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Consumers opting for economic value in brand relationships

Consumers are evaluating their relationship with leading brands and making new, economic-value-based choices, according to the latest KPMG Customer Experience Excellence Report 2023.

In the realm of customer excellence in Australia this year, non-grocery retail brands have taken the lead, securing eight out of the top 10 positions. Bunnings claimed the top spot for the first time, closely followed by The Body Shop and Mecca. Mecca, along with Bendigo Bank, THE ICONIC, Chemist Warehouse, and Specsavers, maintained its esteemed position in the top 10 since the previous 2021 report. Notably, Dan Murphy’s made a triumphant return after a one-year hiatus, while Apple and JB Hi-Fi emerged as the two new entrants.

Carmen Bekker, Partner-in-Charge at KPMG Customer, highlighted the significant role that customer perceptions play in shaping value. This includes sentiments about service and support, as well as how organizations demonstrate their purpose, relevance, and positive impact on the environment and society. In the retail sector, the digitization of customer journeys across channels has been a defining factor, setting a new standard for customer perceptions in Australia. Leading brands successfully integrated these digital journeys with in-store experiences, recognizing that many Australians initiate their retail journeys online but also value in-store touchpoints.

Amidst a challenging economic environment, a whopping 97% of customers reported that cost-of-living pressures influenced their purchasing decisions. The comprehensive research, surveying over 20,000 people globally (including 2,500 in Australia), reveals a predominant focus on value for money. Despite economic concerns, brand purpose and impact continued to significantly influence consumers, with 61% globally expressing a willingness to pay more for a company perceived as ethical or contributing to society.

Previous editions of the report highlighted shifts in Australian consumer behaviour, such as a ‘back to basics’ approach in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an emphasis on personalization and purpose-driven brands in 2021. In 2023, Australian customers are displaying increased sophistication, demanding greater value for their money, seamless omnichannel processes, and more personalized experiences from the brands they engage with.

Top 10 Brands for Customer Experience Excellence in Australia 2020-2023

20232021*20201. Bunnings 
2. The Body Shop
3. Mecca
4. Specsavers 
5. Chemist Warehouse 
6. THE ICONIC
7. Bendigo Bank
8. Dan Murphy’s
9. Apple
10. JB Hi-Fi1. Mecca
2. First Choice Liquor
3. Bendigo Bank
4. Bunnings
5. Afterpay
6. Specsavers
7. Priceline
8. Chemist Warehouse 
9. THE ICONIC 
10. PayPal1. First Choice Liquor 
2. IKEA
3. Afterpay
4. Boost Juice
5. Rebel
6. PayPal
7. Red Energy
8. Dan Murphy’s
9. ING
10. Best & Less

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