Almost two-thirds of Australian consumers (63%) are more likely to buy again from brands that treat them like an individual, rather than the same as any other customer, according to new research from OpenText.

Close to half (48%) of Australian consumers only buy from brands that make them feel they understand their preferences, such as communicating with them through their favourite channels or providing tailored deals.

While more than half (56%) of Australian consumers would be put off buying again from a brand due to a bad experience, 55% do not believe in ‘customer for life’ anymore, suggesting that brands cannot rely on customer loyalty stretching far enough to recover from bad experiences.

When buying products or services online, more than two-thirds (68%) of Australian consumers say that an easy search is very important to them. Furthermore, half (49%) prefer to shop with brands that auto-fill and remember their details for next time. There is, however, pressure on brands to store that data correctly: six in ten (60%) would even be willing to pay more to do business with a brand that is committed to protecting their personal data.

OpenText vice president for Asia Pacific, Albert Nel said Covid-19 has forced organisations to engage with customers in new ways and emphasise digital communication over more traditional methods.

“The pandemic has driven a drastic change in the market and customer expectations. Customers demand more from brands, more communication channels, more personalisation, more options and a more seamless and integrated digital experience across channels. To attract new customers and retain existing ones, it’s imperative they deliver rich, ultra-personalised experiences on customers’ preferred channels.

For 54% of Australian consumers, the pandemic has changed their expectations of what a brand’s digital offering should be. Almost one-quarter (22%) won’t use brands if their experience isn’t excellent when buying online.

Four in ten (43%) are now more comfortable with digital only businesses as a result of the pandemic. For half of (48%) Australian consumers, a personalised digital experience is now vital to them if they are to come back to a brand time and time again. Four in ten (40%) say bigger established brands have been able to offer a smoother digital experience than smaller ones during the pandemic.

Creating a positive customer experience is all about removing friction and increasing relevance: the easier something is to do and the more relevant it is to each customer, the better the experience, according to Open Textvice president of product management, Guy Hellier.

“Today, customers expect their journey, from researching products to tracking orders, to transition seamlessly from one digital platform to another while retaining a consistent personalised feel. For brands, this means investing in a digital experience platform which enables them to integrate data, information, and assets seamlessly across different environments. Without this in place, brands will struggle to create and deliver the cohesive and personalised experiences needed to win and retain customers.”