For starters, here are two findings from the recent American Express Global Customer Barometer:
• 86% of customers across all purchase categories are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
• 60% of them would make the jump from their preferred brands in search of that experience.
This creates a very new challenge for business. After all, one of the key tenets of success has centred on the power of a strong brand promise to hold customers over time. But it now appears that in the 21st Century, forgiving customer loyalty is evaporating, with consumers moving away from brand promise and brand memories in search of a better customer experience.
Let’s consider some recent SAP-commissioned global research focused on mobile commerce expectations. Interestingly, the study highlights a consumer shift from a mobile-centric world to a mobile-commerce-centric mindset. This basically means there is an increasing demand for mobile commerce capability. People want to complete more transactions on their phones. Currently, 63% of consumers around the world are already using their phones for that very purpose, with one third of mobile phone uses devoted to purchasing products and services. The reasons? Respondents identified benefits like the ability to do it at any time of day, the ability to do it on the go, anywhere, as well as speed and convenience. In short, mobile commerce offered them a better customer experience. Interestingly, emerging countries expressed the most demand for mobile commerce. This means that Australian businesses planning on gaining a strong foothold in these key growth markets need to start with a mobile commerce platform to have any chance.
Demand for more mobile services in both emerging and mature markets is an opportunity for both domestic and international brands. One example: Based on SAP Sybase technology, South Africa’s Standard Bank now brings mobile banking to the “unbanked". Watch this short video below:
There’s plenty of requirement in Australia as well. Two-thirds of respondents want to increase their mobile transactions with banks, telcos, retailers and other businesses, but lack of Internet access is preventing many from doing so. Thirty eight percent of Australian respondents cited unreliable Internet as a barrier – more than any other mature market surveyed. The message is clear. Local companies who can get in first with powerful mobile commerce offerings and telcos who can ensure high availability of mobile devices will be strongly positioned to offer the superior customer experiences people are looking for. In a nutshell, they’ll be the winners as customers are now more likely to shift to the better experience in the 21st Century.