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Turning downstream disruption into competitive advantage

Next-gen oil and gas customers seek a digital experience

For decades, oil and gas companies operating in the downstream segment have focused on product and cost. But, the strategies that differentiated oil and gas companies in years past may no longer be enough to advance today. As oil and gas customers seek a next-gen, digital oil and gas experience, suppliers are tasked with finding new ways to respond.

Can digital oil and gas change the playing field?

A new generation of tech-savvy customers and consumers with different buying experiences and expectations is ascending into key decision-making roles in the oil and gas industry. They seek simple, effortless, technology-enabled solutions, and interactions—traditional oil and gas supplier sales models and channels can seem archaic and inefficient by comparison.

As a result, many downstream oil and gas companies are finding competition increasingly difficult. On top of this, additional forces are further disrupting the relationship between companies and their customers:

  • Digital natives: Many customers have grown up during the digital age and expect to do business on-line or on-app at their convenience. They expect to interact with digitally mature organizations.
  • Omni-channel consistency: Customers want the same experience across all the channels and devices they interact with. This increases the importance of oil and gas company partners and distributors collaborating on channels and content.
  • Self-service journeys: There is overwhelming evidence that buyers manage their exploration and purchase journeys on their own terms via channels and platforms that are convenient for them.
  • New players in the ecosystem: Startups providing value-added services to customers that allow them to consume, buy, and manage consumables more efficiently.

What do next-generation oil and gas customers expect?

View an integrated approach for:

What’s at stake for downstream oil and gas companies?

In this digital age, being flexible to customers’ digital needs, providing channel choices, and making interactions simple, consistent, and convenient is becoming more critical. Many oil and gas companies are trying to find ways to appeal to the digital customer.

For example, fuel providers could partner with customer-focused companies in oil and gas or other industries to implement application programming interfaces. This type of application would act as the gateway to engaging customers across multiple channels to offer a more personalized experience.

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Downstream oil and gas companies’ path to future growth runs directly through the expectations of digitally aware and empowered customers.

Using digital technologies to improve the customer experience presents an industry-wide challenge because most oil and gas companies have not been customer-focused.

How can a downstream oil and gas company improve customer engagement?

Making a commitment to digital transformation is not just doing "random acts of digital." It is adopting a digital mindset, launching new digitally driven business models, and looking at all touchpoints and activities from the perspective of today’s digitally empowered customer.

True digital transformation in oil and gas also calls for establishing and nurturing a customer-centric culture—one in which people are recognized and rewarded for delighting customers by providing an easy, seamless, and satisfying digital experience. Here are some ideas to keep in mind:

  • Think of tomorrow’s customers
  • Identify ways to improve processes and touchpoints
  • Invest in technologies to strengthen customer engagement
  • Measure, learn, adapt, and repeat

Read our latest report or reach out to learn more about digital oil and gas for downstream.

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Oil and gas companies: Are you listening to your customers?

Downstream oil and gas companies can create a stronger connection with their customers by engaging them on their terms and meeting them where they look for information and expect support.

Let's talk

Joe Dworak
Deloitte Consulting LLP


Damon Vaccaro
Deloitte Consulting LLP


Ann De Villiers
Senior manager
Deloitte Services LP

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