“Consumer decision journey: Mapping with real-time longitudinal online and offline touchpoint data” • New paper from Susana Fernandes dos Santos and Helena Martins Gonçalves

Consumer decision journey: Mapping with real-time longitudinal online and offline touchpoint data is the latest article by professors Susana Fernandes dos Santos and Helena Martins Gonçalves – ADVANCE/ CSG/ ISEG – ULisboa, published at the European Management Journal.


This study aims to holistically map actual decision journeys from the consumer’s own perspective for two product categories of different levels of involvement (i.e., smartphone and soft drink), using an adapted sequential incident technique (SIT). Previous to the in-depth interviews, individuals reported all touchpoint encounters as their decision journey unfolded via a mobile electronic diary. Experience reports, consumer responses, and visual data were also gathered. A sequence analysis was employed to identify touchpoint and channel contacts and then perform a sequential pattern analysis. The results indicate that more and more variable touchpoints and activities exist for the high involvement product. Four decision journey maps were found for each product. However, journey sequences are more complex, non-linear, and dynamic for smartphone purchase.

This study enriches both consumer decision-making and involvement theories, in that its new innovative forms of data gathering (i.e., mobile diaries) enable a more rigorous identification and understanding of current omnichannel decision journeys for products of distinct involvement classifications. The results provided by this complementary innovative method can orient marketing managers in understanding actual touchpoint contacts and developing differentiated strategies that address various consumer groups.

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