Australian businesses have significantly improved the digital experience they provide, according to SAP Australia’s 2017 Australian Digital Experience Report.
Despite this improvement, however, consumers are still more likely to be unsatisfied with digital experiences than delighted by them.
The report, based on results from more than 4000 respondents who rated more than 11,000 interactions against 14 attributes, found overall digital experience has improved from last year.
Five industries posted positive results, with retail grocery brands leading the way, improving their combined digital experience score from -4 to 10 over the past 12 months, and banking, media and entertainment, and retail consumer brands also gained positive scores. Insurance, telecommunications and utilities all have more unsatisfied customers when it comes to digital experience. Netflix was named as having the best digital experience across all brands for the second year running, with other leaders including online retailer Kogan, Vodafone and Suncorp Bank.
Colin Brookes, president and managing director, SAP Australia and New Zealand, said the digital performance of brands had improved significantly since the study was initiated in 2015.
“When we look at industry-specific scores, retailers are clearly equipping themselves with innovative digital capabilities to prepare themselves for future disruption, such as the local launch of Amazon. Banks also face intense competition, and are looking to improve customer experience, increasing engagement and responsiveness as a result.”
Overall the proportion of consumers unsatisfied with their digital experiences has dropped from 40 per cent to 35 per cent, while the proportion who are delighted increased from 26 per cent to 31 per cent.
This year’s report also looked specifically at how customers can interact across multiple channels, with 43 per cent of consumers saying they use at least five channels to engage with brands – including physical stores, contact centres, mail, websites, live chat, social media and mobile apps.
While 33 per cent of consumers are delighted with the digital experience in multi-channel environments, compared to 22 per cent in single-channel engagements, customers were also more disappointed with omni-channel (29 per cent) than single channel (16 per cent).
Stuart O’Neill, head of SAP Hybris Australia and New Zealand, said, “Consumers no longer view each brand interaction in isolation – they want a consistent experience at every touchpoint. The best-performing brands across industries are looking outside the box and ensuring each consumer interaction is optimised, personalised, and above all, delightful.
“A great example of brands looking critically at the experience they provide and making a change can be seen in the grocery sector, where these brands are under a lot of pressure from digital native competitors looking to take market share. This report is proof that the changes the industry has made over the last year are having a big impact on customer loyalty and NPS.”
Consumers in the 18-34 age group are more likely to use five or more channels to engage with brands (57 per cent) compared to those aged 35-49 (46 per cent) and 50+ (30 per cent). Younger consumers also reported feeling more satisfied with their experience in social media and live chat channels compared to older consumers.
“We need to remember consumers are individuals with preferred methods of engagement. Providing an optimised experience across all channels ensures that, no matter where they choose to reach you, they have an experience that meets their expectations,” O’Neill said. “This is increasingly important with the number of international brands launching in Australia, many of which are defined by robust omni-channel experiences.”