HomeNEWSNew Zealand retailers’ digital experiences criticised

New Zealand retailers’ digital experiences criticised

Global software and solutions provider SAP has released research showing some of New Zealand’s most prominent brands are serving up poor digital experiences. Of the 2500 Kiwi consumers who participated in its research, 37 percent were unhappy with their experience online.

The good news about the report is that almost as many Kiwi consumers were delighted with the digital experiences they were being provided – 31 percent.

Of the sectors surveyed within SAP’s report, retail consumer goods was equal with government and telecommunications as the lowest-scoring sector. These sectors all had an NPS score of -13 percent.

The report also captured what these disenchanted consumers wanted to see improving in retail consumer goods. Most important to them was feeling safe and secure; having the ability to interact or buy any time, any place on their terms; have the service be cohesive, integrated, obvious and easy; and have it fit in with the rest of their life effortlessly.

SAP says Kiwi consumer-good retailers are “floundering” in their ability to provide functional, transactional and emotional experiences. The consumer responses from the report indicate that they most want to be made to feel unique and important – more than 30 percent of respondents indicated that neither of these goals were currently being achieved.

Cheeringly, retail groceries performed much better as the third-top performing industry in New Zealand behind banking and insurance. Its NPS score was zero.

Retail grocery customers valued the same things as retail consumer-good shoppers, but far more of them felt unique and important while interacting digitally with retailers. They also valued being excited and engaged more.

Stuart O’Neill, head of business – ANZ, SAP Hybris, says these results aren’t intended to be depressing but to indicate to retailers that there’s work to be done.

“Australia is similar,” he says. “New Zealand, if anything, is doing better.”

The common theme he identifies from the research is that consumers expect at least the basics to be done right when they’re engaging digitally with a company. New Zealanders are well-travelled and well-educated consumers who expect to access retail services at the level they’ve seen in Europe, the US and Asia at home.

“You can see what’s available and you expect the same when you get home.”

The difference between New Zealand and Asia is that Kiwis are well ahead in terms of expectations, O’Neill says: “Here, retailers are playing catch-up, whereas overseas they’re leading the customers.”

O’Neill says customers should be able to find what they want easily, consistently and quickly across all channels of the organisation. Dissatisfaction can occur in a millisecond, however.

“All that brand-building work can be destroyed through one single bad interaction.”

Both bad and good experiences can be considered to be “contagious” across bricks and mortar and digital channels, O’Neill says.

He has a warning for retailers who have been dragging their heels on ecommerce:

“I think a lot of retailers have thought an online catalogue is ‘online’. No. You need to actually own that whole experience.”

SAP’s full Digital Experiences Report is available for download here.

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