5 reasons consumer & retail companies struggle with customer trust

A KPMG commissioned study reveals technical, organizational and strategic priorities to enhance customer experience and trust.

Technologies are advancing rapidly, and consumer and retail companies must keep pace. However, as they adopt these new technologies, they must also work to maintain customer trust. To gain insight into where consumer and retail companies are struggling with customer trust as new technologies are implemented, KPMG commissioned a study with Forrester Consulting to identify where companies thought they were lagging. Explore our summaries of the top five struggles below and download the document for study data and recommendations.


Priorities to enhance customer experience and trust
Research commissioned by KPMG reveals the top five reasons consumer and retail companies are struggling to maintain customer trust.


Security and compliance

Customers want their data protected. 

Ongoing cyber security threats, expanding privacy protections (GDPR, CCPA), and evolving regulations in a variety of jurisdictions are challenging companies to balance their investments appropriately between growing their digital brands and maintaining their digital security. Most organizations are constrained by multiple legacy IT systems and databases that were put in place for their traditional storefronts but are not well integrated with their digital channels (stores, online, mobile, etc.). Trying to establish a robust security architecture across incompatible systems can drive up costs significantly.


Technology and data

Legacy systems, inadequate governance and technology silos magnify complexity.

Companies are struggling to track and share customer interactions across multiple channels and countries. In addition to posing security concerns, legacy systems and data spread across multiple databases exacerbates the considerable challenge of attaining a single view of the customer.  


People and processes

Customer trust is built when the experience is seamless across channels.

Most organizations lack the infrastructure they need to deliver a cohesive, cross-functional customer experience or the capabilities and incentives their teams need to collaborate effectively. Our research confirmed that, in the absence of qualified in-house capabilities, organizations may look to third-party providers to deliver portions of their customer experience strategy. However, lack of transparency and ineffective communication with third parties could hinder the delivery of a trusted experience. Lack of qualified personnel with relevant digital experience continues to slow down rapid deployment of their digital strategies. 


Business silos

Customer trust can be impacted by a company's ability to meet delivery commitments and product returns.

Many organizations are organized by channel, each with independent leadership, applications, forecasts, inventory and reporting. Many have built their supply chains around a traditional business model. But often, supply chain systems and processes have not been updated and configured to meet customer expectations for “always available and immediately deliverable” products and services. The result is supply chain and inventory management systems that cannot meet the commitments made by the pre or point of sales instances.


Strategy misalignment

Customers reward companies based on their best experiences.

Organizations are struggling to balance stakeholder expectations for growth and profitability with delivering the 21st-century experience their customers demand. While companies say they are focused on customer centricity, they remain challenged by lack of appropriate executive sponsorship, a company‑wide strategy, and sufficient funding to enable execution. Our experience is that most consumer product organizations take a case-by-case approach to a connected enterprise strategy, which results in essentially unwieldy cross-channel experiences for customers.


Read the document above to learn more and consider KPMG's services for Technology Risk Management and Connected Enterprise, together, to enable a successful customer-centric business model with a focus on customer trust.