Customer journeys are proliferating across touchpoints and channels, according to a new report from to Kitewheel.
Kitewheel released its State of the Customer Journey for 2018 on Tuesday. The annual report measures interactions across its customer journey platform and is based on an analysis of more than 5 billion interactions between 2014 and 2017. All increases are reported as a percentage increase over last year, unless otherwise indicated.
More than 3 billion of those interactions occurred in 2017.
The report notes that brands are extending personalization across every single touchpoint, “from customer service to physical locations to the online checkout process.”
Major growth in ad tech, IoT
There has been tremendous growth in ad tech (204 percent) and IoT interactions (141 percent). Kitewheel attributes the growth in ad tech to a commensurate increase in marketers using customer interaction data.
Kitewheel confirmed to me that the ad tech category includes data management platforms, paid social, websites (using paid media referrers), ad targeting, ad group suppression and real-time personalization of ads.
The report noted that advertisers are measuring less in areas that do not translate directly into conversions, causing a precipitous drop in social media interactions (-58 percent).
Mobile app interactions are up 50 percent, “after skyrocketing last year, a sign that the overall trend towards app-based experiences is still a priority for brands.”
Retail is here to play
The report broke out the numbers around retail to illustrate its point that marketers are more interested in channels with a higher probability of conversions. With a 116 percent increase in in-store interactions, it’s clear that retailers are looking to customers’ online behavior to inform their advertising and targeting. The report also notes that retail is “perhaps the earliest adopter of customer journeys,” validated by Kitewheel’s new Customer Journey Maturity Model metric, and praised its diversification of channels.
Kitewheel confirmed that the Web category includes any and all instances where a company is able to personalize based on web behavior, which could include marketplaces and aggregators.
From the report:
A look at the channel mix across our retail customer base shows how a modern approach to customer experience requires expanding journeys to encompass a variety of digital and physical touchpoints.
Whereas many industries we monitor are focused on one or two key elements of the customer journey … retailers are looking at the bigger picture. Adtech is typically geared towards reaching and acquiring new customers, while website, app and store are traditional conversion channels. Email is a highly reliable re-engagement and retention channel, and its continued prominence points to its efficacy.
“Over the four years that we’ve published this report, a profound shift has taken place in the customer journey space,” said Mark Smith, Kitewheel’s president. “What was once primarily a marketing tool is now the way that many brands design and influence the entire customer experience. We’re seeing our clients’ customer journey strategies maturing as they realize the business imperative to deliver great experiences.”