5 Steps of Customer Journey

Retail customer journey map: Navigating the path to purchase

Create a seamless in-store experience with a retail customer journey map. Understand the purchase path, identify improvement opportunities and boost customer satisfaction with advanced analytics solutions.
Yuri Garmider
Yuri Garmider
Marketing Manager
April 4, 2024

What is a retail customer journey map?

A retail customer journey map is a visual representation of a customer's experience with different touchpoints, from when they enter the store to when they leave. It illustrates a customer's interactions with the products, shelves, brand zones, or cash register. Retail customer journey mapping is essential because it helps retailers identify areas of improvement and create a positive and memorable shopping experience for their customers. Retail customer journey mapping benefits include increased customer satisfaction, improved customer loyalty, and increased sales.

The retail customer journey can be divided into five stages:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision
  • Purchase
  • Retention

This journey provides a detailed view of consumer behavior from the initial discovery to post-purchase experiences, underlining the importance of understanding this path for optimizing sales funnels and driving profound customer engagement. 

Advanced analytics solution

Retailers increasingly leverage advanced analytics solutions like DISPL Visitor Insights to measure and optimize this journey. This AI-powered retail audience analytics collects demographic and engagement data throughout the various store areas, from entrance to checkout, helping craft detailed customer journey maps that reflect customer paths and preferences. These insights are essential for retailers striving to enhance the customer experience, boost dwell times, and significantly augment overall customer satisfaction and loyalty. By integrating such technologies, retailers can navigate the complex landscape of customer journey mapping, ultimately leading to a more refined and effective customer engagement strategy.

The stages of the retail customer journey

Navigating the retail customer journey involves understanding each customer's distinct stages, from initial awareness to becoming a brand advocate. This journey is crucial for crafting strategies to enhance retail customer experience and engagement. Here's a breakdown of the stages:

5 Steps of customer journey


  • Objective: Make potential customers aware of the store or products.
  • Tools: One effective way to promote your brand, highlight special offers, or showcase new products is to use digital signage at strategic locations such as storefronts or high-traffic areas within malls. By utilizing audience analytics, you can tailor the content based on the demographics of your target audience and optimize it for times when they are most likely to be present. Another simple yet effective approach is to frequently update the content displayed on the digital screen and track which ads attract more visitors and positively impact sales.


  • Objective: The aim is to establish a welcoming environment that encourages visitors to browse the available products.
  • Tools: To achieve this, you must focus on several aspects, such as appealing visual merchandising, creating a comfortable space, providing straightforward navigation, and hiring friendly staff. If the customer feels relaxed and satisfied, they are likelier to show interest and attentiveness towards exploring the products displayed on the shelves.


  • Objective: Encourage customers to consider the products or services offered by the store and assist them in making a purchase decision.
  • Tools: To help customers make an informed decision, targeted digital signage can be used in high-decision areas. These signages can compare products, show customer testimonials, or offer limited-time deals to nudge the decision. Analyzing customer data makes it possible to identify which content works best and optimize it in real time. Additionally, interactive kiosks can be deployed inside the store, allowing customers to explore product ranges, read reviews, or see products in action.


  • Objective: Streamline the purchase process and make it as effortless as possible for customers.
  • Tools: Leverage digital signage technology at the point of sale to reduce perceived wait times. Also, queue management systems that integrate with digital signage should be implemented to manage customer flow and improve service times. Use audience analytics to determine peak times and adjust staffing accordingly.


  • Objective: Encourage repeat visits and foster loyalty.
  • Tools: Use tablets to gather customer feedback and utilize negative feedback to enhance products and services, ensuring customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Challenges in data collection and analysis

Customer journey mapping is a powerful tool that can help businesses understand the customer experience from start to finish. However, creating a customer journey map can be complex and challenging.

Gathering data can take time and effort

There are different ways to collect data, including social media analytics and surveys. Surveys help determine the number of people who know about your store and those who have made purchases. Similarly, analyzing social media reviews provides valuable information on customer perceptions. However, these methods may only sometimes be entirely accurate and can be expensive and time-consuming.

Interpreting data can be ambiguous

Even when businesses have gathered data, interpreting it can be ambiguous. There may be multiple interpretations of the data, and knowing which interpretation is the most accurate can be challenging.

The journey is constantly changing

Customer behavior and expectations constantly evolve, meaning the customer journey is always changing. This means businesses must continually update their customer journey map to ensure it remains accurate and relevant.

