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84% of consumers 'underwhelmed' by digital experience

84% of consumer 'underwhelmed' by digital experience

At least 84% of consumers across eleven industries are less than impressed with their experience of using digital tools and services – and it is a wake-up call for all CIOs.

This is according to Gartner's Digital Consumer Experience Index which surveyed consumer engagement with- and reactions to common digital use cases across industries including banking and government.

According to Gartner, those digital use cases included actions such as placing a retail order, submitting a service request to a bank, purchasing life insurance, paying a government bill, and checking the status of healthcare benefits.

"The specific elements of total digital experience probed were consumers' level of trust, perceived ease of use, and benefits received, such as saving time or money," the company stated.

In banking, the best-performing industry, only 16% of respondents rate their digital perceptions in the top quartile of the index.

"In fact, among consumers who have used the digital services we asked about, 26 percent (banking) to 49 percent (government) rate their perceptions in the lower two quartiles of our index, leaving a lot of room for improvement," said Brad Holmes, managing vice president at Gartner.

The market research and analysis firm highlights ease of use as a critical element of a positive experience.

"Online retailers have innovated continuously to reduce the instances of shopping cart abandonment and other blockers to completing a purchase transaction. Banks also have invested in simplifying transactions such as submitting a service request or using chat for support. Those efforts have panned out in relatively higher consumer perception for ease of use. Consumers who are current and past users of governments' and life insurers' online services and tools perceive them to be more difficult," the company added.

Along with ease of use, trust is a key component of a consumer's satisfaction with a digital experience.

According to the Index, banks enjoy the highest level of trust among consumers. Yet sceptics remain as 18% of those consumers who choose not to use a bank's online services say it is because they "don't fully trust them."

Similarly, for governments and retailers, 20% of nonusers point to lack of trust as their reason.

"Given that most industry's digital experiences don't perform very well in the eyes of the consumers, this is a wake-up call for all CIOs. They should evaluate the index closely and prioritise IT investments to close critical digital engagement gaps," said Holmes.

"CIOs must get together with their CMO, customer experience, business unit and product leaders to revisit and reset the current digital experience priorities and projects in light of these insights. The path is well paved by best practices of leading retailers, banks and the successful digital natives. Understanding and applying cross-industry best practices in order to re-engineer digital product and service capabilities is the right way to make progress," he added.

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