There is hardly an industry that does not use the word customer centricity. Especially in e-commerce, the customer experience plays a central role in offering online shoppers an unforgettable shopping experience. A study explains why personalization is becoming increasingly important.
The past two years, shaped by the pandemic, have shown that external influences have accelerated the digital transformation. Online retail, as well as companies from other sectors, have recognized that customer centricity makes the decisive difference as digitization increases. Siemens subsidiary Mendix, a specialist in enterprise application development, has researched the challenges they face when trying to create a better digital customer experience. To do this, the company hired the market research company at the end of last year reputation leaders commissioned a survey of 522 senior IT professionals in Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, the UK and the US. A third of them are responsible for positions at C-level.
Challenge customer centricity
But the perfect customer experience doesn’t just happen that way. This requires in-depth knowledge of how customers behave, what they want and how they can be inspired again and again. Digitization is the magic word here. But even that alone is not enough. 88 percent of those surveyed agree that an excellent customer experience is an essential corporate goal. A goal that is associated with great challenges, as 90 percent of the study participants confirm. Almost half list cybersecurity (49%) and data integration (42%) as the top challenges. Due to the current Ukraine crisis, it is conceivable that the result in terms of IT security has made another leap upwards.
Customers are demanding
Online retailers know that customers expect quick help when they need service. So it’s certainly not surprising that customers (28 percent) are annoyed when there are long waiting and response times. 27 percent are frustrated when problems cannot be solved.
Companies try to counteract this. 63 percent therefore improve communication and make digital selection easier. They hope that this will increase customer loyalty. Ultimately also the turnover, as confirmed by 38 percent of the study participants.
Chatbots and AI
Digitally intelligent solutions such as chatbots and AI are not only used in e-commerce as tools to increase customer satisfaction. This enables online retailers in particular to react quickly to customer inquiries. According to the study, 29 percent are already using chatbots and virtual assistants. An overwhelming majority of 91 percent plan to do so in the future.
Customer centricity in omnichannel
However, a consistent positive customer experience is important across all channels. That’s why almost half of the companies surveyed are determined to also improve the mobile experience this year. This works best with personalized offers. Perhaps it is therefore not surprising that the study participants assume that the demand for individual online offers will increase in the next five years. In order to implement this, however, in addition to huge amounts of data, fast editing times of the applications are required. Hyper-automation that uses AI for customer analysis is needed. According to Deloitte, this is the most advanced method for online retailers and brands to tailor their online offerings to customer needs.
Immersive customer experience
Thanks to technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, but also the metaverse, customers are increasingly confronted with virtual realities. A third of the companies interviewed stated that they were already using AR and VR. Almost half intend to use them in the future. This means that holistic experiences and omnichannel approaches are getting closer and closer.