Innovative solution 

Businesses can benefit from using a tool like DISPL analytics, which collects data from sensors installed in physical stores. These sensors gather information on visitor numbers, demographics, conversion rates, time spent in the store, and popular zones. All the collected data is presented in a single dashboard, making it easier for businesses to make informed decisions based on the data. DISPL analytics solves several problems at once:

  • Simplify the data collection process.
  • Make it easier to interpret.
  • Update the data promptly.
DISPL Visitor Insights dashboard

How to create a customer journey map 

Building a customer journey map for your in-store experience can help you identify pain points and areas for improvement in the customer journey. By understanding your customers, mapping out their journey, and identifying pain points, you can develop solutions to improve the overall experience and create a positive and memorable shopping experience for your customers.

Define your customer personas

You need to understand your customers before you can map out a customer journey. Define your customer personas based on demographics, behaviors, and needs.

Identify touchpoints

Think about all the touchpoints a customer has, from entering the store to browsing the products, making a purchase, and leaving. Identify all the different touchpoints and interactions a customer has in-store.

Map out the journey

Once you have identified all the touchpoints, you can map the customer journey. Start with the customer entering the store and map out each touchpoint and interaction until they leave.

Identify pain points

As you map out the customer journey, identify any pain points or areas where the customer experience could be improved. This could be anything from long wait times at the checkout to difficulty finding products in-store.

Develop solutions

Once you have identified pain points, develop solutions to improve the customer experience. This could be anything from adding more staff to the store floor to improve customer service or optimizing the store layout to make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for.

Test and iterate

Once you have developed solutions, test them out and see how they impact the customer experience. Iterate and make changes as needed to improve the in-store experience for your customers continually.

How to optimize a customer journey map 

When optimizing a customer journey path, it's crucial to analyze each touchpoint to identify possible problems and find solutions to create a more positive and successful customer experience. Here are some examples:

Store department

  • Possible problems: Low footfall, disorganized layout, lack of product information.
  • Solution: Rearrange the department to increase foot traffic, improve store layout, and ensure all products are easily accessible.

Brand zone

  • Possible problems: Lack of customer engagement, low brand awareness, ineffective product displays.
  • Solution: Create a more interactive brand zone, provide informative product displays, and offer promotions or discounts to increase engagement.

Screen with content

  • Possible problems: Low engagement, uninteresting content, lack of relevance to the customer.
  • Solution: Measure engagement to understand customer preferences, improve the quality of the content, tailor it to the customer's interests and needs, and make it more interactive and engaging.

Cash register

  • Possible problems: Long wait times, confusion about payment options, understaffing at the cash desk.
  • Solution: Add more cash registers, provide clear payment instructions, and manage staff efficiently based on traffic data.

Tablet with feedback form

  • Possible problems: Low response rate, difficulty finding, lack of award.
  • Solution: Make the tablet more visible and accessible, provide clear instructions, and offer incentives for giving feedback.

By analyzing each touchpoint and identifying possible problems, businesses can find solutions to create a more positive and successful customer journey path. Whether moving the touchpoint to another place or changing its look, shape, or content, there are always ways to improve the customer experience.

How DISPL Visitor Insights can help retailers

DISPL Visitor Insights is revolutionizing the way retailers understand and engage with their customers, offering an audience analytics solution that captures comprehensive demographic and engagement data. This tool is instrumental in creating detailed retail customer journey paths from entry through different store areas to check out and uncover insights into lead-to-sale conversions and the most attractive in-store locations. Here's how DISPL Visitor Insights can empower retailers:

Visitor demographics

DISPL analytics can help retailers collect data on visitor demographics, such as age and gender. This data can help retailers understand their customer base and create customer personas to guide their customer journey-mapping efforts.

DISPL Demographic analytics graph

Dwell time 

DISPL analytics can track the time visitors spend in the store and at different locations within the store. This can help retailers understand which areas of the store are most attractive and identify areas where visitors spend less time. This data can be used to optimize the store layout and improve the overall customer experience.

DISPL Visitors dwell-time graph

Engagement level

DISPL Analytics is a tool that can help you keep track of visitor engagement at various touch points such as brand zones, content screens, and more. You can get insights into which of your touchpoints is more effective by analyzing the data on the amount of time visitors spend looking at it. For instance, the graph shows the distribution of visitors by the time they spent at a particular touchpoint. 

DISPL Engaged visitors graph

Long queues

One way to better manage visitor flow in a store is to install a sensor near the checkout area. This will allow you to track how much time visitors spend waiting in line. With this information, you can offer special promotions such as morning discounts to reduce wait times during peak hours. Additionally, it will help you optimize the number of employees needed to support the store's operations.


By exploring the retail customer journey, we have highlighted the importance of understanding every interaction along the path to purchase to enhance customer experience and loyalty. Innovative tools like DISPL Visitor Insights can provide valuable insights to retailers, empowering them to create an environment that anticipates customer needs. This results in an engaging and satisfying shopping experience, leading to increased dwell times, improved conversion rates, and the development of customers into brand advocates.

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