Articles / Recommended Reading / Relationship / Value

Digitizing the consumer decision journey

Digitizing the consumer decision journey

In a world where physical and virtual environments are rapidly converging, companies need to meet customer needs anytime, anywhere. Here’s how.

Edwin van Bommel, David Edelman, and Kelly Ungerman

McKinsey Insights | McKinsey Quarterly | June 2014

Many of the executives we speak with in banking, retail, and other sectors are still struggling to devise the perfect cross-channel experiences for their customers—experiences that take advantage of digitization to provide customers with targeted, just-in-time product or service information in an effective and seamless way.

This quest for marketing perfection is not in vain—during the next five years or so, we’re likely to see a radical integration of the consumer experience across physical and virtual environments. Already, the consumer decision journey has been altered by the ubiquity of big data, the Internet of Things, and advances in web coding and design.1 Customers now have endless online and off-line options for researching and buying new products and services, all at their fingertips 24/7. Under this scenario, digital channels no longer just represent “a cheaper way” to interact with customers; they are critical for executing promotions, stimulating sales, and increasing market share. By 2016, the web will influence more than half of all retail transactions, representing a potential sales opportunity of almost $2 trillion.

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