Manufacturing can no longer be just about creating physical products--customer demand, technology, and now a global pandemic have upended the industry. 

For manufacturers to keep ahead of these changes, they will need to learn how to deliver more engaging and targeted customer experiences. 

See how leaders in the industry are differentiating their customer experience (CX) for 2022 and beyond. 

5 Key Statistics Manufacturers Should Leverage to Improve Customer Experience  

For manufacturers, here are the key stats they need to keep an eye on. Research from IDC shows that by 2022:

  1. 70% of consumer-facing manufacturers will leverage new direct-to-consumer channels, producing 15% more profits.
     

    Due to COVID-19, manufacturers have shifted towards selling directly to customers, bringing in an estimated $18 billion in US sales in 2020. But this new direct-to-consumer (DTC) model will prove profitable even after the pandemic, increasing customer satisfaction and business resiliency. 

    For example, B2B fitness equipment manufacturers that before the pandemic relied on a customer base of commercial gyms, schools, and hotels needed to expand into the customer market in order to stay afloat. They quickly adopted DTC ecommerce by selling their equipment and adding subscriptions for on-demand fitness classes. This helps generate steady revenue streams and increases customer engagement.

    What makes a great digital B2B commerce experience? See these 7 best practices to deliver the best experience for your buyers
  2. 25% of manufacturers will be engaged in cross-industry collaboration, resulting in a 10% revenue increase.

    Driven by rising customer expectations and the pandemic, manufacturers have forged new partnerships to create more innovative experiences. 

    For example, automakers are building ecosystems of more than 30 partners across different industries and several countries in order to make cars that are connected, electric, and autonomous, according to Boston Consulting Group

    By blurring the lines between industries and pursuing opportunities to collaborate, manufacturers can

    • Increase productivity and efficiency by 42% 
    • Improve risk management by 38% 
    • Boost customer engagement by 33%

     

  3. 30% of enterprises will use AI and customer data to deliver more personalization.
     

    With deeper customer insights and data, manufacturers will be able to deliver innovative customer experiences and suggest relevant content and products. Smart manufacturing not only will enable manufacturers to run their businesses more efficiently but also will allow for smarter interactions with customers. 

    AI can be leveraged at every stage of the customer journey to drive value for both the company and the customer. But, in order for AI and accompanying technologies to be truly successful, manufacturers must be able to integrate these systems into a connected technology ecosystem. 
     

  4. 75% of G2000 manufacturers will have established digital platforms to unify product and manufacturing process data.

    According to a survey conducted by IDC, enterprise data is highly disparate:

    • 30% is found in internal data centers
    • 20% in third-party data centers
    • 19% in remote locations
    • 22% in cloud repositories
    • 9% elsewhere. 

    By using a digital platform, manufacturers can bring all their data together in one location to build a streamlined digital ecosystem. 

    Without a digital platform in place to unite data, processes and people, both business processes and customers will suffer. Platform integration is fundamental to delivering instant, seamless customer experiences through real-time data synchronization between systems of record and external ecosystems.
     

  5. 20% of buyer journeys will be more exciting, colorful, and fun through integrated, connected multimedia.

    These adjectives are not usually associated with customer experiences in manufacturing, but organizations can transform the customer journey through powerfully connected product experiences utilizing VR, 360-degree videos, and 3D configuration tools. 

    Instead of simply providing product images, manufacturers need to start engaging potential buyers with powerful multimedia through their website, mobile and social media.

    To see a full list of CX predictions, download IDC's manufacturing InfoBrief here. 

Building a CX-Driven Future 

Manufacturers have weathered many changes in the past few years and will be facing many more to come. But their guiding light to success will always be their customers.

Learn how you can become a more customer-centric manufacturer by downloading the full IDC InfoBrief.

Source: IDC InfoBrief "Why Customer Centricity is Essential to Manufacturers", June 2021, sponsored by Liferay

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