Report: Security, data privacy top consumer concerns about digital experiences

New research finds data privacy and security are more of a priority to Australian consumers than a good user interface or cross-channel capabilities

Four out of five Australian consumers claim security issues can affect their online experience with brands, and more than half are worried about data privacy, a new report claims.

The Digital Australia: Understanding the customer experience road trip report was produced by Tech Research Asia and co-sponsored by Sitecore and Microsoft. It found security and data privacy issues ranked higher in importance for consumers than a good user interface, functionality, frequent updates or cross-channel capabilities.

Security was the most highly ranked element of digital interactions for consumers (80 per cent), followed by speed of service (55 per cent). More than 50 per cent also said issues related to data, such as knowing what is captured, where it is stored, how it is used, and whether they can control it – was highly important.

In contrast, only four in 10 of the IT and marketing leaders surveyed believed it was ‘highly important’ to address security this year.

According to the report, 70 per cent of consumers see digital engagement with a company or organisation as either ‘critical’, ‘fairly important’ or ‘mildly important’. In addition, 71 per cent said the emergence of digital channels has had a positive influence on the way they interact with organisations, with 32 per cent noting it was ‘greatly improved’.

The report also found 15 per cent of respondents would still interact with an organisation if the digital experience didn’t meet their expectations, against 14 per cent who said they would not engage as a result. The majority (57 per cent) said they’d either need an incentive, or have to find positive word-of-mouth or online reviews, in order to remain or become a customer of the brand in the face of a poor digital experience.

Notably, 24 per cent used all channels equally when it comes to interactions, and 28 per cent prefer in-person.

The report also looked into digital responsibilities and activities within organisations themselves, and found one-third of Australian organisations will increase their digital engagement budgets in the next 12 months.

The Tech Research Asia report was based on a survey of more than 1000 Australian consumers online, as well as 611 IT and marketing leaders, and was conducted in August.

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