Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
The majority of Australian online shoppers welcome real-time help during their purchase process and more than half are in favour of live chat, a new survey claims.
According to the latest Connecting with Customers Report from engagement solutions vendor, LivePerson, and conducted by market search firm Loudhouse, 90 per cent Australian respondents find real-time help useful when shopping online, and 60 per cent would welcome live chat tools.
In addition, the research found 36 per cent of Australians shoppers abandon a website because they have difficulty in getting any help online, the highest percentage recorded out of the six countries surveyed. In total, 87 per cent said they need some form of help during the online purchase process.
The Connecting with Customers Report surveyed 6000 consumers including more than 1000 Australians. The other countries were the US, UK, Italy, France and Germany.
LivePerson claimed speed and simplicity are key in a great online experience for consumers, pointing out 79 per cent of Australians prioritise getting their issue resolved quickly, and 55 per cent want to see the problem resolved within a single interaction. The largest percentage of online shoppers (62 per cent) expect access to help within five minutes, and 54 per said they give up immediately or only try once when seeking help before making an online purchase.
Other reasons for abandoning a purchase include:
- Unexpected costs - 68 per cent
- Lack of information about a product/service or delivery – 59 per cent
- Navigation difficulties – 52 per cent
- Wanting to ask questions and not being able to find the answer – 44 per cent.
In terms of current performance, the report cited gaps in the level and consistency of service across channels including online, in-store and mobile. Australian shoppers are also less likely to be satisfied with customer service levels both in-store and online compared with other geographies, with 73 per cent saying they are satisfied with in-store their experience, versus 64 per cent online.
The LivePerson report also found 74 per cent of Australian shoppers are likely to research online before they shop in-store, while 23 per cent research on their mobile phone while physically in the shop. The result mirrors that of recent research undertaken by Google and Marx, which found smartphones dominate pre-purchase activities in shops. In that report, 82 per cent were found to be using search engages to make purchase decisions while in-store.
“Research shows that regardless of channel, customers want personalised and speedy assistance for a more seamless buying experience,” LivePerson Asia-Pacific vice-president, Dustin Dean, said. “Providing the same intuitive and high-touch in-store experience in digital channels can also prove to be a serious competitive advantage for businesses.”