The recent eCommerce boom has seen Aussies spending an estimated $48.1 billion in online retail in the past year.
Now new research has uncovered how small retailers successfully pivoted their customer service focus to stand out in this vast market, with one in two Aussies loving the service and quality from the small players. Large retailers, on the other hand, continued to impress consumers with more competitive prices and faster service.
Leading parcel delivery service CouriersPlease (CP) commissioned a survey of an independent panel of 1010 Australians to uncover what consumers expect and what Aussies truly value when it comes to customer experience.
The results reflect CP found that 40 per cent of Aussies think small and large businesses offer the same standard of product and service, while 51 per cent think boutique businesses offer higher quality products and services.
Respondents were also asked to rate small and large businesses in terms of their key service strengths, from a list of six options.
Nearly three quarters (72 per cent) said small retailers offer a more personalised service that is more human-centred and makes them feel like a valued and important customer.
Half (53 per cent) said small retailers go further to resolve customer issues, while a third (39 per cent) said they communicate with customers more frequently. On the other hand, consumers prefer the scale that larger retailers can bring, with 84 per cent of respondents stating they love the lower prices, better sales and faster service from big businesses.
Across the States, consumers similarly regarded personalised service as the area small retailers do well. More respondents in Queensland (81 per cent) than in any other state said small businesses offer a more personalised service that made them feel like an important customer.
Meanwhile, 74 per cent of South Australians and 69 per cent of NSW residents said the same. On the other hand, 85 per cent of WA residents and an equal 77 per cent of those in NSW, Victoria and Queensland love the prices and fast service from big companies.
After a year of change, uncertainty and disruption, Aussies have thrown their support behind small and large retailers alike on their road to recovery, and as the retail industry has shifted increasingly online, the importance of creating a positive customer journey has never been higher.
Over 50 per cent of Australian consumers have discovered new shopping behaviours, trying new brands, websites and retailers, creating unprecedented opportunities for retailers of all sizes. Many businesses that experienced strong growth in 2020 have attributed this to improved customer satisfaction.
In the CP survey, respondents were also asked for their opinion on smaller courier services versus larger parcel delivery companies – an industry that is an important extension of online retail.
Half (53 per cent) of Australians believe smaller courier companies offered a superior service. The research indicates that Australians regard customer service very highly and believe this is an area small courier companies excel in.
Paul Roper, chief commercial officer at CP, said, “this past year has really highlighted the importance of a positive customer journey and seamless customer experience for creating and building lasting business relationships with consumers – while prices and service speed are mainstays of the online shopping experience.”
“In a world with increased uncertainty and disrupted international delivery chains, consumers find themselves looking to their local retailers. We have been very proud to support them and look forward to helping them build positive customer relationships as we recover from these challenging times.”
“It’s a good idea for retailers, big or small, to partner with a carrier that is an extension of their own service philosophy. Retailers wishing to attract and retain customers could also consider improving their eCommerce offering by outsourcing delivery-related services – such as returns and ‘click and collect’ – to a carrier partner that has innovated strongly in this area.”
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