Almost one in four consumers (23%) have discovered new brands in 2020, while 16% have stopped shopping with some brands, according to research from Contentsquare, CommerceNext and BizRate Insights.
The survey of 1,030 US consumers also revealed which brand efforts were most impactful during the pandemic year, and what constitutes a good digital experience in the eyes of customers. It turns out that agility is clearly a top factor when it comes to awareness, with 72% of consumers saying they were most impressed with brands that were able to “create new alternatives for delivery, pickup and returns.”
Transparency over health & safety measures came in second, with 44% of consumers noticing clear communications about safety from the brands that responded well during the crisis. This was followed by transparency over shipping delays, with 34% of respondents citing this as noteworthy.
In fact, only 9% of respondents said they had not noticed a difference in retailers’ response, showing that the majority of consumers paid close attention to how brands adapted to the situation – whether by transforming their operations or adding helpful features and services.
With 80% of consumers saying they did more online shopping this year, brands will be interested to know that, after price & promotion, navigation is the most important factor for a good digital experience. Indeed, 42% of respondents cited “ease of finding what I’m looking for” as a key priority, while 1 in 5 consumers (22%) referenced the importance of an easy checkout.
“With seamless navigation being a make or break priority for many consumers, having a granular view of what frustrates users along the customer journey is key for brands today. If 2020 was the year of digital acceleration, 2021 will be the year of actionable insight – of being able to turn customer expectations into real-time CX improvements,” said Niki Hall, Chief Marketing Officer of Contentsquare. “Brands were already competing on experience, but today, business success is predicated on the ability to continuously monitor customer priorities and expectations, and adapt the experience accordingly.”
“Consumers want retailers and direct-to-consumers brands to make it easy for them to find what they are looking for,” said Veronika Sonsev, Co-Founder of CommerceNext. “If they get frustrated, consumers can jump to another site with one click, so it is not surprising that most retailers and brands have elevated the priority of customer experience and are spending time to make their ecommerce experience seamless for consumers.”