Poor personalisation and lack of trust cost Australian organisations $A66 billion last year. That is the cost of lost opportunity when almost 40 per cent of consumers switch companies.

According to Accenture, 48 per cent of consumers are frustrated when companies fail to deliver relevant, personalised shopping experiences, and 45 per cent are concerned about personal data privacy as they subscribe to intelligent services designed to understand and anticipate their needs.

The thirteenth annual Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Research surveyed the attitudes and expectations of more than 25,000 consumers around the world, including 1,328 Australian consumers, about their appetite for more intuitive, technology-driven brand experiences.

The study revealed a significant digital trust deficit that must be addressed before true customisation can be delivered.

“As technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and digital assistants become more sophisticated and mainstream, companies are creating new touch points, offerings and services that intelligently anticipate and flex to their customers’ precise needs, offering a level of hyper-relevance not experienced before,” said Glenn Heppell, who leads Accenture’s Products business in Australia and New Zealand.

“Those that succeed will hit a ‘sweet spot’ whereby Australian customers will be willing to share more personal insights into their world in return for greater value and the confidence that their data is protected.”

Australian consumer appetite for hyper-relevant experiences

Forty-two per cent of Australian consumers are more likely to shop with companies that always personalise experiences, as long as their trust isn’t compromised. Over a quarter (26 per cent) say they would find great value in services that intuitively learn about their needs over time to customise product, service or content recommendations.

Over half (55 per cent) of Australian consumers would use “smart-reordering” services where intelligent sensors in the home pre-empt when a product, such as laundry detergent, is running low and automatically re-order it on the customer’s behalf.

Another 35 per cent use digital assistants today. While the vast majority (83 per cent) are satisfied with the experience, 39 per cent say it can feel slightly creepy when technology starts to correctly interpret and anticipate their needs.

Digital trust deficit

Digital trust remains a critical barrier to enabling hyper-relevant experiences. Expectedly, a clear majority (90 per cent) of Australian consumers say that it is extremely important that companies protect the privacy of their personal information. Another 77 per cent say it is frustrating to realise that some cannot be trusted to use it appropriately.

Thirty-nine percent of Australian consumers fear intelligent new services will come to know too much about them and their families. Overall, 63 per cent want companies to earn their trust by being more open and transparent with how their information is being used.

“Digital trust will become increasingly challenging for companies to achieve as they look to capture new categories of customer data, such as biometric, geo-location and even genomic data, in their drive for greater relevance. Customer concerns will inevitably rise, so it’s critical that companies have strong data security and privacy measures in place, they give customers full control over their data, and are transparent with how they use it,” said Heppell.

What to do next

Hyper-relevance is the next wave of growth for companies operating in consumer industries, but it cannot be achieved without engendering digital trust. To pivot to hyper-relevance, companies should consider:

  • Giving customers full control over their data — As customers demand greater control over how companies use their personal information, organisations must become more transparent. Customers must be given full access and control over their data, which will demonstrate responsible stewardship and ethics. Furthermore, they must ensure the appropriate safeguards are in place to protect it.
  • Creating new customer value — Companies that distinguish themselves with hyper-relevant experiences look beyond the traditional customer journey. They prioritise areas where they can dynamically deliver something that customers value, at the right moment every time.
  • Investing in precise insights — Hyper-relevant companies invest in predictive analytics, collaborate with an ecosystem of partners to capture real-time customer insight, and mine data in new ways to understand their specific needs.
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