Customers in APAC are increasingly focused on experiences when it comes to online brand engagement, according to a new commerce report released by Adobe.
The report also found that APAC customers are willing to embrace new technologies like automation and artificial intelligence, and they expect brands to be environmentally responsible.
In partnership with YouGov, the research surveyed over 1,103 respondents in Australia, providing online retailers with key insights around the purchasing preferences of modern-day customers. Titled ‘Listen: A Magento ‘Meaningful CX’ Series’, the report underpins the ever-increasing importance of customer experiences for brands looking to stay ahead in the hyper competitive online retail space.
For online retailers, it’s no longer a simple case of bricks vs. clicks anymore. While price remains a key determinant, the study suggests that online retailers need to focus on developing seamless, enriching customer experience strategies to engage modern customers. Signifying the importance of a frictionless experience, 37 per cent of Australian survey respondents consider it important that a website loads quickly. Further, more than half (53 per cent) of the same consumers say that a website’s ease of use is critical to their shopping experience.
Adobe head of APAC commerce marketing Nicholas Kontopoulos said, “As customers in APAC expect more personalised engagements, brands need to craft strategies with customer experience at the heart. There is a growing need to focus on multi-channel, focused engagement opportunities which cater to the customers’ need for seamless and exceptional experiences across the board.” He continued, “There is also a requirement for online retailers to demonstrate clear brand utility for customers in return for their information, create more engagement and engender closer, more meaningful and lasting relationships with customers.”
Attitudes Towards Automation and AI
When it comes to technologies like automation and Artificial Intelligence in Australia, there is a split in opinion on the adoption of AI in commerce. 40 per cent responded positively to the prospect of AI being used to increase sales and profits by online retailers, while the other 40 per cent are “fairly” or “very uncomfortable with it. Further, only 13 per cent were receptive to getting automated product suggestions based on their purchase history, however, this comes with the expectation of privacy as 52 per cent say it’s important that brands safeguard their data.
The Green Factor
Customers in APAC are increasingly becoming environmentally conscious and expect that the brands catering to them are environmentally responsible. Almost a quarter of customers surveyed prefer shopping online as they consider it to be less taxing on the environment. More and more customers are exhibiting receptivity towards purchasing from environmentally friendly retailers – 41 per cent of respondents said that they are more likely to buy from a brand that is transparent about where it sources its products from than from others. 42 per cent of customers in Australia are more receptive to retailers who reduce their non-eco-friendly packaging materials.
Irrelevant communication from brands is one of the biggest factors which contributes towards customer drop-offs during an online purchase cycle. Consumers are looking for a more simplified shopping experience, so it is imperative for brands to streamline the purchase process. Fragmented experiences might be the reason behind decreased engagement, visits or returning customers. Further, if users experience friction when it comes to payments at checkout, it can lead to them avoiding engagement altogether. 45 per cent said they will avoid shopping with an online retailer if their credit card doesn’t get accepted, 41 per cent for debit cards, 30 per cent for e-Wallet payments and 30 per cent for payment vouchers offered by the same retailer. One in five APAC customers is likely to abandon a purchase at checkout if they discovered that free returns are not being offered.