment in reviews - has revealed a noticeable increase in positive reviews for clothing and fashion businesses in the first quarter of this year, up by 5%, while the percentage of negative reviews decreased by 3%. It’s a big turnaround for the sector after positive sentiment nosedived in the last three months of last year, falling by 4%.

The latest data from the leading review platform suggests businesses in this sector are taking into account issues raised by consumers last year as the cost of living crisis continued to have a huge impact on households across the UK. Nearly a third of consumers said companies had used the current economic situation to treat them poorly, using unfair practices or taking advantage of the difficult circumstances. 

In the clothing and fashion sector over the last three months there are a number of factors that have led to the increase in positive sentiment. Consumers mentioned in reviews that they were particularly impressed with the levels of customer service they received when interacting with fashion businesses, as well as the quality of the products themselves, in particular shoes, dresses and jackets. One phrase that appeared regularly in reviews was ‘true to size’ which suggests the clothes were just as they were described online. One other area where fashion businesses performed well was delivery; many businesses were praised for fast delivery times and keeping to their time slots. 

But while clothing and fashion retailers experienced big increases in positive sentiment in online reviews, other sectors didn’t perform so well. Personal finance and car companies lagged behind with very small increases in good reviews compared to most other sectors on Trustpilot, which suggests they’re not listening to their customers enough. There were a number of factors that led to this situation, with poor levels of customer service being one of the most prominent. There were also issues around mistakes being made by businesses in these sectors and problems getting refunds. The one phrase that featured heavily in negative online reviews for personal finance and car companies was ‘renewal’, suggesting consumers had problems either renewing agreements or contracts with businesses, or didn’t want them to be renewed.                 

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 every time is one of the best ways a business can win brand loyalty, and maintain a trustworthy reputation online.”

For more information and insight into what consumers are saying about the cost of living crisis please read our report, which can be found here



Insights for the ‘Online Review Index’ were drawn from aggregated consumer review data held by Trustpilot. Review texts and the selected keywords or relevant topics were analysed within their contexts and scored for sentiment (positive, neutral or negative), using cutting-edge Natural Language Processing techniques that draw on advanced statistical methods.

About Trustpilot

Trustpilot was founded in 2007 with a vision to create an independent currency of trust.

A digital platform that brings businesses and consumers together to foster trust and inspire collaboration. We are free to use, open to everybody, and built on transparency.

Trustpilot hosts reviews to help consumers shop with confidence and deliver rich insights to help businesses improve the experience they offer. The more consumers use our platform and share their own opinions, the richer the insights we offer businesses, and the more opportunities they have to earn the trust of consumers, from all around the world.

 Over 213 million consumer reviews of businesses and products of over 893,000 domains have been posted on Trustpilot, and those numbers are growing by more than one review per second.  

Trustpilot has over 850 employees and is headquartered in Copenhagen, with operations in London, Edinburgh, New York, Denver, Melbourne, Berlin, Vilnius, Milan, and Amsterdam.

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