Australian businesses are getting better at digital, but don’t get too excited. The threshold test is very very low.

When SAP released its first Australian Digital Experience Report 18 months ago, its researchers found a smoking ruin. With its latest edition, the company suggests the outlook is a little better — but there’s a caveat. “Australia’s digital performance is getting better. The bad news: There’s still a significant gap.

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SAP is being generous. Only one brand in 34 managed a positive digital-experience score 17 months ago. In this report, it is only three out of 40. That’s a long, lazy ride on the fail-whale if ever there was one.

Among the key findings:

  • Australian brands have narrowed the digital experience gap, but the gap remains; It’s clear that digital transformation is top of mind for Australian businesses as they grapple with implementing better technology and processes to boost their front‑end customer experiences. Although the gap has narrowed, there is still a sizeable difference between digital experiences that delight consumers and what Australian brands deliver.
  • The link between digital experience scores and net promoter scores strengthens; Consumers delighted with a digital experience are nearly five times more likely than those who are unsatisfied to remain loyal to a brand. That’s up from a multiple of just over four in 2015. On average, customers delighted with the digital experience delivered a Net Promoter Score® of 68 per cent (63 per cent last year) compared to a score of -59 per cent (-55 per cent last year) from those who were unsatisfied with the digital experience.
  • Better digital experiences scores encourage consumers to share more data; New to this year’s study is the analysis of consumers’ willingness to provide different types of private data in return for a more personalised digital experience. The more delighted consumers were with a brand’s digital experience the more willing they were to disclose personal information.
  • Only three brands out of forty managed a positive digital experience, but hey — that’s a 300 per cent improvement on last time; While 2016 has seen an improvement in the digital‑experience score from most brands, only three from an index of 40 companies managed a positive score, and no single industry was able to cut into positive territory.

The study examined the responses of  35000 Australians who rated almost 9000 digital interactions against 14 digital experience attributes, and found the proportion of consumers unsatisfied with their digital experiences dropped from 47 per cent in 2015 to 40 per cent in 2016, while those whose said they were delighted consumers increased from 22 per cent to 26 per cent over the same period.

According to  John Ruthven, President and Managing Director, SAP Australia and New Zealand, “The good news is things are getting better for Australian consumers, and more brands are delivering the digital experience basics. Yet the year-on-year comparisons show there is still much to do to deliver the digital experiences that truly delight consumers.

Digital transformation means different things to different people, but the motivation behind it is always the same: the customer. Every time customers gain more power, organisations need more power to keep up with their demands. Brands that perform best are those who unite their people and processes on a single system to deliver on their customers’ relentlessly increasing demands.

The authors argue that in today’s one-click economy, consumers demand more every day — better convenience, greater control and instant satisfaction. “If a brand can’t deliver it, the consumer will find another that can. Every time consumers gain more power, organisations need more power to keep up with these demands.

They conclude, “The digital experience is a lot more than a web site or an app. Underlying the elusive delightful digital experience is a much more sophisticated system. As the findings indicate, organisations that perform best are those who unite their people and processes on a single system to deliver on their customers’ relentlessly increasing demands.


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