Banks lead in digital experiences, while entertainment and media companies lag behind

Software firm SAP’s annual New Zealand Digital Experience Report for 2017 shows that the banking industry leads the way for digital experiences.

SAP commissioned research firm AMR to poll 2,131 New Zealand consumers on their digital experiences, with performance based on a scale from zero (dissatisfied) to ten (delighted).  

Final scores were calculated by working out whether the digital experience had a greater tally of delighted or dissatisfied customers. A score of zero indicates an equal number of satisfied and dissatisfied customers.    

For the second year in a row, the banking sector came away with a score of ten, solidifying its place at the top.    

The insurance (four) and air travel industries (two) also scored well among New Zealand respondents, with both enjoying a lift in overall customer satisfaction.

The single best performing brand was online retailer Mighty Ape (35), while other strong performers included ANZ Bank New Zealand (18), AA Insurance (21) and Netflix (17).

“The findings show that New Zealand brands have not improved the digital experiences they provide and risk falling behind global competitors and digital native brands entering the market,” says Graeme Riley, managing director at SAP New Zealand.

“We’ve seen the importance of digital experiences for brands in Australia and New Zealand and the results show that the business benefits of having a positive digital experience cannot be ignored. Similarly, having a negative digital experience can significantly impact customer advocacy and loyalty and with businesses in New Zealand at a standstill, there should be a concerted focus to delight their customers in the year ahead.”

The strength of the banking sector in this space is not altogether surprising given the rush among banks to offer the best possible digital experience.

Well beyond serving as giant safety deposit boxes, modern banks now use digital technology to enable customers to more easily manage their money and operate their businesses.

ASB, for instance, this month released an app that allows small- to medium-sized business owners to monitor their activities across Xero, Vend and Shopify in a single place.

Banks also have the onus of ensuring greater digital security, which again leads to increased investment in their digital eco-systems.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, we find the retail groceries (-1), telecommunications (-5) and utilities (-7) categories, which all have higher proportions of unsatisfied customers.

The worst performing category of all was media and entertainment, which, with a score of -11, had a far higher proportion of dissatisfied customers.  

This low score for media and entertainment companies could be attributable to the struggles these organisations have faced in transitioning to digital.

Declining revenues in traditional channels have also placed increased pressure on these businesses, making it more difficult to create the expensive digital experiences that consumers have come to expect.

In addition, there’s also the added complexity of online advertising, which is notorious for interfering with the customer experience online.

Overall, the proportion of consumers unsatisfied with their digital experience dropped only one percentage point since 2016, from 37 percent to 36 percent, while the percentage of those delighted remained consistent at 31 percent.

The underlying point here, however, is that there are a large proportion of local consumers unhappy with their digital experiences in the New Zealand market, placing local brands at the risk of losing their business to international competitors with slick digital interfaces.

The crew at Amazon must be relishing the opportunity to lift the overall digital experience of New Zealand as it poises to launch in the Australasian market.

It’s already opened the doors to its Australian warehouse.

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