Shopping For An Experience

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What are customers looking for when they log on to make a purchase online? By S. Sakthivel

What makes you happy when you’re shopping online?

Besides getting a bargain, Singapore customers are most contented when they are assured of online security, accessibility and are able to find what they are looking for easily.

These are the top three needs of customers when they go online, according to SAP’s Digital Experience Report. The inaugural report by enterprise application software maker SAP is intended to study the digital interaction between brands and their customers and to measure the performance of the brands in relation to customer needs and expectations.

The Report also shows this behaviour to be consistent across Southeast Asia.

The maturity and experience of Singapore’s market plays a large role in the perceived dissatisfaction in online engagements but it is essential for brands to recognise the importance of a robust digital strategy to keep customers coming back, said Darren Rushworth, Managing Director, SAP Singapore.

Gathering data from banking, telecommunications, utilities, and consumer retail industries, SAP ascertained that Singapore has a Digital Experience score of -7%. In the course of the study, SAP found that 25% of respondents were delighted with their digital experience, 32% were unsatisfied (the difference providing the net score), while 43% were ambivalent.

The digital experience study was intended to measure customer satisfaction in using online services and used responses from more than 500 consumers and aggregated more than 1,300 ratings of digital engagements from Singapore. It allowed consumers to rate brands on their ability to deliver on 14 key attributes of the digital experience.

A Key Behaviour

“Customers in Singapore are highly sophisticated in their digital demands, and if these needs are not met, brands will not be able to grow their market share,” Rushworth said.

Loyal customers also tend to influence other to use that brand, and increased satisfaction could lead to customers being eight times more likely to be loyal to the brand.

Rushworth says, other than security, accessibility, and privacy, Singaporean customers tend to look for more functional and technological attributes over the emotional attributes when choosing to spend their money online. Building unique, customisable user experiences also has a part to play in ensuring return customers. While the need for privacy remains high, Rushworth noted that delighted customers are more willing to disclose personal information, enabling brands to improve and tailor their digital experiences, creating a “virtuous circle” of online spending.

Ultimately, he highlights the need for brands to have an effective digital presence and the need for the formulation of an end-to-end business model to handle the rigours of digital demand and competition. While organisations recognise the need to embrace e-commerce, he says, further effort is required to ensure success.

“Everything is a choice, so all consumers need to be marketed to so that they choose your goods and services,” he states.

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