4 Customer Journey Mapping Examples

When it comes down to it, a customer journey map is really just a table. It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, over designing your map can make it harder for your organization to use. There are no hard and fast rules about what it has to look like, but the format is usually something like this:

  • The stages of the customer journey form the columns
  • The things you want to explore at each stage from the rows

You can have as many stages as you want. And you’ll want to at least include a row that lets you identify touchpoints you have with the customer at each stage, plus a row for your customer’s motivations, goals, or problems.

To make our customer journey map examples as helpful as possible, we’re creating hypothetical maps for a range of product categories. Since we build conversion optimization tools for ecommerce brands, these examples are all modeled for ecommerce businesses. 

For our examples, at each stage, we’re looking at:

  • The touchpoints the brand has available
  • The consumer’s motivations
  • Questions the consumer has about the product category
  • Obstacles on a brand’s website that interfere with the consumer’s ability to find what they need
  • Ways the brand could improve the customer experience and lead them to the next stage of their journey 

We’ll also analyze how each product category’s unique qualities can impact what the customer journey map looks like.

You’re welcome to borrow as much as you’d like from these, but just remember that the more your map is informed by your brand and your customers, the more useful it will be. 

1. