This year’s report takes a more holistic look at the state of customer experience than previous editions. It also incorporates a business survey allowing us to compare and contrast the corporate view from the consumer one. The report’s key finding is around a troublesome malaise - that good is fast becoming considered good enough when it comes to experience expectations.
What’s happening online?
While the number of online shoppers is starting to plateau (88% of the consumers we surveyed have bought something online in the past 12 months ve 87% last year), how we’re using the internet is changing. We saw growth in the number of people who go online to get ideas or discover products (61% - up from 46% last year), obtain customer service / resolve issues (rising to 45% from 37%) and post reviews which shot up from 32% to 38% suggesting we’re paying it forward by sharing feedback of our own experiences to support others’ buying decisions.
How important is ESG
We asked our consumer panel whether ESG influences their decision to make repeat purchases from the same company. A full 30% acknowledge the role of sustainability in building loyalty. In contrast to this consumer expectation, just 16% of our business audience confirmed that they consistently factor ESG into customer experiences. This suggests that businesses are missing a sustainability trick that could create a positive point of differentiation and drive repeat purchase behaviour.
There’s an app for that
When it comes to determining the channel of choice for consumers to engage with brands, apps come up trumps, being preferred to social media, organisational websites and classified platforms. A further analysis of which channels people prefer to transact on, and which they use for product discovery and research saw some shifts in preference, but the overriding message is that apps are king.