Digital Experience: Corporate Australia lifts game, Kiwis lose ball forward

Published on the 28/11/2017 | Written by Newsdesk


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Report shows Amazon effect improves matters for customers…

In its 2017 Australian Digital Experience Report, enterprise software vendor SAP says Australian businesses have significantly improved the digital experience they provide. But the same cannot be said across the ditch: in New Zealand, the report found that organisations are at a standstill when delivering on consumers’ expectations of digital experiences.

In both nations, consumers are still more likely to be unsatisfied with digital experiences, rather than delighted by them.

The report polled around 4,000 Australians who rated some 11,000 interactions against 14 attributes, and 2,000 New Zealanders rating 6,000 interactions. A digital experience is defined as how a brand digitally interacts with its customers during the discovery, transaction, delivery and support of a product or service.

SAP_DX_Industry digital experience scores 2017In Australia, SAP found that overall digital experience has improved, noting that for the first time since the survey’s 2015 inception, five industries posted positive results. Retail grocery brands led the way, improving their combined digital experience score from -4 to 10 over the past 12 months. Banking (7), media and entertainment (6) and retail consumer (4) also returned positive digital experience scores.

Air travel achieved an overall score of 1, which means it has an almost even split of delighted and unsatisfied customers. Insurance (-5), telecommunications (-11) and utilities (-15) all have more unsatisfied customers when it comes to digital experience.

Overall, the proportion of consumers unsatisfied with their digital experiences has dropped from 40 percent to 35 percent, while the number who are delighted has increased from 26 percent to 31 percent. This, said SAP, highlights that brands have actively improved the digital experiences they provide, but there’s room for improvement.

For the second year running, Netflix was singled out by Australians as having the best digital experience among all brands. Other leaders include (local) online retailer Kogan, Vodafone and Suncorp Bank.

In a statement, SAP ANZ MD Colin Brookes said, “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.”

“While brands have improved overall, this is still very much grounded on getting the basics right along with a greater focus on the emotional attributes that consumers demand,” Brooks added.

He said becoming a digital experience leader depends on new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning ‘to help integrate and deliver personalised experiences across channels, which delight customers’.

Over in Kiwi-land, the proportion of consumers unsatisfied with their digital experience dropped 1 percentage point since 2016, from 37 percent to 36 percent, while the percentage of those delighted remained consistent at 31 percent.

SAP said the findings suggest New Zealand companies are struggling to keep pace with consumers’ growing expectations for simple, engaging digital experiences when they browse, shop or get help online, via an app or through other digital channels.

Despite this, three industries posted positive results overall, compared to only two in 2016. The banking industry led the way for the second year in a row, with a combined digital experience score increasing by one point year on year, from 9 in 2016 to 10 in 2017.

Insurance (4) and air travel (2) also returned positive digital experience scores overall, while all other industries remained consistent year on year.

The consumer retail sector achieved an overall score of 0, which means it has an even split of delighted and unsatisfied customers. Retail groceries (-1), telecommunications (-5), utilities (-7) all have more unsatisfied customers when it comes to digital experience. Media and entertainment was the worst performing industry overall with a score of -11. Online retailer Mighty Ape was singled out as having the best digital experience among all brands with a score of 35. Other leaders include ANZ Bank New Zealand (18), AA Insurance (21) and Netflix (17).

“The findings show that NZ brands…risk falling behind global competitors and digital native brands entering the market,” said SAP NZ MD Graeme Riley in a statement.

“We’ve seen the importance of digital experiences for brands in Australia and New Zealand and the results show that the business benefits of having a positive digital experience cannot be ignored. Similarly, having a negative digital experience can significantly impact customer advocacy and loyalty and with businesses in New Zealand at a standstill, there should be a concerted focus to delight their customers in the year ahead.”

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