Acxiom Forecasts Top Five Customer Experience Trends
Acxiom, the customer intelligence company whose data-driven solutions create business growth by enabling better customer experiences, unveiled its top customer experience (CX) predictions for 2023. Beyond the Metaverse – Our CX Predictions for 2023 is grounded in Acxiom’s expertise in data-driven marketing and includes findings from new proprietary research commissioned by Acxiom and conducted by MTM, an international research and strategy consultancy.
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“Our report underscores the crucial roles data and customer intelligence play in emerging CX trends and serves as a guide for brands looking to connect with and engage customers in 2023,” said David Skinner, Chief Strategy Officer at Acxiom. “After all, how brands and people interact is the cornerstone of every economy. Our research highlights this fundamental truth – it takes the right blend of data and technology to genuinely understand people. Regardless of trends, brands must have that essential mix to create customer experiences that resonate with people and drive brand growth.”
Acxiom’s top five CX predictions with highlights from the latest consumer and B2B research include:
Trend #1: Everything-is-an-Ad-Network: Three in four businesses (75%) believe the expected deprecation of third-party cookies will make it harder to reach audiences, making first-party data an asset worthy of investment. Proprietary media networks, including retail media networks, built on owned first-party data, will become an attractive offering for brands looking to capture revenue at every stage of the customer journey. In fact, more than half of companies (55%) believe retail media networks will deliver higher conversion rates because advertisements appear when customers are actively shopping and willing to spend. For businesses that have already amassed a treasure trove of first-party data, this is a strong incentive to launch an ad network of their own.
Trend #2: Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS): For years, XaaS has been gaining momentum through subscription-based platforms for products and services that were once one-and-done purchases. Brands across sectors have recognized XaaS as a transformative tool for engaging with people throughout the customer journey. And in 2023, MTM projects the XaaS market will continue to grow as companies strive to sustain customer relationships – creating significant opportunity for brands that offer their products as services. Seventy-six percent (76%) of large businesses believe offering products as services helps them establish deeper relationships with customers, driving brand loyalty. And a majority of people (57%) agree they get a better customer experience with this model.
Trend #3: Seamless Service: Automation and AI will play a vital role in meeting the rising demand for personalized and seamless customer service. Calls for AI-powered customer service continue to increase, particularly among younger age groups, with a majority of those aged 16-44 (56%) preferring their first point of contact to be with an AI chatbot rather than a person, and two-thirds expecting digital assistants to have access to all relevant information for their query. However, of the 64% of businesses adopting some form of AI for customer service, over half report having siloed systems across channels, which risks leaving customers frustrated. Delivering seamless customer service requires maintaining integrated systems, and in 2023, growing consumer expectations will pressure companies to up-level their connected data-informed technology stack or risk losing market share.
Trend #4: Intuitive Technology: The pandemic crystallized the value proposition of touchless technologies, like voice and gesture recognition, accelerating their development and deployment. In 2023, we’ll see these touchless interfaces gain ground in everyday use. Sixty percent of people have experienced touchless technology; among those using gestures, 89% want to see brands adopt more intuitive interfaces to improve the customer experience. Similarly, businesses are positive about the opportunities that intuitive technologies present, and 70% plan to provide more intuitive ways to interact with customers – a number that rises to 88% for larger businesses. There are several reasons for this favorable sentiment, primarily the potential to enhance the customer experience, with 61% of US businesses believing intuitive interfaces will allow them to deliver more seamless, responsive, and personalized experiences.
Trend #5: Immersive Shopping: Brands are just getting started using augmented and virtual reality to create interactive and highly personal shopping experiences. Examples include virtual try-ons, virtual showrooms, 3D modeling, and visual search, where people use their phones to shop the world around them by simply taking photos of an item to discover information online. The benefits of immersive shopping have the potential to be realized by both consumers and businesses. For consumers, it increases satisfaction and boosts confidence. Of the 30% of people who report using an immersive shopping experience, more than 3-in-4 (78%) were satisfied with their experience, and 73% agree it makes them more confident in their purchases when shopping online. For brands, not only is it a source of direct feedback and engagement with customers, but it also has the potential to reduce returns. At a time when companies across all industries are struggling with supply chain issues and rising costs, immersive shopping has a key role to play in driving commercial efficiency.
Research Methodology: Fieldwork conducted Sept-Oct 2022 included online surveys carried out in the UK and USA among nationally representative samples, evenly split between the US and UK, of 2000 adults 16+ and 200 industry-wide senior-level employees in a marketing role in businesses with an annual revenue over $100M, supplemented by desk research and expert interviews.
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