Over 80% of internet users outside greater Colombo buy online

Over 80% of internet users living outside greater Colombo make purchases online, a study has revealed.

These purchases have also proven to be significant, with 1 in 4 shoppers spending Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000 on their digital purchases on each occasion.

In today’s fast changing market landscape, customer intimacy is critical for every company’s success. While people and processes are important, digital maturity is fast becoming the differentiator in getting traction in a crowded market place.

STAX’s Digital Customer Experience Audit, which has been developed taking into account 20+ years of global corporate growth experience, helps identify critical areas of improvement while benchmarking a company’s digital footprint with peers.

In a comprehensive island-wide survey conducted by STAX, a global management consulting firm, it was revealed that 7 out of 10 Sri Lankans take a relevant action on the internet, prior to making a purchase online or offline. Given this background, STAX has launched their proprietary Digital Customer Experience product in Sri Lanka. The service is intended to help Sri Lankan companies evaluate their customer facing digital operations i.e. website, digital marketing, social media, and online customer service, to understand strengths and weaknesses, based on global and local benchmarks and best practices.

In its survey, STAX has identified that digital customers are now more geographically widespread than in the recent past, with over 80% of the connected population living outside greater Colombo, making purchases online. These purchases have also proven to be significant, with 1 in 4 shoppers spending Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000 on their digital purchases on each occasion. The survey further revealed that the customer demographic is also now more aged with most users between 35-44 spending over 4+ hours per day browsing the internet.

As more customers shift their purchases and engagement online, catering to the exact requirements are a must have to play in a competitive local and global playing field, according to STAX Managing Director, Ruwindhu Peiris. “As we see more and more customers shifting online, we are starting to realize how much customer centricity and an obsession with what the customer is looking for matters. Our clients are increasingly reaching out to us to understand the digital customer journey that is specific to them and how we can support them in catering to these unique needs. As more local companies venture into the digital space, and the nature of a connected economy gives global players better access to our markets, a business’ ability to understand their customers’ wants and being able to effectively cater to these needs digitally is paramount.”

Further commenting on the nature of the digital customer, STAX Digital Services Manager, Firaz Markar states that the technical and marketing processes also need to optimize to ensure optimal conversion of digital customers. “We’re living in an environment where the first 4 results of a Google search get 70% of the traffic and where 40% of traffic, on average, abandon a website if it takes over the 3 seconds to load. So, companies really need to understand the impact that subpar practices can have on their digital operations. The customer experience audit has been launched to help companies navigate these technical and behavioral challenges. The audit considers the full digital experience of a customer, from discovering a product, right through to being communicated with and marketed to after purchasing from the brand.”

The audit has been developed based on the global expertise STAX has garnered through serving Fortune 500 corporations, large investment firms, and leading internet companies and is now available to Sri Lankan companies, across the B2B and B2C spectrum. The company states that they have already consulted on the audit within the banking, retail, and telecommunication sectors in Sri Lanka and is looking forward to working with a large cross-section of leading businesses to empower their customer facing digital operations.


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