Australian businesses are not keeping up with the data privacy expectations of their customers when digitising their offering, according to a new Heart Matters study by SAP.

When it comes to data protection, Australians feel that organisations fall short of expectations by up to 50%. More than four in five (84%) consumers want full transparency into how their personal data is being used, but only 34% have experienced this from a business. This expectation among Australians is higher than the APAC average expectation of three quarters (74%).  

“COVID-19 accelerated the rate at which businesses implemented digital infrastructure to continue meeting customer demands for a seamless online experience,” SAP Customer Experience executive general manager for Australia and New Zealand, Scott Treller said.

“While it’s positive that brands have adapted quickly to the pandemic by embracing digital tools, the findings highlight the concerns that Australians have around how brands are collecting and using their data.

“Today’s consumers are digitally-savvy and intentional about the information they share. As a result, they expect assurance that their data is secure. Brands need to ensure that they protect customer information and offer the ability to control how it’s used, if they are to gain trust, and ultimately business, from consumers.”  

The Heart Matters study also indicated a gap between customer expectations and actual experiences in various areas.

For furniture retailers:

  • Treats suppliers ethically: expectations 79% vs experiences 49%
  • Actively looking for new ways to recycle and reuse products, packaging materials: expectations 68% vs experiences 41%
  • Respects the rights and welfare of workers: expectations 85% vs experiences 67%
  • Responds within 24 hours to my query: expectations 85% vs experiences 44%
  • Has delivery options I can trust (timely and accurate): expectations 87% vs experiences 60%
  • Makes it easy to track the status of my orders and queries: expectations 87% vs experiences 57%

For supermarket retailers:

  • Treats suppliers ethically: expectations 82% vs experiences 50%
  • Has a strong focus on locally grown produce and brands: expectations 79% vs experiences 59%
  • Respects the rights and welfare of workers: expectations 79% vs experiences 67%
  • Offers innovative/ better ways to serve customer during COVID-19: expectations 82% vs experiences 63%
  • Has a network of physical store locations as well as online retail: expectations 81% vs experiences 62%
  • Provides full transparency in how my personal data is being used: expectations 82% vs experiences 34%