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Oracle

Brand loyalty being tested by supply chain issues

Cancelled orders and lengthy delays because of the supply chain crisis are testing British consumers’ brand loyalty like never before, with 85% of young shoppers saying they would rather switch labels than wait for their favourites to arrive.

The surprising findings show just how seriously the supply chain bottleneck is affecting peoples’ buying habits, with 91% of consumers in the UK worried that the problems are here to stay.

The research, carried out by Oracle, shows that 77% of respondents have felt the supply pinch, which has been blamed on the impact of Covid and post-Brexit adjustments.

Feelings of frustration and anxiety are common place with 74% of people saying that future delays could cause them to cut ties with their favourite brands permanently.

But consumers’ faith in technology to help iron out kinks in the supply chain is strong, with 70% saying they would be more willing to buy from a brand they knew used artificial intelligence to manage their supply chain.

“Businesses need to be able to provide a consistent and transparent service to customers or risk losing them, with some consumers willing to sacrifice the product quality for the ease of delivery”, said Emma Sutton, chief customer officer, EMEA Consulting, Business Transformation, Oracle. “Supply-chains are global but the technology is available to manage them from anywhere in the world, predicting disruption in order to get ahead of it, and keeping customers updated in real-time.”

Chatbots and VR to take over brand interactions by 2020…

Research by Oracle suggests the relationship between customers and brands is set to undergo a “technological revolution” which will cause the number of human-to-human interactions to fall.

A total of 800 senior marketing and sales professionals across EMEA were polled for the ‘Can Virtual Experiences Replace Reality?’ report and found 78 per cent of brands expect to provide customer experiences through virtual reality in the next four years. Meanwhile, 80 per cent expect to serve customers through chatbots. 

Despite brands willing to embrace new technologies for the customer journey, many are struggling to make use of the valuable customer and prospect data, with 60 per cent not currently including social or CRM data in their customer analytics.

42 per cent already collect a great deal of data from multiple sources, but are unable to extract customer insights from it; and 41 per cent agree smarter analysis of customer data will have the biggest impact on the experience they deliver to their customers.

Daryn Mason, senior director, CX Applications at Oracle said: “While virtual reality may be seen as a passing craze by some, the commitment of some of the world’s biggest companies to develop VR products for consumers suggests otherwise.  Brands will always look to experiment with new technologies as they try to find ways of delivering innovative and memorable experiences for their customers.

“Brands are at a crossroads. There’s an early-mover advantage to experimenting and launching innovative services while others wait and see, but they need to walk before they can run.”

The report indicates brands are looking to implement innovative technologies that allow their customers to continue interacting with brands on their own terms. 80 per cent of brands will be using chatbots for customer interactions by 2020; 78 per cent of brands expect to be using VR for CX by the same year; and 48 per cent have implemented automation technologies in sales, marketing and customer service.

Mason adds: “The reality is that many brands are still unable to get a complete view of each individual customer so the immediate priority needs to be to organise and get value from the data they already have.  Customers will value a quick, helpful, personalised interaction regardless of how it’s delivered so there’s hope for us humans yet.”

Access the full report here