WOW Digital 2020: Discover the Best Online Experiences in Canada!

For the 3rd consecutive year, in 2020, the WOW Digital study, created by Leger, evaluated various Canadian companies’ online customer experience. The study enables you to better understand if your website or app meets your customers’ increasingly demanding needs and expectations at the informational, transactional and relational levels to help you adapt to the growing online market.

The WOW Digital study identifies your site/app’s strengths and weaknesses at each step of the online shopping experience, from the transaction to merchandise return. It presents the profile of your online visitors, the objectives they want to achieve on your online platform, and the reasons why they abandon their shopping cart.

From your customer’s initial search on your website to the delivery of their order, providing an excellent online experience was particularly important this year.

The COVID-19 crisis has significantly impacted the relationship between consumers and businesses. Forced to adapt to this new reality (in which many are confined to their homes), many retailers have relied on their online presence to meet the growing demand for goods, services, and even food.

Given this increase in online shopping in a particularly competitive environment, having a strong online presence and offering an excellent digital platform experience is more important than ever for businesses who want to maintain their digital market share and stay afloat. Which companies achieved this in 2020?

The 2020 Ranking of the Best Online Experiences in Canada

According to our 2020 WOW Digital study results, the best online experiences in Canada were offered by…

SOME OF THE STUDY CONCLUSIONS

DECREASE IN THE NUMBER OF UNIQUE VISITORS, BUT INCREASE IN THE CONVERSION RATE

In 2020, there was a decrease in the incidence of visits to websites and mobile apps for the majority of the companies evaluated (around 25% less).

Despite this drop, the proportion of visitors who purchased a product or service increased (on average, a 50% increase, exceeding 100% in some cases). In fact, last year, 13% of consumers visited a website or app to purchase a product or service. This year, this proportion rose to 22%.

GENERAL DECLINE IN THE ONLINE EXPERIENCE

Of the 105 websites evaluated in 2019, 97 saw their WOW Digital Index fall in 2020. Therefore, this is a generalized trend. This drop can be explained by various factors. First, this year, consumers have made greater use of transactional functions and delivery (experiencing delays in some cases). Consumer expectations have also changed. Many wanted to make a purchase or ask a question online during the pandemic. However, this was not possible on some sites, or the online offer was not as diverse as in-store or was unavailable (out of stock). We can also infer that consumers explored the site more (more shopping) and used more online search or support tools. Many were irritated by the lack of information, graphics, comparison tools or advice available to make a good choice. All these factors raised expectations and created dissatisfaction.

THE TRANSACTIONAL EXPERIENCE, ESPECIALLY DELIVERY, HAS DECLINED FOR MANY COMPANIES

The online experience dimensions most negatively impacted in 2020 are related to the transaction, more specifically, merchandise returns, order tracking, delivery time, delivery costs, and the options available for delivery. Another dimension that has been heavily affected this year is online support, which is experiencing a sharp decline.

FEWER LOYALTY AND EXPERIENCE CUSTOMIZATION ACTIVITIES

Two dimensions of the WOW Digital Index that have decreased in 2020 are personalization (the site’s ability to offer a personalized experience to the visitor) and loyalty offers (personalized offers, privileges and loyalty programs). These two dimensions can be closely linked. Several companies have reduced or even stopped certain investments in loyalty and targeted promotional activities during this period of uncertainty. This may explain the declines observed in 2020, particularly for pharmacies, grocery stores and hardware stores.


SURVEY METHODOLOGY

  • Web survey of nearly 14,000 Canadians 15 years of age or older who have visited at least one website or app recently.
  • A total of 173 websites and mobile apps across 26 sectors were evaluated. Each site/app was evaluated by approximately 300 respondents who had visited it since June 2020.
  • Data collection took place from November 4 to 30, 2020.
  • To obtain a representative sample, for each site/application, the results were weighted according to the sociodemographic profile of its recent visitors based on gender, age, mother tongue, and region.

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