Retailers who move quickly to invest in next-generation customer service technology are more likely to lead the battle for sales in a tightening economic environment, according to two of Australia’s most innovative online retailers.

The insights come as the search for Australia’s favourite online retailer kicks off, with the Australia Post ORIAS People’s Choice Award providing online retailers with a platform to elevate their brand, gain industry recognition, build trust, and grow customer loyalty.

One of last year’s winners Koh, credited the updating of its customer service software - ahead of many of its competitors – with helping it double revenue over the past 12 months. Founder Adam Lindsay, who recently launched the eco-friendly cleaning products company into the UK, said the focus was on giving both existing and new customers what they want.

“If you don't service existing customers properly, you'll have to deal with a leaky bucket – and therefore spend more time and money on acquiring new customers,” Mr Lindsay said.

Kogan.com, which took out the 2018 Award for best large online retailer, reiterated its commitment to embracing data-driven insights to improve its customer service capability. Daniel Beahan, Director of Customer Care, said Kogan.com considered itself a statistics business masquerading as an eCommerce company.

“Data is key to unlocking our customer expectations and it is our mission to understand the wants and needs of our customers better than any other online retailer,” Mr Beahan said.

“Company growth relies on us delighting our active customer base time and time again, and our mission remains to make the most in-demand products and services more affordable for all Australians.”

Last year’s winners highlighted a customer-first focus, an ability to change and be nimble, the importance of personalisation to create a tailored customer service experience, the continued embrace of social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to drive awareness and advocacy, and the harnessing of data and analytics as all being key to online retailers. The launch coincides with an Australia Post report which found the number of purchases online has grown by more than 20 per cent for the year, with online shopping now making up 9 per cent share of traditional retail spend in 2018.

Andrew Chamberlain, Australia Post General Manager of Enterprise, said Koh and Kogan.com exemplified eCommerce-savvy businesses that embraced innovation to enhance online experience, ultimately driving customer loyalty and sales.

“In considering potential winners of the Australia Post ORIAS People’s Choice Award, one of the key things consumers look at is a personalised experience that supports ease of purchase – an area in which both Koh and Kogan.com are excelling,” Mr Chamberlain said.

Registrations for the Australia Post ORIAS People’s Choice Award for 2019 open today, with applications to close 31 May. Consumer voting takes place from 1 May-31 May: auspost.com.au/orias

Source: Australia Post