Recent Study Reveals Singapore Companies Falling Behind in Generative AI Uptake Among Consumers and Employees

Discover how Singaporean brands are prioritizing customer experiences and embracing technology, while facing budget challenges. Explore the latest insights from Adobe’s research on consumer trust, generative AI, and key factors driving spending behavior.

According to recent research conducted by Adobe, brands operating in Singapore are placing a strong emphasis on enhancing customer experiences as a means to drive their growth. However, they are encountering challenges due to budgetary constraints. A significant portion, specifically 28%, have already made reductions in their marketing and customer experience budgets, while an additional 35% plan to do so within the next year.

In response to these financial constraints, Singaporean brands are exploring ways to optimize their operations. They are increasingly turning to technology solutions to enhance workflow efficiency, with a notable 70% of them pursuing this strategy. Additionally, 59% are actively implementing generative AI. Interestingly, in a regional context encompassing Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand, only 64% of Southeast Asian brands are investing in workflow-improving technologies, and 56% are incorporating generative AI. Nevertheless, the research underscores that the formal adoption of generative AI among Singaporean brands is lagging behind consumer demand and employee usage.

Generative AI is capturing the interest of consumers in Singapore, particularly for its potential to enhance products and services (33%) and improve the overall customer experience (37%). Remarkably, 39% of consumers in Singapore view the utilization of generative AI as a necessity for businesses to remain competitive, surpassing the 35% figure for the broader Southeast Asian region.

Within the workplace, an overwhelming majority (94%) of employees in Singapore report having used generative AI in marketing and customer experience campaigns. This stands in stark contrast to the fact that only 31% of respondents from Singapore indicate that their respective companies are currently employing generative AI tools. Employees are utilizing text-to-image generators for creating promotional materials and content (58%), as well as developing concepts and mock-ups for campaigns (55%). Additionally, conversational AI tools find utility among half of the employees (50%), who employ them for copy generation, research, and insights.

In comparison to Singapore, 95% of employees across Southeast Asia are leveraging generative AI tools in their marketing campaigns, while only 42% of respondents from the region state that their companies are currently utilizing such tools.

Simon Dale, Vice President & Managing Director, Southeast Asia & Korea, Adobe, notes that the widespread adoption of generative AI by employees across Southeast Asia underscores the urgency for organizations to establish robust AI usage regulations and policies. He cautions that without clear guardrails and ethical principles, evolving generative AI technologies could pose risks to organizations and undermine consumer trust.

Another critical finding from Adobe’s research is that Singaporean brands are failing to prioritize factors that build trust and encourage consumer spending. These factors include data security, sustainability, and accessibility.

In a challenging economic climate, consumer trust plays a pivotal role in driving spending. Nearly half (46%) of Singaporean consumers express a greater likelihood of remaining loyal to brands they trust, with 36% indicating a willingness to spend more under such circumstances.

Within the context of building consumer trust, the top factor is ensuring the safety and respectful use of data, followed closely by the provision of ethically developed products and services that benefit both people and the planet. These factors are shown to positively influence customer spending.

Conversely, a substantial majority (93%) of consumers in Singapore declare their intent to reduce spending with brands that do not prioritize data security and privacy, with 46% indicating they would refuse to spend at all. An inaccessible experience that does not cater to the needs of people with disabilities would also lead to reduced spending for 94% of consumers, while 80% would cut back on spending if a brand fails to comply with sustainability regulations.

Despite the significant impact these factors have on consumer spending choices, a considerable portion of Singaporean brands (43%) do not regard data safety as a crucial element for attracting and retaining customers. Moreover, for accessible and sustainable products and services, the figures rise to 50% and 49%, respectively.

Simon Dale emphasizes that consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of data privacy and a brand’s commitment to sustainability and accessibility. To maintain trust in the face of market shifts and evolving consumer behavior, brands must exhibit responsible practices and social accountability. This includes harnessing emerging digital technologies not only to enhance engagement but also to safeguard consumer data.

The research findings from Adobe underscore the evolving landscape in Singapore’s business environment. Brands are navigating the challenges of reduced budgets while recognizing the paramount importance of enhancing customer experiences. The adoption of technology solutions, especially generative AI, represents a promising avenue for efficiency gains. Nevertheless, there exists a clear disconnect between consumer expectations and the formal adoption of these technologies by businesses. Moreover, the critical factors of data security, sustainability, and accessibility cannot be overlooked, as they significantly influence consumer trust and spending habits. As the market continues to evolve, it is imperative for brands in Singapore to align their strategies with these key insights, demonstrating a commitment to responsible practices and leveraging digital technologies to both engage consumers and safeguard their data.