Along with CX, APAC consumers get environmentally conscious with online shopping

In Asia Pacific, about 44% said that they are more likely to purchase from one brand over another if that retailer is transparent where it sources its products. In a day and age where sustainability is a common topic, consumers are wary of the brands' commitment to preserving the environment. A research by Adobe in partnership with YouGov found that customers in Asia Pacific are increasingly becoming environmentally conscious and expect that the brands catering to them are environmentally responsible.

As such, almost of a quarter of these respondents prefer shopping online as they consider it to be less taxing on the environment. Moreover, approximately 34% of customers in Asia Pacific are more receptive to retailers who minimise their use of packaging while almost a third are more receptive to retailers who are donating towards environmental causes.

The research surveyed over 7,000 respondents from various markets in the JAPAC region including Australia, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, in a bid to provide online retailers key insights around the purchasing preferences of modern-day customers. Titled “Listen: A Magento Meaningful Series”, the report underpins the importance of customer experiences for brands looking to stay ahead in the hyper competitive online retail space.

CX is key

According to the commerce report, customers in Asia Pacific are also increasingly focused on experiences when it comes to online brand engagement. For online retailers, it’s no longer a simple case of bricks vs clicks anymore, as while price remains a key determinant, the study stated that online retailers need to focus on developing “enriching” customer experience strategies to engage modern customers. About 39% of the surveyed customers said it’s important for websites to work well on smartphones, signifying the importance of omni-channel presence and integrations, and another 23% called out for the provision of a dedicated app being important to their shopping experience with a brand.

In addition, more than one third of the respondents also said an eCommerce website should be easy to use and navigate, while 32% said the website/in-app experience "should be great". The research suggests that brands should bank on the ease of navigation on their website, prioritise website responsiveness on smartphones, and act quickly on on fixing the website that might potentially disturb the overall customer experience.

Meanwhile, across Asia Pacific, customers are also willing to embrace new technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence. About 60% responded positively to the prospect of AI being used to increase sales and profits by online retailers, if that use resulted in a better customer experience. While 20% were receptive to getting automated product suggestions based on their purchase history, the report explained that this comes with the expectation of privacy as 50% say it’s important that brands safeguard their data.

Data security

With an influx of news around data breach globally, customers value the non-disclosure of their personal information. The joint report by Adobe and YouGov suggests that brands have to ask for consent before collecting any data, be transparent to customers on how their data is collected and processed, as well as to ensure security certifications for its online platform.

The report also looked into some of the factors that contributes towards customer drop-offs during an online purchase cycle. About 28% of customers surveyed said they would be less likely to purchase from an online retailer if they were sent unrelated marketing communications, while 39% said they will avoid shopping with an online retailer if their credit card did not get accepted. A quarter of those surveyed said they avoid purchase if cash on delivery is not offered, while one in five Asia Pacific customers is likely to abandon a purchase at checkout if free returns are not being offered.

Nicholas Kontopoulos, head of APAC commerce marketing, Adobe said as customers in APAC expect more personalised engagements, brands need to craft strategies with customer experience at the heart. He added that there is a growing need to focus on multi-channel, focused engagement opportunities which cater to the customers’ need for “seamless and exceptional” experiences across the board.

According to Kontopoulos, there is also a requirement for online retailers to demonstrate clear brand utility for customers in return for their information, create more engagement and engender closer, more meaningful and lasting relationships with customers.

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