SAP Malaysia helps businesses understand significance of digital gap

Terrence Yong, Managing Director, SAP MalaysiaTerrence Yong, Managing Director, SAP Malaysia

As part of its Digital Experience Report, SAP today revealed that although consumers in Malaysia are generally positive about their digital experience with brands in the country (43%), there is also growing dissatisfaction with online experiences as customers become more digitally sophisticated.

As Malaysia drives hard towards realizing goals of a knowledge-based high-income economy with ICT as a key catalyst the other portion of the equation, the end user experience, still leaves some to be desired. According to SAP’s survey report, 26% of respondents were unsatisfied with their digital experience, while 31% were categorized as ambivalent, giving a digital experience (DX) score of 17% for the country.

While still overall positive, Malaysia still lags behind other countries in the ASEAN region, indicating that brands in here still have some way to go to meeting the expectations of consumers in Malaysia online. The survey uncovers a significant gap in performance among industries and individual brands.

Relevance of the Digital Gap

According to SAP Malaysia Managing Director Terrence Yong, it is precisely this digital gap that poses the most significant implications on business outcomes as part of it is derived from metrics revolving around customer loyalty and advocacy.

The survey found that consumers who were happy with their digital experiences were far more loyal to brands (up to 17 times) as compared to those who were dissatisfied. Happy customers were also found to be more emotionally attached to brands and would be more willing to buy more from those brands for a longer period of time.

More importantly, in this digitally connected world, brand loyalty would translate into sales beyond the immediate customer. Thanks to social media and even direct digital connectivity, the customers of today are increasingly playing the part of highly visual influencers, which might convert others to their buying habits.

“Malaysia is at an exciting time in its development. With 14 million digital consumers (defined as those 16 years or older and have researched products or services online in at least two categories), digital is becoming a part of our daily lives,” said Yong.

“This rapid growth is also making consumers in Malaysian more sophisticated in their digital preferences. To help them navigate through a multitude of devices and apps, customers are demanding simple, seamless and personalized experiences across any channel, anytime, anywhere, and on any device. As evident from SAP’s Digital Experience Report, brands that fail to realize this will see a drop in share of consumers’ wallet,” he added.

What brands are doing right – or wrong

Although consumers generally ranked functional attributes as more important, those brands that performed best were also able to connect through the digital experience at an emotional level; for example, by delivering experiences that excite and engage their customers as well as those that are responsive and interactive.

The study also found that safety and security remains a top priority for consumers in Malaysia, with 62% rating this attribute either 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 to 10. Experiences that are available at any time to consumers are also highly favored, as are those which provide a cohesive, integrated and simple to use online channel.

“Brands can bridge the digital experience gap by adopting a clear digital strategy that brings together marketing, sales, services, and commerce to ensure seamless digitization of the entire customer experience. SAP solutions for customer engagement and commerce, powered by the SAP HANA platform, facilitates a 360-degree customer view and how brands can better engage them,” said Yong.

Across countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, less than half (47%) were delighted with their digital experience, with 20 percent unsatisfied, giving a digital experience score of 27%. Importantly, delighted consumers are over 9 times more likely to remain loyal than those who are unsatisfied and deliver an NPS of 70% compared to -67% from those who are unsatisfied.

Scott Russell, President and Managing Director of SAP Southeast Asia said, “In the digital era, consumers are changing the rules, but technology is changing the game. The ability to delight customers with a desirable digital experience is a competitive differentiator. Losing out in consumer digital experience will directly affect a brand’s bottom-line and its business value.

About the SAP Digital Experience Report

SAP’s Digital Experience Report offers detailed insights into customers’ digital expectations and the ability of brands to meet them. Carried out across Southeast Asia, the report captures responses from across five countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia, the results reflected the preferences of over 3,600 consumers who rated more than 240 brands resulting in 9,375 digital interactions against 14 attributes.

IMG_20160726_153656The SAP Digital Experience Report for Malaysia surveyed more than 500 consumers and aggregated more than 1,400 ratings of digital engagements with local brands. In the survey, the digital experience is defined as how a brand digitally interacts with its customers during the discovery, purchase, delivery and support of a product or service.

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