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The Publicis Sapient Digital Life Index: Learnings from people’s choices and purchase decisions

  • Frictionless, personalized digital experiences are no longer nice -- they’re a must-have
  • While digital financial services still have ways to go, the financial industry is beating retail, travel, auto, and health in consumer satisfaction

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The Publicis Sapient Digital Life Index: Learnings from people’s choices and purchase decisions

Over the last 18 months, people have shifted many of their activities from the physical to the digital world. Consumers today have different expectations when they engage online. They are much more aware of digital experiences and seek out the most convenient options. 

With this in mind, Publicis Sapient, the global digital consultancy, recently published the Publicis Sapient Digital Life Index

The report seeks to better understand how digital experiences influence people’s choices and purchase decisions. It explores people’s behaviors, satisfaction, and expectations as they relate to their digital experiences across three industries: retail, financial services, and health. 

The expectation of convenience makes it that much more important for businesses to offer online options  that people want. Those companies that are successful will have the power to influence people’s choices and purchase decisions. Here are four key learnings from the report that tap into the mind of the consumer and what they really want.

Website design

A website’s design and ease of use can make or break purchase decisions. Nearly half of respondents (48%) said that they are more likely to buy from a brand that offers an easy-to-navigate website or mobile app. Meanwhile, 68% of respondents said they will abandon their shopping cart if the checkout process is too difficult or confusing to navigate. Almost half of respondents (49%) said they’ll stop using a website or platform because of bad design.

More products in stock, better search functions

People want improvements from their digital experiences. In retail, the five greatest frustrations respondents said they have when visiting a brand or a retailer’s website are out of stock products (73%), poor search function (62%), slow loading time (60%), lack of seller information (54%), and unclear site navigation (54%). Only 38% were satisfied with their ability to “try on” and “try out” products online. Respondents said returns (45%) and resolving customer service issues (48%) fell short. 

In the health sector, 34% of respondents said the biggest barrier to telehealth use is having a condition or health concern that requires an in-person visit.  Meanwhile, 14% said that they are not confident in their ability to navigate telehealth technology. However, consumers indicated that improving the overall telehealth experience should involve enhancing the digital experience by offering a mobile app for scheduling (37%) or offering online portals where medical information can be easily accessed (35%).

Learning from banks

Retail, health, and other industries can learn from the digital experiences developed and offered by the financial services industry. 

Compared to other industries — such as retail, travel, auto, and health — people were most satisfied with digital experiences in financial services, with 33% of respondents rating their experiences a 9 or 10 out of 10. Online, dissatisfaction typically occurs when a certain activity is too difficult to navigate or requires too many steps to complete, signaling a need for more seamless digital experiences across channels.

Digital experiences must remain a priority in financial services, as 77% of respondents said they prefer to interact with their banks online rather than in-person.

The “it” factor

People desire personalized experiences. When asked which features shoppers would like an online retailer to provide, personalized offers based on spending preferences was one of the top three features, with more than a third (37%) of respondents selecting this option. Meanwhile 31% of respondents said that they would like personalized content or advice to help them shop.

In financial services, 28% of respondents said they would like personalized offers based on their spending preferences, and 27% said they would like personalized content or advice to help them better manage their money.

In the health sector, 31% of respondents said they would like their healthcare provider to offer more personalized communications to improve the telehealth experience.

You can dive deeper into the survey findings in the 2021 Publicis Sapient Digital Life Index.

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