Brands are increasingly adopting and investing in a diverse set of customer journeys across a broader range of touch points than ever before, according to new research.
The study, from Kitewheel, looked at over one billion real-time, cross-sector brand and customer interactions.
A year-over-year comparison of 2014 to 2015 data reveals that each channel’s role in the customer journey is evolving:
· Email is not dead. In fact, it has surged to 23 percent of total journey interactions, up 270 percent year-over-year.
· Though the bulk of interaction volume occurs on social media (48 percent), the study found that as businesses expand to new channels as part of their customer journeys, social’s overall share of interactions declined 23 percent year-over-year.
· Mobile apps represent the fastest growing channel, with interactions increasing tenfold from 2014 to 2015. While the overall percentage of mobile app interactions is still small this channel holds great potential for brands in 2016, but will require a strong, real-time capability.
· Despite claims to the contrary, web interactions continue to climb, reaching 20 percent of total interactions; this represents a 67 percent increase year-over-year.
“By placing a stronger emphasis on customer journey orchestration over the past year, brands have realized a wealth of new benefits, including increased awareness, engagement, conversion and retention,” said Mark Smith, president, Kitewheel. “Our study shows that the sky’s the limit when it comes to customer journey orchestration — best practices will continue to emerge, allowing brands to incorporate more touch points into their omni-channel strategy and deliver the experiences consumers expect.”
Early Adopters and Sector Trends
When it comes to coordinating modern-day customer journeys, retailers are leading the way, orchestrating 50 percent of the total journey interactions tracked in 2015. Meanwhile, travel and healthcare companies are also investing heavily at 15 percent and 12 percent respectively.
These sectors are engaging customers across a broad array of channels and producing the highest volumes of interactions. The retail industry also depicts how, over time, brands may expand from approaches that focus on a single channel such as social, to more comprehensive journey approaches that also include web, email and in-store touch points.
The travel industry — one of the first industries to widely embrace customer journeys — continues to grow in interaction volume, primarily by incorporating additional channels into the journey for their best customers. Finally, the insurance sector surged, quadrupling interaction volumes year-over-year. The adoption and expansion of customer journeys among a more traditional industry such as travel signifies the pervasiveness and success of the strategy.
Two of Kitewheel’s marketing agency partners have commented on the report and the importance of the customer journey that Kitewheel delivers:
“The new report from Kitewheel validates the importance of customer journeys in today’s marketing landscape,” said Kelly Jo Sands, SVP, Marketing Technology, Ansira. “As brands fight it out to secure customer loyalty, customer journeys will be key to a winning omni-channel strategy.”
“At GroupM we are aiming to deliver superior customer experiences across all costumer touch points. Kitewheel provides the platform for the seamless integration of disperse sets of platforms and technologies and real-time decisions, which in turn delivers the right message at the right time to the right customer,” said Kresten Bach Søndergaard, Business Development Director, GroupM.
For an in-depth look at the 2016 study, download the free report here (registration required).
As a leader in customer journey management, Kitewheel analyzed and compared more than one billion brand and customer interactions from its successful delivery of customer journeys for clients worldwide. Data from 2014 and 2015 was then analyzed in depth across a range of industries — Retail, Automotive, Travel, Healthcare, Education and Insurance — to provide insights into the actual journey executions in today’s evolving customer journey market.