Australian companies are consistently rated lower than the international benchmark for digital commerce. More concerning is that they face a double relational gap. Not only is the building of lasting customer relationships their weakest aspect, a large gap exists to the relational capability of international market leaders. The research found that;
- Australian retailers are rushing too quickly to build Social features without putting Relational features in place first.
- More investment is needed in Relational features so customers are treated like an individual rather than part of an anonymous mass. This will also allow retailers to take better advantage of investments already made in Social
media and social features which has been a struggle for Australian retailers to date.
The "Engagement" area is where the competition is being most strongly played internationally and where Australian companies need to invest as they risk rapidly losing their market to international retailers who can engage with customers better. Given the strength of international competitors in building relationships, there is a real risk that Australian retailers will not only lose customers, but that customers will be lost permanently. The longer the Relational Gap remains, the more consumers may switch to international retailers and the greater the cost to persuade them back.
The sector needs to react now. Closing the gap will require improvements in omni-channel integration to foster execution, and the effective utilization of customer data to drive engagement.
This report is from the Australian Digital Transformation Lab, a joint research program between Capgemini and the University of Sydney Business School.