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The never-ending story: Discovering touch points and customer experiences along the customer journey
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Today’s society is earmarked by developments in technology so drastic, that our lives are continuously changed, impacted and remolded. When thinking about how many impressions one goes through during a single day, the results will be uncountable. And at an increasing pace, many of these impressions are shifting to the digital realm. This thesis acknowledges these rapid changes in the modern world of marketing, particularly the digital aspects of it. Yet while a great amount of research has been conducted to more closely understand digital marketing and how to conduct it, a significantly little amount of research has been spent focusing on the customer. This while the path that a customer takes from need to purchase may have grown to be more complex than ever. Not all the impressions that a customer gains on a certain product or brand come solely from the company behind it.

As such, we decided to focus on exploring this customer journey – a relatively nascent theme in the field of marketing research. More specifically, we aim to answer the following research question:

How is the customer purchasing decision affected by the customer’s interaction with touch points throughout the customer journey?

Our main purpose was to arrive at a model as an answer to the research question, that could be used as a foundation for future research studies. We were intensely curious at gaining a better understanding of the customer journey and what the customers experience as they are touched by different influential channels during their travel from need to purchase. Our study shows that it is possible to synthesize the state of current research on the topic of the customer journey and support it with empirical data gathered from interviews with a variety of customers. Central to our thesis are the following two definitions that we have constructed based on current literature:

The customer journey is the individual experience that a customer has when interacting with touch points in the path from a pre-purchase to a post-purchase setting.

Touch points are moments of contact between customer and company that individually and collectively influence customer experience.

The third critical element is that of the customer experience, which we don’t explicitly define, but implicitly construe as a distinct construct with a powerful impact by serving as the catalyst between touch points and customer actions and perceptions.The result is a conceptual model of the customer journey that we feel could be a foundation for future research on the customer journey to build upon and perhaps one day could serve as an overarching model for marketing as a whole.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 112
Keywords [en]
customer journey, touch points, touchpoints, touch-points, customer experience, purchase-decision process, purchasing-decision process, digital marketing
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-164269OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-164269DiVA, id: diva2:1362405
Educational program
Master's Programme in Marketing
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-10-21 Created: 2019-10-19 Last updated: 2019-10-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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