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Customer Experience Boosts Sales, but Data Silos Create Roadblocks for Manufacturers, According to New Google Cloud Study

Customer Experience

Predictive analytics, customization, and augmented reality investments will rise, according to research of manufacturing leaders, to improve customer experience.

Google Cloud today released new global research, which reveals that manufacturers who offer immersive and personalised customer experiences (CX) outperform their competitors in terms of revenue, profits, and e-commerce sales. The research comes ahead of Hannover Messe, one of the biggest manufacturing events in the world. Data silos provide a problem for many manufacturers, preventing them from providing the modern consumers with the digital CX they desire.

Global analysis firm IDC conducted the study, titled Digital Customer Journey for Manufacturers1, for Google Cloud. It was based on a global poll of more than 1,500 manufacturing executives from nine different nations and seven different industries, including consumer packaged goods, electronics, industrial machinery, and more. The study studied the rising significance of CX in manufacturing for B2B and B2C buyers as well as the relationship between the development, investment, and deployment of technology, as well as the difficulties manufacturers experience in digitally converting CX, and the maturity level of manufacturers’ digital customer journeys.

Strong customer experience increases sales

The survey found that manufacturers with the most developed digital customer journeys experienced increases in revenue and profit of 13.5% and 14%, respectively, over the previous 12 months. The most recent cloud technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), and interaction with consumer apps like smart home devices, were used by these firms to offer personalised customer experiences.

Manufacturers, however, highlighted the following difficulties in altering and enhancing the customer experience, including:

  • different priorities between teams (31.1%)
  • Lacking the necessary talent (29.5%)
  • lacking the required infrastructure (27%)
  • Access to customer data is restricted and segregated (22.4%).

“Manufacturers are realizing that their current operating models need to evolve, and with growing competition and the commoditization of products, having a differentiated digital customer experience is a key component to staying competitive and driving revenue”, “Successful manufacturers are breaking down the silos within their workforces and data systems to unlock new ways to attract, engage, and satisfy today’s buyers who want smart recommendations and solutions so they can reduce the time spent researching, selecting, and ordering.”

Simon Floyd, Director of Manufacturing and Transportation Industries, Google Cloud

Predictive analytics, smart products, and augmented reality will see more investment.

The study also discovered that manufacturers’ spending on applications for consumer engagement is anticipated to rise over the following 12 months:

  • 54.8% intend to spend money on developing client portals with IoT sensors and predictive modelling.
  • 43.3% want to spend money on creating integrated services that increase value and provide new sources of income.
  • A personalised product configuration and omnichannel brand experience improvement are two areas where 25.3% intend to spend.

A real-time inventory ledger that offers a comprehensive view of inventory across the network using pre-built, AI and machine learning (ML)-based demand planning technology is used by two thirds of the most advanced manufacturers to create personalised experiences. This capability has only grown more crucial as disruption has become a constant in the industry.

To maintain a real-time connection with customers, manufacturers are also going to invest in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). A quarter (25.1%) said they expect to deploy AR/VR over the next 12 months, while 41.8% said they have already implemented it. Manufacturers can enhance search capabilities by enabling search on-the-go utilising linked IoT devices—and incorporating inventory information with online searches—by directly integrating rich 3D and AR into their search bars, websites, or mobile apps.

Cloud maturity and CX have a close relationship.

The utilisation of technology, data, and digital platforms is a defining feature of a manufacturer’s customer experience. As manufacturers can increasingly analyse big data sets and spur improvements throughout the company, the amount of data that can be analysed in the cloud is growing. According to the report, compared to only 11% of the least mature cloud users, more than 50% of the most mature cloud users said they are extremely effective at using predictive analytics and data-driven insights to inform experiences and operations.

Customer experience and cloud maturity are significantly associated, as the whitepaper confirms, Floyd continued. This has been clear for the previous three years. A linked data cloud platform that unlocks real-time knowledge, facilitates workplace collaboration, and delivers an immersive, AI-driven personalised customer experience will become critical to long-term success as manufacturers become more market-driven and better equipped to pivot.

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