AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – SAP today launched its 2017 New Zealand Digital Experience Report, revealing that New Zealand organisations are at a standstill when it comes to delivering on consumers’ expectations of digital experiences.
Omni-channel experiences an untapped opportunity for New Zealand business
Overall, the proportion of consumers unsatisfied with their digital experience dropped only 1 percentage point since 2016, from 37 per cent to 36 per cent, while the percentage of those delighted remained consistent at 31 per cent. These findings suggest that organisations in New Zealand 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.
The report, based on assessments by more than 2,000 New Zealander’s of nearly 6,000 interactions, found overall digital-experience performance remained stagnant since last year. 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.
Top performing brands and industries
In a shift from last year, online retailer Mighty Ape was singled out by New Zealanders 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 digital performance of brands in New Zealand has remained consistent year on year since we first launched our New Zealand study in 2016. The findings show that NZ brands have not improved the digital experiences they provide and risk falling behind global competitors and digital native brands entering the market.” said Graeme Riley, Managing Director, SAP New Zealand.
“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.”
Meeting omni-channel expectations
New to this year’s report is the inclusion of channel-specific insights and a broader look at the impact of omni-channel interactions. The findings show that more consumers are engaging with brands through multiple channels than via one channel, with 89% of respondents using two or more channels. The research also highlights that brands whose consumers interact with them through more than one channel have better digital experience scores (-1%) than those who interact through a single channel (-22).
40 per cent of consumers use at least five channels to engage with brands. This includes physical stores, contact centres, mail, websites, live chat, social media and mobile apps. With more consumers now expecting omni-channel interactions, brands need to ensure integrated and cohesive consumer experiences or risk losing customers.
Head of SAP Hybris Australia and New Zealand, Stuart O’Neill, said: “Consumers no longer view each brand interaction in isolation – they want a consistent experience at every touch-point. The best performing brands across industries are looking outside the box and ensuring each consumer interaction is optimised, personalised and, above all, delightful. To improve their scores, businesses should look at new technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to help integrate and deliver more personalised experiences across channels.”
Digital channels drive satisfaction
Consumers have grown to expect digital interaction. In terms of digital channels, websites scored the highest satisfaction rating (39 per cent) followed by email (31 per cent) and mobile apps (24 per cent). These provided a better customer experience than shopfront/in-store/branch (21 per cent), telephone/contact centres (20 per cent) or mail (17 per cent). Newer technologies such as social media (7 per cent) and live chat (-8 per cent) offered the lowest levels of satisfaction for digital channels with more unsatisfied customers than happy ones for live chat in particular.
“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,” said O’Neill.
About the Survey
To better understand the digital experiences being delivered by New Zealand’s leading brands, and how these compare to consumer expectations, SAP commissioned AMR to poll 2,131 New Zealand consumers. This year’s survey covered eight industries: retail consumer, retail grocery, telecommunications/internet service providers, insurance, banking, utilities, media and entertainment and air travel.
Performance was 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.
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 more than 365,000 business and public sector customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
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 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