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The events of 2020 have changed the way we interact with brands, forcing consumers to rely more heavily on digital services. As a result, the online experience has become more important than ever. But is this experience living up to consumer expectations? Or are brands falling short? Our latest report asks consumers what is really important to them and evaluates the challenges brands are now facing.
Experiences customers want reveals the common pain points for consumers when it comes to digital experiences, with slow websites (37%) cited as the biggest frustration. Over a fifth of consumers (23%) stated that brands are failing to live up to their expectations.
Hard to navigate websites (29%), a lack of clear information (23%) and poor mobile optimisation (22%) all feature highly as common complaints when consumers deal with brands online.
Yet, when brands were asked about their own website’s performance the majority (77%) thought it was ‘great’. With a fifth (21%) of consumers saying a slow website alone would stop them interacting with a brand altogether, this is a concern.
Seamless experiences across channels are also a top priority for consumers (42%) but only 11% of brand decision-makers think that a connected, omni-channel experience is the most important factor for great customer experience. Difficulties with unifying data across channels (38%) and data siloes within organisations (34%) were called out as barriers by brands when it came to creating an omnichannel experience.
Nearly half (46%) of UK consumers are now less forgiving of poor online experiences than before the pandemic, signifying how critical digital experiences and interactions are to business success.
Expectations have clearly risen, with nearly two-thirds (62%) saying they expect more convenience from brands as a result of COVID-19. During this time brands have looked at how they serve their customers, with 72% now offering new products and services. Now 40% of brands are putting sites through a fundamental redesign and 36% are making information easier to find.
As a result, 44% of consumers say their online experiences with brands have improved since the beginning of the pandemic.
“Our research highlights that decision-makers are struggling to focus their priorities and get the fundamentals, such as website performance and accessibility, right.”Leigh Gammons, Chief Executive Officer, Cognifide
While 76% of decision-makers say they personalise experiences based on customer data and behaviour, only 14% of those surveyed said they are prioritising the creation of personalised content in order to deliver on it. This exposes the disconnect between the aspiration to personalise and the ability to deliver.
Over a third (35%) of consumers are willing to give more of their personal data to brands if it improves the online experience. But targeted ads should be approached with caution. Potentially “creepy” ads were high on the list of pain points, with 33% saying targeted ads are among their biggest frustrations.
However, the value of targeted ads is clear when they do not jar with the consumer experience. When relevant and contextualised 42% of consumers see targeted ads as a valuable use of their personal data and 37% say they are more likely to buy a product if they have seen a relevant ad.