3 New Findings From State of the Customer Journey 2021


What happens to the state of the customer journey when a virus disrupts businesses across the world? When people are displaced from their daily routines, brands need to find new ways of communicating with them. In this year and the last, businesses finally underwent digital transformations that had seemed optional the year before.

All of these changes generated data within Kitewheel’s Customer Journey Hub. In the State of the Customer Journey 2021, we’ve taken a closer look at our data from the previous year to uncover the trends that will most impact businesses this year. Here are three trends and takeaways that you’ll want to look out for in 2021. Check out the full report for even more trends and customer journey data.

Customer Engagement And Retention Grows Rapidly

The State of the Customer Journey 2021 report reveals that engagement and retention was the top journey priority in 2020Why invest in customer journey orchestration? The State of the Customer Journey 2021 shows that “Driving Customer Engagement and Retention” continues to be the top use case regardless of industry. Brands have doubled down on these efforts in the past year. In fact, 97% of the total growth in journey interactions took place within engagement and retention journeys. For consumers, that’s good news. For businesses, it’s a smart investment. In 2020, customers were more willing to defect from their usual brands, with 70% trying new brands in the past year.

So is this a job only for CX teams? Not at all. Engagement and retention journeys are often part of the marketing or sales funnel – taking information for a known customer or prospect and using that data to personalize the experience.

Customer Journey Channel Counts Increase

One of the trends in customer journey management, CX, and martech has been the adoption of omnichannel, multi-channel, or cross-channel approaches. The philosophy behind all of these is that better connectivity allows your brand to meet customers where they want to interact.

channel counts increased 13% in 2020 and that trend is accelerating Naturally, customer journey projects often span many channels. Not only that, but most brands increase the number of channels they use with time. Every year since we began reporting, channel counts have increased across industry and use case. 2020 saw channel counts increase by more than 13% on average over last year. This means that more channels are being used to reach customers than in the past. Even though new projects tend to use fewer channels as they get started, this growth indicates a demand for more connected customer journeys.

Kitewheel Introduces Decisioning Complexity Analysis

customer journeys in 2021 are sophisticated, but CX journeys lead marketing journeys in complexityOne crucial feature for customer journey orchestration is the ability to make decisions about the experience you deliver for your customers. The foundation of these decisions is the logic that takes inputs and returns an output or desired action. These decisions can be binary choices, like “is this person over or under 35 years old?”. Alternatively, they can be quite sophisticated, answering questions about persona, individual behavior, demographics, and potential interests.

The State of the Customer Journey 2021 explores how complex the journeys at our clients are by industry and department. Here are a few things we found:

  • Journeys led by CX teams had 24% higher decisioning complexity scores than their Marketing peers
  • Financial Services and Healthcare both lead in decisioning complexity scores
  • Retail journeys saw significant volume growth despite simpler decisioning.

The State Of The Customer Journey Is Strong

Despite the challenges of the past year, customer journeys remain the best way to deliver a great experience to your customers. The State of the Customer Journey 2021 is chock full of data and analysis on what changed – and what remained the same throughout the past year in the world of journeys. Download it today for more information and detail.

Are you ready to take your journeys to the next level? Check out our newly released Journey as a Service (JaaS) offering, with transparent pricing and accessible journey packages.