Australian consumers are fickle when it comes to online experiences, according to a new report which showed nearly half will quickly abandon signups, app installs and checkouts if the process is difficult to navigate.

ForgeRock, a digital identity provider, announced the release of volume two of its global report, “The New Normal – Living Life Online.” This report is the second instalment evaluating how consumer behaviours have changed how and what digital activities they engage with since the start of the pandemic.

The study polled 5,000 consumers throughout the U.S., U.K., Germany, Australia and Singapore to understand consumer preferences when it comes to online experiences, including how they log in and what app features they value most. The report also uncovers what is at stake for organisations that fall short on delivering digital experiences.

Key findings include:

  • Almost half of consumers (46 per cent) said they wouldn’t register for a new account if it was too difficult to sign up.

  • Consumers have a short fuse when it comes to poor digital experiences, with 35 per cent cancelling or deleting an app if they have trouble logging in, while 32 per cent said they would switch to a competitive service or app.

  • Getting locked out of accounts is more frustrating for nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of consumers than forgetting their mask at home (44 per cent) or not finding toilet paper at the store (51 per cent).

  • Globally, consumers are turning away from traditional passwords and usernames, preferring passwordless options like biometrics or multifactor authentication (MFA) to log in where available (57 per cent).

  • Consumers said preventing their data from being resold to third parties is a top priority when considering app features (70 per cent).

“With consumers continuing to spend more of their lives online for the foreseeable future, it’s imperative that organisations simplify how consumers sign up, log in and engage with their apps and digital services,” said Ben Goodman, SVP of global business and corporate development, ForgeRock.

“Consumer identity is at the heart of any digital experience. By putting identity at the centre of the digital relationship, organisations can provide better and more secure access for consumers.”

Based on the survey findings, consumers 65+ gave the highest ratings overall for digital experiences, but those 18-24 are the most difficult to please. Across the globe, the Gen Z age group is most likely to delete their account (37 per cent) or change service providers (34 per cent) if they have a difficult login experience.

This shows that organisations that do not provide a seamless log in experience could hurt their brand reputation with these young buyers for years to come.

Australians rate the country’s banking and finance apps and websites highest, above sectors such as entertainment, retail and government. 69 per cent of Australians surveyed ranked their digital banking experiences highly, far more than consumers in other markets such as the UK (53 per cent).

Revealingly, the research showed that some of the strongest affection for app-based and online banking came from the over 65s, with 84 per cent expressing approval. The findings suggest financial service firms could be earning new digital-savvy grey customers, thanks to the COVID-necessitated shift online.

Some of the other key Australian findings were:

  • We’re fickle digital users: 45 per cent of Aussies said they would uninstall or abandon creating a new online account if it was tough to navigate, they encountered difficulty installing an app (also 45 per cent) or had to enter credit card details (44 per cent).

  • Digital frustrations are real: Aussies reckon being locked out of their account is more frustrating (73 per cent) than forgetting their username or password (60 per cent), dealing with customer service people (54 per cent) or even not finding toilet roll at the store (53 per cent).

  • Data privacy a big selling point: Data privacy ranked as the most important user consideration for apps or web services. 72 per cent of Australians said that it was important that companies didn’t sell data to third parties. This was particularly pronounced in older age groups (45-54 = 80 per cent, 65+ = 87 per cent) and least important for the 25-34 age group (53 per cent).

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