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Pro tip: Aussies swipe right for brands with both value and values

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.

Non-grocery retail brands dominated the top brands for customer excellence in Australia this year, accounting for eight of the top 10 brands. Bunnings topped the table for the first time, followed by The Body Shop and Mecca. Mecca was one of five brands to maintain its top 10 placement since the last report in 2021, alongside Bendigo Bank, THE ICONIC, Chemist Warehouse and Specsavers. Dan Murphy’s re-entered the top 10 after a one-year hiatus, while two new entrants appeared: Apple and JB Hi-Fi.

Carmen Bekker, Partner-in-Charge, KPMG Customer, commented: “We see customer perceptions of value formed by how they feel about service and support. It is also formed by how organisations demonstrate their purpose, relevance, and ability to have a positive long-term impact on the environment and society. In the retail sector, the digitisation of customer journeys across channels has been a differentiator that has helped move the bar for customer perceptions in Australia. Leading brands have been able to integrate these digital journeys with instore experiences, recognising many Australians have retail journeys that begin online but also include an in-store touchpoint.”

In a year marked by a challenging economic environment, 97% of customers said that cost-of-living pressure has impacted their purchasing decisions, according to the long running research, which surveys over 20,000 people globally (and over 2,500 in Australia) to evaluate which brands are delivering the best customer experience. Perhaps driven by economic concerns, with global analysis revealing a general downward trend (-3.8%) in the key Customer Experience Excellence metric across most markets.

Despite the focus on value for money, brand purpose and impact continued to be a major influence on consumers, with 61% globally saying they are willing to pay more to a company that is seen as being ethical or giving back to society.

Past editions of the report show that Australian consumer sentiment in 2020 had gone ‘back to basics’ as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with an increased focus on home gyms and offices, digital retail and alcohol. In 2021, brands that delivered personalisation whilst proving they were driven by purpose came out on top. In 2023, Australian customers are becoming savvier and demanding more from their brands: more value for their dollar, more seamless, omnichannel processes and more personalised experiences. 

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

20232021*20201. Bunnings 2. The Body Shop3. Mecca4. Specsavers 5. Chemist Warehouse 6. THE ICONIC7. Bendigo Bank8. Dan Murphy’s9. Apple10. JB Hi-Fi1. Mecca2. First Choice Liquor3. Bendigo Bank4. Bunnings5. Afterpay6. Specsavers7. Priceline8. Chemist Warehouse 9. THE ICONIC 10. PayPal1. First Choice Liquor 2. IKEA3. Afterpay4. Boost Juice5. Rebel6. PayPal7. Red Energy8. Dan Murphy’s9. ING10. Best & Less

*Survey was not conducted in 2022

Methodology

Since 2010, KPMG has been asking consumers about their individual experiences with brands. Over that time, more than 385,000 consumers globally have been interviewed and almost 3,500 brands have been measured, providing about 4 million individual evaluations across 34 countries to support expertise in customer experience best practice.

The research for this report was conducted via an online survey methodology, completed in May and June this year. A nationally representative consumer sample was targeted with more than 2500 Australian consumers polled on brands they had interacted with within the past six months. 

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