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So long, brand loyalty? 4 in 10 consumers don’t care where they buy online ‘as long as it works’

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Public Relations

Consumers are loyal to the experience, not necessarily the brand, when it comes to digital transactions, according to new global research from digital experience intelligence firm FullStory, which found that 40 percent of U.S. consumers say they don’t care where they buy from “as long as it works”—making a great digital experience more important than ever for brands to remain competitive, especially in today’s uncertain economy.

The firm’s new survey explores current digital experience preferences and behaviors, revealing that even in a price-sensitive environment, the customer experience can have a direct impact on revenue: nearly six out of 10 of Americans (58 percent) will pay a premium for a guaranteed flawless digital experience. The demand is not exclusive to the US, with 59 percent of consumers worldwide stating the same.

So long, brand loyalty? 4 in 10 consumers don’t care where they buy online ‘as long as it works’

The research also indicates that consumers’ difficulty and stress on sites and apps pose a significant revenue risk for brands. More than half of respondents (53 percent) are unlikely to return to a business that provides a poor digital experience, and only 5 percent say they are “very likely” to give a brand a second chance after a bad online experience.

“Companies across sectors are looking for strategies to stand out and retain customers in the face of economic slowdown,” said Scott Voigt, CEO of FullStory, in a news release. “Providing an exceptional digital experience is one of the best ways to win customers, who are clearly open to switching brands and won’t tolerate digital friction. Digital experience data and insights equip brands to create perfect digital experiences, making it easier for consumers to get things done online and helping businesses increase revenue and retention.”

So long, brand loyalty? 4 in 10 consumers don’t care where they buy online ‘as long as it works’

Key research findings include:

Keep it simple

The data shows that the #1 factor to ensure a great digital experience in 2023 is the ability to “quickly accomplish what I came to do”—a priority for 81 percent of US consumers and 77 percent of consumers worldwide. Unfortunately, many sectors are still failing to hit these fundamentals when it comes to the experiences they provide on sites and apps:

  • Travel—Only 26 percent of U.S. consumers describe the digital experience as “simple,” with 21 percent saying the experience is “stressful” or “difficult.”
  • Healthcare—Only 31 percent describe the digital experience as “simple,” with 27 percent saying the experience is “stressful” or “difficult.”
  • Grocery—Only 33 percent describe the digital experience as “simple,” with 16 percent saying the experience is “stressful” or “difficult.”
  • Finance—Only 37 percent describe the digital experience as “simple,” with 19 percent saying the experience is “stressful” or “difficult.”
  • Retail—Online shopping sites fared the best, with nearly half of US consumers (46 percent) describing the digital experience as “simple,” and only 17 percent saying the experience is “stressful” or “difficult.”

So long, brand loyalty? 4 in 10 consumers don’t care where they buy online ‘as long as it works’

Focus on digital fundamentals

The study also shows that brands are failing to pay attention to the digital details that matter most to experience-obsessed consumers—and hurting their business as a result. The majority of US consumers (53 percent) have struggled or been frustrated with a site or app in the past six months, and 64 percent say they’re likely to leave without completing a transaction as a result.

  • 71 percent of Americans report that they have “rage-clicked”—repeatedly clicked or tapped in frustration on a site or app.
  • The most common frustrations highlighted by US consumers include slow loading times (65 percent), page loading errors (62 percent), and dead links (45 percent).
  • Despite these issues, more than half (51 percent) will not report issues when they occur, meaning brands are often unaware of digital errors that are costing them revenue.

Read more about the findings here.

FullStory’s research was conducted by 3Gem, an independent research agency. It incorporates data from 7,000 consumers across the UK, US, Germany, The Netherlands, Australia, Singapore, and Indonesia. Research was conducted between December 2022 and January 2023.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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