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Safety becoming more important to consumers

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Many small-business owners will invest in liability insurance to ensure legal protection from customers who used a faulty item that resulted in an injury. Consumers are always looking for the safest products, according to recent research from testing, inspection and certification organization TÜV SÜD America. The survey revealed safety is more important than brand to today's consumers.

"Consumers, particularly families, are more and more discerning, and care more about safety than anybody thought," said Ian Nicol, president and CEO of TÜV SÜD America

Unsafe products are quite common
Customers can becompletely turned off by a brand when they have a negative experience with a company. In fact, 46 percent of all consumers have  encountered some type of safety issue with a product over the past five years, while 57 percent of manufacturers, distributors and retailers are unable to ensure all components of their supply chain are safe to use. By failing to provide products that will not cause problems for consumers, small-business owners can greatly damage their reputation.

"Manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the United States have an opportunity to not only enhance consumer wellbeing but drive commercial success through a more systematic approach to product safety," said Nicol. "Contrary to popular belief, significant safety improvements can be made with limited resources, by working together with suppliers for instance, standardizing safety requirements throughout the supply chain."

Consumers will pay more for safety
There are very few instances when the cost of a product doesn't correlate to its quality. Because of this, 85 percent of consumers said they would pay an average premium over standard prices of 15 percent for products that achieve exemplary safety standards. In the same token, roughly 80 percent of respondents claim that safety certifications influence what items they will purchase from a particular firm. Small-business owners who take the time to focus on safety will often find they are able to bring in higher levels of revenue and acquire a better reputation among customers.

"The recent study findings will help organizations as they holistically assess their safety and risk procedures and in turn, decide to strategically leverage the safety attribute as a key sales and reputational driver to increase competitiveness and profitability," said Nicol.

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