Merkle has launched a new research report entitled Customer Experience Imperatives, offering strategic insights into consumers' expectations of brand experiences and urging businesses to react to customers' self-proclaimed needs to foster loyalty and build lasting relationships.
Consumer purchasing power is substantial in today's market, demanding that brands deliver the experiences their customers anticipate. Merkle's report surveyed respondents from the Asia-Pacific region focusing on customer experience, unveiling data that depict APAC consumer preferences.
A significant 85% of customers in the Asia-Pacific region found personalised recommendations for products or services influential in shaping their brand experiences. Here, personalisation plays an essential role in winning loyalty and preference, according to the report's findings.
Moreover, more than half of the region's consumers (51%) are increasingly amenable to entrusting brands with their personal data. The remaining respondents were either neutral (29%) or sceptical (21%) about sharing their personal information.
Interestingly, when questioned about the preferable traits of future experiences with brands, 54% preferred them to be easier or more convenient. Tailored communications, such as ads showcasing recently searched products, were found useful or beneficial by another 54% of the respondents.
The study proposes that brands embrace six imperatives to deliver superior customer experiences: understanding Consumer Experience (CX) fundamentals from a customer perspective, leveraging data beneficially for customers, using ethical AI to foster trust and convenience, meeting customer needs for live human interaction, focusing on post-purchase experiences, and experimenting with emerging technology for customer empowerment.
Chris Webb, Chief Operating Officer at Merkle APAC said, "Today's consumers have more control and purchase options. It is not enough for brands to simply follow trends, but to decipher what excellent customer experience means and what actions it demands. Personalisation is just the first step; true customer empowerment calls for genuine connections and experiences that create emotional responses within customers and resonate with them."
The research stresses the factors that affect consumers' decisions, enabling brands to understand where to capitalise their investments to build stronger relationships. The insights outlined in this research will enable brands to make informed decisions in line with evolving customer expectations, contributing to a positive and connected experience across multiple touchpoints.
The initial segment of the Customer Experience Imperatives research series, Engagement to Empowerment: Winning in Today's Experience Economy, focuses on consumer insights obtained from a survey conducted in the last quarter of 2023. The poll involved 2,100 consumers and 820 brands across 18 countries, covering topics such as AI in marketing, customer data usage preferences, and the adoption of emerging technologies.
The next report in the Customer Experience Imperatives research series, which is based on the responses from business leaders, will be released this spring.