Aussie consumers basing brand perceptions on online experiences

New report from LivePerson finds 77 per cent of consumers rate speed as the number one experience they expect online, and 84 per cent called for simplicity

Nearly half of all Australian online shoppers would abandon a purchase if the brand experience online was poor, a new report claims.

The latest annual Connecting with Customers report from LivePerson of more than 1000 Australian consumers found speed was the number one experience they expect online, with 77 per cent claiming they want to get things done as quickly as possible. In addition, 73 per cent identified speed and efficiency as the number one factor in creating a great online experience.

Sixty per cent also said the need to have issues resolved in a single transaction is also very important. Real-time help was another core expectation. The report found 68 per cent of Australian consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that provides live, human assistance at critical moments, and 88 per cent indicated their perception of a brand improves when live chat is available.

Of those surveyed, 84 per cent also called for simplicity and said they will return to a company website if their needs are met in a simple, efficient way. Sixty-two per cent would also return if a retailer had saved them time.

Forty-seven per cent indicated they would feel a loss of trust in a brand if they had a poor online experience, and 36 per cent said they would not feel valued as a customer. Eight-two per cent of respondents claim they would have a better perception of the brand as a result of a positive online experience.

[Related: Omni-channel retail core to customer experience strategy for Aussie brands

Key moments in the customer journey where they need assistance, meanwhile, include asking a specific question about a product or service they want to buy (55 per cent of respondents), the actual moment of purchase (42 per cent), and access to help and support after receiving a product (37 per cent).

“Overall, online retail expenditure in Australia was estimated at $21.8 billion in 2013, an increase of 7 per cent compared to 2012. This statistic could be significantly higher, as approximately $9.8 billion is spent on overseas ecommerce sites in Australia,” commented LivePerson vice-president and general manager for Asia-Pacific, Dustin Dean.

“Failure to engage consumers in the right way can translate to lost brand value and potentially drive customers to explore more compelling and engaging websites hosted overseas.

“The opportunities for Aussie brands are clear - a positive experience online not only drives loyalty, it also impacts a brand’s reputation, dictates whether customers will become ‘repeat visitors’ to a site and ultimately affects a brand’s bottom line.”

The report was based on online interviews of more than 6000 consumers in Europe, Japan, the US and Australia during September last year. It was produced by research agency, Loudhouse.

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