Digital Experience Making or Breaking Australian Business Performance

SYDNEY — SAP Australia today launched its 2016 Australian Digital Experience Report, revealing that, while some of the largest brands in Australia have improved their digital performance, a sizeable gap remains between the experience many brands deliver and what Australian consumers expect.

The study also uncovers a stronger correlation between the digital experience and business outcomes, including customer loyalty and Net Promoter Score.


  • SAP research finds Australian brands have improved their digital performance in the past year, but much work is still needed to deliver digital experiences that truly delight customers
  • Many brands still delivering lacklustre experiences, which are closely correlated to loss of loyalty and advocacy – and this correlation has strengthened in 2016
  • Assessment of nearly 9,000 digital interactions shows 40 per cent of Aussie consumers are unsatisfied with their digital experiences
  • Strong correlation evident between digital experience and Australians’ data-privacy and personalisation preferences, with those delighted more willing to provide personal data

Capturing results from 3,500 Australians who rated almost 9,000 digital interactions against 14 digital experience attributes, SAP’s 2016 Australian Digital Experience Report found the proportion of consumers unsatisfied with their digital experiences dropped from 47 per cent in 2015 to 40 per cent in 2016. Delighted consumers increased from 22 per cent to 26 per cent over the same period.

Top performing brands included Coles in the grocery retail sector and Target in consumer-goods retail. iiNet topped the list of telecommunications and ISP providers, while Synergy performed best among utilities. St George Bank scored highest in the banking sector, and Suncorp Insurance repeated as the top performing brand in the insurance industry. Netflix scored highest in the media and entertainment sector.

SAP’s 2016 study shows delighted consumers are nearly five times more likely to remain loyal to a brand than those who are unsatisfied. That’s up from a multiple of just over four in 2015. Only 16 per cent of unsatisfied respondents would remain loyal according to this year’s study. On average, customers delighted with the digital experience delivered a net promoter score of 68 per cent (2015: 63 per cent) compared to a score of -59 per cent (2015: -55 per cent) from those who were unsatisfied.

The stronger link between the digital experience and business outcomes was also apparent in the report’s examination of Australians’ data privacy and personalisation preferences. The analysis showed a strong correlation between how delighted consumers are with their digital experience and their willingness to provide private data. Overall, those delighted with the digital experience were more than five times more likely to disclose personal information. This result varied across different types of data:

1. In the research, the 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.
2. SAP asked consumers about their propensity to recommend the brand to a friend (applying Net Promoter Score® methodology) and their loyalty to the brand, and if they would remain a customer in the future.

  • 39 per cent of delighted consumers would disclose their buying preferences
  • 24 per cent their health records
  • 24 per cent their web browsing history
  • 21 per cent their personal finances

These figures fall dramatically among unsatisfied consumers: 8 per cent; 2 per cent; 2 per cent; and 3 per cent respectively.

Fig 1: Unsatisfied or delighted: Australians’ willingness to disclose private data

“The good news is things are getting better for Australian consumers, and more brands are delivering the digital experience basics,” said John Ruthven, President and Managing Director, SAP Australia and New Zealand. “Yet the year-on-year comparisons show there is still much to do to deliver the digital experiences that truly delight consumers.

“Digital transformation means different things to different people, but the motivation behind it is always the same: the customer. Every time customers gain more power, organisations need more power to keep up with their demands. Brands that perform best are those who unite their people and processes on a single system to deliver on their customers’ relentlessly increasing demands.”

Delivering Delightful Digital Experiences

In response to the strong demand from Australian organisations to better understand the customer experience they deliver though digital channels and how they can improve it, SAP expanded significantly on the Australian Digital Experience Report in 2016. This included the addition of a new attribute rated by consumers as part of the overall digital experience: safe and secure. This year’s report also included a new industry segment: media and entertainment. The impact of both was immediate.

Safe and secure was by far the most important digital experience attribute to consumers, with 68 per cent of respondents ranking it as one of the most important components of a delightful digital experience. The next most important attributes were services that are cohesive, integrated, and simple (38 per cent), and available anytime on my terms (36 per cent) .

Media and entertainment placed as the top performing industry, yet still had more unsatisfied consumers than delighted ones. Last year’s top performing industry, retail groceries, placed second and made gains of four percentage points on its digital experience score from 2015.

Fig 2: Year-on-year comparison of digital experience scores by industry

However, in the media and entertainment sector, overseas providers clearly outperformed local brands. They dominated the overwhelmingly positive scores, indicating a greater ability to deliver digital experiences that met both the functional and emotional expectations of their customers.

In a repeat of the 2015 rankings, the two industries with the lowest digital experience scores this year were telecommunications and utilities. However, utilities saw the largest improvement of any industry, increasing its score by 11 per cent.

The other industries – banking, consumer-goods retail and insurance – made improvements on their digital experience scores of between eight and nine per cent.

To download The Australian Digital Experience Report 2016 visit www.sap.com/Australia/ausdxr.

About the Survey

To better understand the digital experiences being delivered by Australia’s leading brands and how these compare to consumer expectations, SAP commissioned AMR to poll over 3,500 Australian consumers. Forty brands across seven industries (retail – consumer; retail – grocery; telecommunications/ISPs; insurance; banking; utilities; media & entertainment) were analysed by respondents, with SAP conducting follow-up interviews with brands recording the best digital experiences to identify the reasons for this.

3.Importance based on consumers scoring each attribute on a scale of 0 (not important) to 10 (most important), with the most important attributes defined by a score of 9 or 10.

About SAP

As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable approximately 310,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com/australia

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