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14th March, 2016  

Retail: Customer Journey

By Gaurav Patekar


The domain of retail, at least from outside seems like an extremely complex clockwork, where all the elements are meant to fit together and function as a single entity in order to satisfy its purpose. The purpose in this case is to satisfy the customers. This entails providing the customer with all and every product that they want, anticipate the demand, stock the appropriate items in the appropriate quantity, and hundred more such things.

And if going to a supermarket to buy groceries seems relatively simpler, its not.

We wanted to understand for ourselves what happens on the side of the customer. We believe there can be very interesting problem areas in here to tackle.

Below is the summary of primary research done in supermarkets in Hyderabad and Chennai.

All the activities involved in the process of buying something from a supermarket, the concerns and problems associated with them have been represented as a journey map.

The activities involved have been divided in stages of the process such as inspiration, planning, comparison, etc.


Details of what  goes on in the customers mind while shopping and what are the factors that drive the customers behaviour:

  • Motivation
    • Keep the sticks full
    • Bare necessities
      • Routine purchase
        • Calendar
        • Occasional reminder
      • Special occasion
        • List of items
        • List of activities
  • Planning
    • Make a list
    • Go to the store
    • Unexpected traffic
    • Picking up a friend
    • Choosing a store
    • Limiting time spent in store
    • Figure out parking
  • Enter a store
    • Assessing the situation
      • How long will it take
    • Locating items
      • Customers mental model of the store
      • Within specific time
      • Asking for help
      • Related items
      • Order of finding
      • Are all items available
    • What to do with kids
    • Should I take a cart
  • Compare & experience products
    • Expiration
    • Health factors
    • Price factor
    • Does it look good
    • Does it feel good
    • Past experience
    • Have I seen it before
      • friend
      • Internet
      • Tv
      • ads
    • Discovering new items
  • Decide
    • Second guessing
  • Purchase
    • Am I buying enough
    • Am I forgetting something
  • Delivery
  • Follow up
    • Return / exchange
      • Doesn’t fit
      • Expired product
      • Wrong product

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