Customer journey mapping: case study

Customer journey mapping: case study

July 31, 2023
Marketing Two Cents

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Data Analysis Skills |

Active User Rate

Daily Budget

Campaign Budget

Click-through rate increase

Click-through Rate

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Return on Investment

Data Analysis Skills |


Daily Budget

Prioritisation of
Limited Resources

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Developing Business and Social Innovation through Creativity and Foresight Methods

CustomerJourney Mapping (CJM) is designed to create a deeper understanding ofcustomer’s behaviour by seeking impactful solutions to enhance the customerexperience. Although CJM requires the analysis of both online and offlineinteractions, digital technology plays a primary tracking role in customerjourney mapping. This innovative approachis widely used to serve marketing purposes thus providing valid insights forelevating touchpoints by innovation and creativity (Rosenbaum,Otalora & Ramírez 2017). This essay argues thate-commerce CJM benefits further optimisation in e-commerce by serviceinnovation. This essay also narrates the background and history of CJM will be revealedand provide a compelling example of how CJM innovatesand elevates the customer’s journey in e-commerce. As such, the essay focuseson the e-commerce customer shopping journey and the provisionof critical insights.

The Background of Customer Journey Mapping

Customer journey mapping is a visual approach for gaininga profound customer experience insight while an expected action gets performed(Marquez, Downey & Clement 2015). According to Kalbach (2020), JanCarlzon’s concept of ‘moments of truth’ firstly reveals the fundamentalidea of touchpoints – an advocate of ecological view on customer experience(Westley & Mintzberg 1989). In 1994, the concept ofexperience blueprint was explained as “a graphic illustration of experiencetrace to be customised, along with the attachment of personal characters” (Carbone & Haeckel 1994). With that in mind, theconcept of “moment mapping” was introduced in 2002 to form the phases of thecustomer experience (Kalbach 2020; Bernard & Andritsos 2017). The customerjourney mapping has further evolved and made an influential impact from 2012 –businesses now combine with design thinking with customer journey mapping tobring the experience to life (Bernard & Andritsos 2017) (Refer to Figure 1).

(Figure 1)

A customer journey map illustrates the sequence ofevents which customers may interact with or have conducted during the purchaseprocess (Rosenbaum, Otalora & Ramírez 2017). It uses arrows, text and graphicelements to map the steps of the journey (Kalbach 2020). Every customerinteraction is considered as a touchpoint  that represents an opportunity for theorganisation to take the initiative to optimise the interaction (Marquez,Downey & Clement 2015). The sequence of touchpoints horizontally connectstogether with a process timeline. Thus, the formation of a customer journey mapis accomplished (Refer to Figure 2).

Figure 2

Customer satisfaction and experience are vital tobusiness growth, as 80% of business decisions are based on customer needs(Temkin, McInnes & Zinser 2010). With the development of digitaltechnology, a customer is able to express their thoughts, wants and needs withthe without restriction in time, devices and location (Anderl et al. 2020). Assuch, the utilisation of CJM benefits the business in the following ways:

·            The visualisation of thecustomer journey highlights the various stages and touchpoints on a given task togain a better understanding (Marquez, Downey & Clement 2015).  

·            The understanding isproven to be beneficial for process innovations to better match userexpectations (Willott 2020).

·            User engagement can be improved by identifyingthe “moment of truth” to increase user engagement (Lucidchart 2017).

·            Save cost by eliminatingineffective touchpoints and enhance the future return of investment (Lucidchart2017).


Although CJM enables businesses to access and address any misalignment with delivery,there are some drawbacks in relying on journey maps that may result in thefailure to understand and analyse the quality of customer expectations (Anderl etal. 2020):


·            Despite the benefit of a comprehensiveunderstanding of customer journey, value is always assumedly attributed to thelast action before the conversion. Nevertheless, the credit attributionreceived increased concerns in terms of the importance of channel and thecomplexity of the user journey (Berman 2015).

·            The fixed journey map is unable to cope with thecomplexity of the user journey. It is also not giving any weightage to externalcriteria such as implementation, time-to-market, cost and context (Klaidman 2016; Regalix2019).

·            Journey biases and the inconsistency between “themoment of truth” and the pain points (Klaidman 2016) (Refer to Appendix A).


