Small retailers winning the customer service battle with their larger counterparts

New research reveals the agility and innovation of small online retailers, with one in two Aussies saying how much they love the service and quality of product they receive from them. This reflects the success smaller online retailers have had in pivoting their business model to focus on online sales during the COVID pandemic – Australians have spent $48 billion online in the last 12 months – and optimise their customer service.

The report, commissioned by parcel-delivery service CouriersPlease reveals that 40 per cent of Australians believe that small and large retailers match each other in term of the standard of products and services they offer, while 51 per cent say that smaller boutique businesses are providing higher quality products and services.

The survey also rated small and large retailers on their key service offerings, based on six criteria. Almost three quarters of respondents, 72 per cent, said described the offering of smaller retailers as “a more personalised service that is more human-centred and makes them feel like a valued and important customer” Over half of those surveyed, 53 per cent, believe that small retail businesses go further to resolve customer issues, while over a third, 39 per cent, said that said they feel small retailers win out in terms of the frequency of their communication with customers. On the other hand, most respondents appreciate the scale larger retailers offer, with 84 per cent noting the more competitive pricing and faster service that large retailers are able to provide.

“This past year has really highlighted the importance of a positive customer journey and seamless customer experience for creating and building lasting business relationships with consumers – while prices and service speed are mainstays of the online shopping experience,” Paul Roper, Chief Commercial Officer at CP, said.

“In a world with increased uncertainty and disrupted international delivery chains, consumers find themselves looking to their local retailers,” Roper added. “We have been very proud to support them and look forward to helping them build positive customer relationships as we recover from these challenging times.

“Retailers wishing to attract and retain customers could also consider improving their eCommerce offering by outsourcing delivery-related services – such as returns and ‘click and collect’ – to a carrier partner that has innovated strongly in this area,” Roper concluded.