The majority of Australian shoppers want companies to offer digital versions of shopping experiences.
The key findings come from The Revention of the Retail Experience – a joint report by Salesforce and the Australian Retailers Association (ARA).
Retailers have started taking advantage of digital experiences with nearly three-quarters of B2C companies implementing live chat or video experiences. 58% use virtual events such as Instagram Live, while 53% enable virtual shopping or stylist appointments.
Two-thirds (68%) of consumers say they are likely to continue buying essentials online after the health threats of the pandemic have subsided.
Personalization will be key to successfully engaging customers online, with half (52%) of consumers expecting offers to always be personalized. Additionally, 66% of customers want an experience that shows retailers that they understand their unique wants and needs.
"Buyers expect retailers to 'get them where they are' through consistent, seamless omni-channel interactions," said Paul Zahra, CEO of ARA.
“They're also more value-driven, showing loyalty to brands and retailers who reflect their values - from human rights issues to climate change and sustainability.
“Retailers have done an incredible job improving their omni-channel offerings to keep up with changing consumer needs, and that focus remains paramount.
“Maintaining real and personalized connections with customers and keeping customers at the epicenter of retailer's decision making is critical. The new data and customer knowledge available through digital channels and first-party data capture opens up a new world of personalization – both in-store and online. "
Jo Gaines, AVP Salesforce Digital 360, added: “Covid-19 has accelerated the digital transformation and consumers are increasingly expecting retailers to deliver online in-store experiences.
“If brands are to stand out in a highly competitive digital landscape, they need to consider how their ethics and values can differentiate themselves from others. That has never been more important at a time when consumers are seeking and supporting retailers who care about doing good and doing good, not just profitability. "