Mobile has the ability to impact on the customer journey across the entire purchase cycle, largely due to the fact that it is ‘always on’.

This is particularly true of consumers in Asia-Pacific, where the growth in internet penetration is largely being driven by mobile devices.

A GfK study found that 83% of online users across eight APAC markets access the internet via smartphones each day. In China this figure rises to 93%.

Econsultancy’s new report, Understanding the Customer Journey in APAC, published in association with Emarsys, takes a closer look at the role mobile plays within various phases of the customer journey.

The data shows that a large proportion of respondents believe that customers are primarily interacting with their businesses on mobile while researching products that they later buy online. Just under half of client-side respondents (49%) and 61% of agency respondents agreed with this statement.

‘Sharing content to social networks’ and ‘researching products for later purchase offline/in-store’ also achieved high scores with both agencies and client-side respondents.

How do your customers interact with you (or your clients) via mobile devices?

Interestingly this data seems to contradict research from Google which suggested that 82% of smartphone users will turn to their phone to influence a purchase decision while in-store.

Data hinders optimization

It’s likely that businesses in APAC do not fully understand the impact that mobile has on the customer journey to due deficiencies with data collection and analysis.

When asked to rate a series of statements about the mobile, a majority of companies agreed that they lack the the mobile data (74%) and systems (79%) to effectively map the customer journey.

Furthermore, 73% agree that they simply lack the time and resource to effectively map the mobile customer journey.

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements related to understanding the role of mobile in the customer journey?

Finally, respondents were also asked about the main barriers to understanding the customer journey as a whole (not just on mobile).

According to client-side respondents, the greatest barriers to gaining a better understanding of the customer journey are complexity of the customer experience (44%), difficulty unifying different sources of data (34%) and silo-based organizational structures (34%). In many businesses there are a multitude of legacy systems and data silos, which can be difficult to work with and tricky to get rid of.

Additionally, 32% of agencies say that a lack of leadership prevents their clients from gaining a better understanding of the customer journey. A further 15% of agencies believe that the greatest barrier is low business priority for their clients compared to just 9% of businesses who say that this is the case.

Econsultancy subscribers can download the full report for further insight into how APAC companies are tracking and optimizing the customer journey.