Customer journey mapping follows the AIDA model(awareness, interests, desires and action)(Willot 2020) (Refer to Figure 3) and provides a useful starting pointto understand the cognitive, affective,and physical responsesof customers (Følstad & Kvale 2018). Therefore, businessescan identify each step and apply analysis to evaluate touchpoints (Figure 4). Digitaltracking tools such as AppsFlyer, Google Analytics and Facebook Analytics arethe primary means to pixel-tracking customer movement from the beginning to theend (Temkin, McInnes & Zinser 2010) (Refer to Appendix B).

(Figure 3, source: CompB, 2019)
(Figure 4, source: CompB, 2019)

Using<<Customer Journey Mapping>> for Innovation

(Note: theCJM example listed below is an e-commerce workshop in the author’s companywhich will be referred to in this essay as “CompB”)

Personalisation is proven to be themost popular trend in user experience optimisation (Berridge 2019). Subjectivespeculation does not truly reflect the authentic experience. Customer journeyrequires advanced analytics technology to conclude an effective result (Google 2020). An innovativeoptimisation process is demonstrated by CompB- an e-commerce retail business’s CJMworkshop that the author supervised (Refer to Figure 5). By analysing thebehaviour funnels, CompB is able to differentiate valuable traffic sources andidentify the funnel that has the highest abandon rate. Furthermore,the HotJar andGoogle Analytic enable the company to investigate the user browsing behaviourindividually. Analysis of company “B”’s success story revealed two key behaviours:

1.      Missing-click area was foundon the category page’s landing strip banner

2.      A “call-to-action” mightincrease click to more in-depth pages

As such, CompB ran two rounds of A/B testing to counter themissing clicks (Refer to Figure 5 and 6):

1.      Remove the landing stripbanner on major categories

2.      Add “call-to-action” tohomepage banner

The company was able todetect a climb in clicks in homepage banners. However, no significant userexperience changes were detected after removing the category landing stripbanner (Refer to Appendix C).

(Figure6, source: CompB, 2019)


Customerjourney mapping offers opportunities to understand and optimise user experienceamong interactions. The map enables CompB to learn about its traffic status andidentify the pain points in “homepage– category page – product page” funnel touchpoints. The optimisation applieddid not entirely improve the website experience; however, the certainimprovement in user clicks and bounce rate metrics can be traced. As such, thewebsite navigation function is enhanced. In this example, two key insights arerevealed:

A comprehensive, integrated journey map is difficult to make

Each user has a unique journey (Rosenbaum, Otalora & Ramírez 2017). They can interact indifferent channels in different time frames. It is therefore impossible to map allcustomer journeys but measuring the major traffic sources will help theorganisation to become more effective in focusing on optimisation of primary channels.


Optimisation requires designthinking and testing

Utilisingdesign thinking to handle optimisation challenges is proven to be useful inmatching user expectations (Liedtka 2014). CompB did this by creating auser-oriented strategic journey map and utilised different designs to enhancethe website navigation, communication and engagement. Customers were then ableto experience a smooth purchase process in a more aligned and story-tellingway.

In conclusion, customer journey mapping is a comprehensiveand detail-oriented marketing tool that connects the organisation and its usersin terms of interaction. Despite its disadvantage in credit attribution,organisations and businesses will be greatly benefited by creating aclient-focused journey study. With that in mind, user experience should be theultimate principle in strategic business development.


Anderl, E, Becker, I, von Wangenheim, F & Schumann, J 2020,"Mapping the customer journey: Lessons learned from graph-based onlineattribution modeling".


Bernard, G & Andritsos, P 2017, "A Process Mining Based Modelfor Customer Journey Mapping", Forum and Doctoral ConsortiumPapers Presented at the 29th International Conference on Advanced InformationSystems Engineering (CAiSE 2017), vol. 1848, pp. 49-56.


Berridge, R 2019, "eStar Chief Client Officer Gets Personal: TheRise of Product Personalisation - Power Retail", Power Retail,viewed February 1 2020,<>.


Carbone, L & Haeckel, S 1994, "Engineering CustomerExperiences", Marketing Management, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 8-19.


CompB 2019, Customer Journey Mapping Project, (October-December), Sydney:CompB


De Graaf, J 2020, "Ask a researcher:How do needs drive intent?", Think with Google, viewed January19 2020, <>.


Følstad, A & Kvale, K 2018, "Customer journeys: a systematicliterature review", Journal of Service Theory and Practice,vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 196-227.


Google 2020, "User Explorer - Analytics Help",,viewed February 1 2020,<>.


Kalbach, J 2020, "Mapping Experiences", O’ReillyOnline Learning, viewed January 26 2020,<>.


