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IBM 2017 Customer Experience Index (CEI) Study–A global assessment of CX capabilities


Customer expectations outstrip brands’ capabilities to deliver the optimal shopping experience.

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Brands need to work harder to meet consumer expectations. To avoid being marginalized to commodity status or, worse, disappearing from the landscape altogether, brands must adapt to and capitalize on disruptive forces impacting the consumer industry.

Our fifth annual IBM Customer Experience Index (CEI) Study identifies which brands are providing leading shopping experiences to consumers and how they’re doing it.

We undertook a global assessment of retail and consumer products brands' customer experience (CX) capabilities from a consumer’s perspective at key touchpoints along the in-store, online and mobile shopping journey using a common set of criteria and a universal scoring system.

The study generated almost 30,000 individual data points about more than 500 brands in 25 countries across the world, as well as an extensive library of observed leading practices, giving us the ability to analyze CX capabilities at a region, country, sector, and/or individual company level.

The 2017 CEI results indicate that brands have significant room for improvement in terms of satisfying customer expectations: On a scale from 0 to 100, the average CEI score is 33.

The CEI Study focuses on seven category areas, which were developed based on feedback from more than 35,000 consumers surveyed as part of a previous IBV study: “Shoppers disrupted: Retailing through the noise.” Consumers were questioned to determine which CX factors were most influential when choosing one brand over another.

This report discusses headline findings for each category area, including store experience, digital experience, physical and digital integration, mobile experience, personalization, social media, and omnichannel supply chain.

We also discuss what leading companies do differently in customer engagement, customizable experience, fulfillment flexibility and convenience, customer to customer (C2C) communities, and how they get the basics right.

And, we reveal three detailed fundamental customer experience imperatives to guide brands as they move forward.


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Meet the Authors:

Karl Haller

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, Global Leader, Consumer Center of Competence, IBM Global Business Services,
Simon Glass

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, Global Retail Leader

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