The majority of Australian shoppers want businesses to deliver digital versions of in-store experiences.
The key findings are from The reinvention of the retail experience – a joint report from Salesforce and the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).
Retailers have started to embrace digital experiences with almost three-quarters of B2C organisations implementing live chat or video experiences; 58% are using virtual events like Instagram Live while 53% are enabling virtual shopping or stylist appointments.
Two-thirds (68%) of consumers say they are likely to continue buying essential goods online after the health threats of the pandemic subside.
Personalisation will be key to keeping customers successfully engaged online, with half (52%) of consumers expecting offers to always be personalised. Additionally, 66% of customers want an experience that demonstrates retailers understand their unique wants and needs.
“Shoppers expect retailers to ‘meet them where they are’, through consistent, seamless omni-channel interactions,” says ARA CEO Paul Zahra.
“They are also more values-driven, showing loyalty to brands and retailers that reflect their values – from human rights issues to climate change and sustainability.
“Retailers have done an incredible job to boost their omni-channel offerings to keep up with the changing needs to consumers and this focus remains top-of-mind.
“Maintaining genuine and personalised connections with customers and keeping customers at the epicentre of retailer’s decision-making is key. The new data and customer knowledge available through digital channels and first-party data acquisition are opening up a new world of personalisation – both in store and online.”
AVP Salesforce Digital 360 Jo Gaines adds, “Covid-19 accelerated the shift towards digital and consumers increasingly expect retailers to deliver in-store experiences online.
“If brands are to stand out in a very competitive digital landscape, they must look at how their ethics and values can differentiate them from others. It’s never been more important at a time when consumers seek out and support retailers who prioritise doing well and doing good, not just profitability.”