What Will Shape CX in 2023?

Acxiom-Forecasts-Top-Five-Customer-Experience-Trends-for-2023

It takes the right blend of data and technology to understand people genuinely. Regardless of trends, brands must have that essential mix to create customer experiences that resonate with people and drive brand growth.

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 include findings from research commissioned by Acxiom and conducted by MTM, an international research and strategy consultancy.

“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 understand people genuinely. 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:

Everything-is-an-Ad-Network

Three in four businesses (75 per cent) 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 per cent) 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.

Anything-as-a-Service (XaaS)

Seventy-six (76) per cent of large businesses believe offering products as services helps them establish deeper relationships with customers, driving brand loyalty. And a majority of people (57 per cent) agree they get a better customer experience with this model.

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 recognised 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 opportunities for brands that offer their products as services.

Seamless Service

Calls for AI-powered customer service continue to increase, particularly among younger age groups, with a majority of those aged 16-44 (56 per cent) 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 per cent of businesses adopting some form of AI for customer service, over half report having siloed systems across channels, which risks frustrating customers. 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.Automation and AI will play a vital role in meeting the rising demand for personalised and seamless customer service.

Intuitive Technology

Sixty (60) per cent of people have experienced touchless technology; among those using gestures, 89 per cent want to see brands adopt more intuitive interfaces to improve the customer experience. Similarly, businesses are optimistic about the opportunities that intuitive technologies present, and 70 per cent plan to provide more intuitive ways to interact with customers – a number that rises to 88 per cent for larger businesses.

There are several reasons for this favourable sentiment, primarily the potential to enhance the customer experience, with 61 per cent of US businesses believing intuitive interfaces will allow them to deliver more seamless, responsive, and personalised experiences.

The pandemic crystallised 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.

Immersive Shopping

Of the 30 per cent of people who report using an immersive shopping experience, more than 3-in-4 (78 per cent) were satisfied with their experience, and 73 per cent 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. When companies across all industries struggle with supply chain issues and rising costs, immersive shopping has a key role in driving commercial efficiency.

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 modelling, 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 realised by both consumers and businesses. For consumers, it increases satisfaction and boosts confidence.

Conclusion

The upcoming year brings new possibilities as well as challenges for businesses. With an understanding of customer demands and trends, using appropriate techstack, brands can devise a plan to deliver amazing customer experiences.

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