Shoppers won’t go back to normal

shop closed sign

New research shows that shoppers have missed bricks and mortar stores during the pandemic, but less than half think they’ll go back to business as usual

The LivePerson Customer Conversation Report has shown that 63% of the 1,004 Australians surveyed missed retail shopping a lot or a little during the COVID-19 crisis.

But while 86% say physical storefronts are still important when making retail purchases, only 48% believe that Australians will go back to “shopping as normal” by this time next year.

In the meantime, 72% say concerns about the virus make them worried about shopping instore and 82% now rate ‘contactless shopping’ as important.

Thirty-eight per cent of Australians were not satisfied with their most recent retail customer service experience and 71% have abandoned an online purchase at checkout in the past 12 months amounting to an estimated $3.17 billion in revenue foregone.

When asked specifically about their online customer service experiences and why they abandoned purchases at checkout, the results showed that:

  • 42% have been unhappy with delivery details or options;
  • 34% want to do more research before making a purchase;
  • 30% have been unhappy with the price;
  • 20% have not been able to find everything they need; and
  • 17% have been unable to have simple questions answered easily online.

Commenting on the data, APAC Head of Customer Engagement at LivePerson, Kate Sterling, said that COVID-19 has disrupted the retail sector and increased customer expectations, but in too many cases these aren’t being met.

“Customers now hold much more power. They are more judicious about what they buy, they are buying more online, and they expect their questions to be answered in real time, wherever they are and through whatever channel they prefer,” she said.

“Consumers are far more comfortable engaging with brands through new channels than many brands think. They’re already ready. They’re already doing it, and that’s the gap that retailers need to fill in order to gain a competitive advantage.”

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