With the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating the online consumer demands across the globe, a “Heart Matters” study announced by SAP shows that consumers in India (80%) value a modern shopping experience across brands and expect them to make the necessary technology investments to deliver great experiences.
The study, which was conducted by Qualtrics for SAP Customer Experience, surveyed 982 Indian consumers to understand their expectations and experiences with supermarkets and fashion brands. The results unveils that while great customer experience is important, so is thing of the bigger picture, such as sustainability, ethical conduct, and prosperity of the community. The study showed that ‘Fairness’ is of paramount importance to Indian consumers, with respect to the rights and welfare of workers (84%) and ethical treatment of suppliers (81%) at the top of the list.
Providing a better online experience
Convenience matter greatly to Indian consumers. Having a modern online shopping experience, ease of tracking orders and a smooth experience are top considerations. The study validates this with 81% Indian respondents prefer shopping online with brands that have service options that allow them to transact how they like (online or face-to-face). While 85% prioritise delivery options that are both timely and accurate, as well as ease of making purchase across channels.
Ensuring data security and solving consumer queries
Data security is a major concern and of utmost importance for Indian consumers when shopping online. About 84% respondents say they want to know and have full transparency when it comes to their personal data being used online. When it came to resolving queries on online shopping and e-commerce websites 81% respondents expect brands to respond within 24 hours to address their queries.
Focused on Sustainability and healthy living
With sustainability being one of the hottest topics in the country, Indian consumers (72%) are shifting their mindset by focusing on brands who have a strong emphasis on sustainability and ethics in sourcing and selling their products.
Indian consumers are also placing high importance on healthy food, with one of the highest number of respondents 79% preferring local organic produce from brands.
It’s important to give back
As the ongoing pandemic has left a deep mark on Indian consumers, expectations for brands to come up with more innovative ways to serve customers and implement better safety and hygiene measures are high. Giving back to the local community, either through charities, donations, fundraising or foundations is also ranked higher (71%) by Indian consumers.
“Indian consumers are clear about what they want in their relationship and their association with brands now more than ever. Every business had their set of challenges as customers started migrating online. It is apparent that the shift to digital has propelled brands to deliver an optimised and fulfilling experience to consumers across channels. While it’s positive that brands have adapted quickly to the pandemic by tapping on digital tools and turning to e-commerce, customers still expect brands to deliver on the basics – this means providing them with positive experiences and swift resolution of issues. It is sobering to know that despite all the efforts businesses have put into digitalisation over the past year, fundamentals around customer centricity are still not being met. There is clearly an urgent need for brands to humanise the gap between digital actions and the heartstrings of consumers,” said Peggy Renders, General Manager & Senior Vice President, SAP Customer Experience, Asia Pacific & Japan, who was recently appointed to her current role in January 2021.
The pandemic has laid bare the criticality of the customer experience in our hyperconnected world today. The key to sustainable growth in a post-COVID world lies in the right solutions and leadership that transform the customer experience, so brands can continue giving customers exactly what they want, and when they want it, in a future that is entirely digital.”
The full report of Heart Matters study is available for download here.