27 Apr 2021

New Zealand businesses must improve online consumer experience - review

11:23 am on 27 April 2021

There appears to be a disconnect between what businesses and consumers regard as innovation.

Hands holding credit card and using laptop. Online shopping

Photo: 123rf

A review of New Zealand and Australian organisations by Harvard Business Review for Mastercard has found some significant gaps in the services customers really want and what organisations offer.

MasterCard Australasia senior vice president market development Peter Chisnall said the review, undertaken during the pandemic, indicated organisations were willing to adapt to lockdown conditions which pushed the development of online services to the top of the priority list, at least for some.

However, he said many others missed the mark in giving consumers what they wanted most - an improved online experience.

"Only a minority of organisations actually spent time trying to improve that process, whereas close to 40 percent of consumers were looking for a better online ordering experience," Chisnall said.

"Nearly half of them [organisations] upgraded communications, but what was interesting was that consumers didn't really want that. Only 16 percent of them valued the more frequent communication."

He said there were other issues around the collection and use of data generated by online activities, with only 55 percent of firms actively measuring the impact of their investments in digital services.

"So whilst organisations need to innovate, and should be constantly thinking about that, what they can't forget is that they also need to think about privacy and data security," he said, adding those issues were top of the list of priorities for consumers on both sides of the Tasman.

"What we saw in the report was 80 percent of Australia and New Zealand consumers agree this is the most important consideration when buying from organisations."

He said the report highlighted a number of other gaps in the services provided by Australiasian firms, which should be addressed.

"Organisations in this part of the world do lag behind global organisations in terms of looking for opportunities to acquire innovative technology into their businesses."

Chisnall said just 41 percent of organisations bought at least one business over the past three years to help speed up their digital services, compared with 55 percent elsewhere.

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