Klaidman, S 2016, "The Trouble With Customer Journey Maps -Middlesex Consulting", Middlesex Consulting, viewed January 292020,<>.


Liedtka, J 2014, "Innovative ways companies are using designthinking", Strategy & Leadership, vol. 42, no. 2, pp.40-45.


Lucidchart 2017, "How to Create a Customer Journey Map |Lucidchart",, viewed January 29 2020,<>.


Marquez, J, Downey, A & Clement, R 2015, "Walking a Mile in theUser's Shoes: Customer Journey Mapping as a Method to Understanding the UserExperience", Internet Reference Services Quarterly, vol. 20,no. 3-4, pp. 135-150.


Regalix 2019, "Customer journey maps: the good, the bad and theugly – Regalix",, viewed January 29 2020,<>.


Rosenbaum, M, Otalora, M & Ramírez, G 2017, "How to create arealistic customer journey map", Business Horizons, vol. 60,no. 1, pp. 143-150.

Temkin, B, McInnes, A & Zinser, R 2010, Mapping The CustomerJourney, Forrester Research, viewed January 26 2020,<>.


Westley, F & Mintzberg, H 1989, "Visionary leadership andstrategic management", Strategic Management Journal, vol. 10,no. S1, pp. 17-32.


Willott, L 2020, "How to Create Your Customer Journey Map -Customer Thermometer", Customer Thermometer, viewed January 292020,<>.



<<Appendix A: “A moment oftruth” and pain point>>

A moment oftruth occurs any time a customer interacts with the organisation (Klaidman2016). Examples can be like performing a search looking for an answer, orderinga takeaway in the menulog app, or even switching on the home appliance. However,the said actions only represent a list of events that customers perform. Theydo not explain the pain point that triggers the bounce. The inconsistencybehind is varied and complicated; it might due to the page layout brings anunpleasant feeling to customers, or the graphic is not navigational and makescustomers feel confused. The customer journey mapping is capable of drawing asequence of  “moments of truth”, but itis challenging to identify the pain point that is resulting in an exit. It isrecommended to use design thinking and A/B testing to develop the keycapability for revolutionary innovators and a potential source of sustainablecompetitive advantage (Bernard & Andritsos 2017).


<<Appendix B: How to create acustomer journey map>>

Productionof a customer journey map requires the following step (Bernard & Andritsos2017):

1)         Collect internal insights;

2)         develop initial hypotheses;

3)         research customer processes, needs, andperceptions;

4)         analyse customer research; and

5)         map the customer journey.

Identifying customer journey stages and defining the customerpersonas are the essential starting point in the mapping setting. It requiresthe organisation to gather the insights and build up profile blocks based ondemographics, background, responses and behaviours. With integratedinformation, the organisation will be able to understand and define customer goals.Once the journey channels are set, the initial journey map can be created fortesting and experiment(Willott 2020).                            

(Figure 6 How to Create a customer journey map, source: CompB,2019)

<<Appendix C: CompB’s user journey mapping and optimisation>>

(Note: CompB in the example is a disguise for the businessthat the author works for, which is reffered to in this essay as “CompB”)

Funnel mapis one of the common userjourney maps that demonstrates the user journey by showing traffic amount. By using Google Analytics and HotJar (Figure 7 and Figure8), CompB (2019) found that there is a significantdrop from two funnels: a) Homepage to any deeper pages. b) Category page toproduct page. The lost traffic resulted in low “add-to-cart” action. In orderto understand the real scenario, CompB pulled out the recording and examed theuser experience cases by cases(Refer to Figure 8 and Figure 9).

After analysing the recordings and heatmap, CompB (2019)found that people tend to use the search bar on the homepage instead ofclicking banners. Furthermore, some missing clicks are gathering in the landingstrip banner area. The findings lead to a conclusion that the user might findthe banners confusing, and they are potential pain points. Therefore, an A/Btesting was held to validate the theory.

Figure 7 Shoppingbehaviour funnel in Google Analytics, source: CompB, 2019)

(Figure 8 Trafficfunnels in HotJar, source: CompB, 2019)
(Figure 9 General journey map inGoogle Analytics, source: CompB, 2019)
(Figure 10 Userexplorer, source: CompB, 2019)

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Dean Long | Expert in Growth MarketingHongxin(Dean) Long

Dean Long is a Sydney-based performance marketing and communication professional with expertise in paid search, paid social, affiliate, and digital advertising. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Information Systems and Management and is also a distinguished MBA graduate from Western Sydney University.

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