Consumer Touchpoints: Some Are More Essential than Others

Businesses battle to enhance customer lifetime value (CLV), which represents the total worth of a customer to a company over the entirety of their relationship. The key to maximizing CLV lies in effectively leveraging consumer touchpoints.

An old-time brick-and-mortar merchant relies on the shopfront as the primary consumer touchpoint. The CLV hinged on whether or how often customers would revisit.

Consumer touchpoints shopfront

Digital marketing technology has created a plethora of new virtual consumer touchpoints. They span the various stages of interaction between a customer and a brand, and they play a pivotal role in shaping the customer’s perception and experience.

Your Clicademists have followed the evolution of digital consumer touchpoints. We suggest that whereas everyone is essential, some are more so than others.

The more essential digital consumer touchpoints

One of the most impactful touchpoints is digital engagement, including transactions and fulfilment, facilitated by e-commerce channels. As highlighted by McKinsey, digital engagement provides companies with valuable data on consumer behaviour, which can be used to optimise marketing and product development. The importance of these touchpoints has induced Amazon Prime and numerous delivery services. For instance, Delivery Hero, an online food delivery service from Germany, has made CLV their core steering metric. It focuses on understanding customers intimately and engaging them with tailored offers to their context and needs.

Another significant touchpoint is social media, a leading digital platform for consumer interaction. According to Matomo Analytics, social media and video-sharing platforms are crucial for promoting customer loyalty and improving brand reputation. Forbes Advisor released a 2023 survey indicating that social media apps have become a popular medium for purchases among users aged 18 to 44, underscoring these platforms’ importance in the customer journey’s pre-purchase stage.

Moreover, Forbes Advisor suggests that customer-incentivising touchpoints can effectively increase CLV. Offering perks such as free shipping or freebies for reaching a specific order amount encourages additional spending and enhances the overall customer experience. Various SaaS businesses have successfully employed this strategy, which offers temporary upgrades or trials to entice customers.

While some touchpoints may significantly shape the customer experience and brand perception, others play a subtler role in the customer journey.

The Lesser but Not the Least Digital Touchpoints

In the intricate web of consumer touchpoints, not all interactions hold the same weight in influencing customer lifetime value (CLV). Understanding these lesser touchpoints is crucial for businesses aiming to streamline their efforts and allocate resources effectively.

Lesser touchpoints often involve passive or post-purchase interactions, which may not directly contribute to immediate sales but still impact overall customer satisfaction and retention. For example, product catalogues provide information, but they are often less influential than the active engagement of a sales call or a well-crafted digital advertisement. Moreover, a customer reading a thank-you letter after a purchase might appreciate the gesture, but it is unlikely to be a decisive factor in their purchasing decision. Similarly, while

Another touchpoint considered less critical is the customer portal for checking order status. While it is an essential service feature, it does not actively engage the customer in a way that enhances CLV unless it is part of a broader, more interactive customer service strategy. Self-service options such as knowledge bases and product how-tos also fall into this category. They are important for customer empowerment and satisfaction but are not typically decisive in the initial stages of the customer journey.

Moreover, indirect interactions such as word-of-mouth and reviews, while they can have a significant impact on brand perception, are less controllable by the company and thus may be seen as less critical touchpoints to manage directly. These interactions are mediated by consumer-controlled offline or online channels and can vary widely in their influence.

It is important to note that while these touchpoints may be less important in driving immediate sales, they contribute to the overall customer experience and can indirectly influence future purchasing decisions and loyalty. Therefore, while businesses might prioritize more impactful touchpoints, they should not neglect these subtler interactions.

Actionable Recommendation: Mapping Customer Journeys

Identifying and optimizing these touchpoints requires a deep understanding of the customer journey. Qualtrics Experience Management recommends integrating records to create a comprehensive customer journey map, measuring revenue at each touchpoint, and adding it together over the customer’s lifetime. By doing so, businesses can pinpoint where the customer creates the most value and tailor their strategies accordingly.

Businesses should focus on optimising essential touchpoints that directly contribute to customer acquisition and retention while maintaining a holistic view of the customer journey. By understanding and managing the less critical touchpoints, companies can ensure a cohesive and satisfying customer experience that supports long-term CLV growth. Optimising these touchpoints requires an approach that balances resource allocation with the potential impact on the customer experience.

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