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Three Phases to the Customer Journey

Trish Ferguson |

Customer experience (CX) and customer journey: there are arguably no more frequently used phrases in the customer strategy business than. However, it’s important to delineate the differences between the customer experience and the customer journey and how they relate to each other.

CX is the cumulative impact of all interactions that an individual has with a brand, its community, products or services any time, any place.

A single Customer Journey is comprised of the steps that make up one of these interactions, with customers forming impressions (positive and negative), of a retailer based on their experiences. Those customers who have high levels of engagement usually share the result of the cumulative effect of positive experiences.

It can be a daunting process for retailers to analyze. However, analysis by 5one has defined the Customer Journey by three main phases.

Consider: Identifying needs, exploring options to meet those needs, comparing possible solutions and seeking other opinions to build confidence in making a decision. A customer can go through various iterations of the Consider phase before actually transacting.

Shop: Finding the product or service that the customer wants to purchase, making a final selection and payment.

Enjoy: Receiving delivery, using the new product or experiencing the service and sharing their experience with others.

Everyday purchases such as groceries often take place based on immediate needs and are therefore completed much quicker. However, these type of purchases still involve Consider, Shop and Enjoy impressions, albeit for a few seconds.

By contrast, discretionary purchases may involve greater financial commitment or emotional engagement. The customer will therefore spend more time in the Shop and Consider phases—for instance, when buying jeans. In another example, the duration of consideration of shopping for and enjoying a holiday will be greater than buying eggs because this kind of purchase involves greater emotional and financial investment.

Customer Journeys are customer specific. The nature of the purchase will also vary by market, as different customers in various markets approach purchasing the same products in multiple ways. For example, butcher’s meat may be regarded as discretionary in certain communities, but a commodity in others. The key point is that customer journey impressions are customer specific, so that different customers will have varying levels of engagement with the same retailer offer.

In order to improve the CX at each point of the customer purchase journey, retailers should use Customer Journey mapping to identify all the possible options for customers to capture information, make a purchase and share their experiences.


This is blog is an abridged version from the Compendium. Go here to read the unabridged version.


Topics: Inclusion, Payments Strategy, Retail Trends

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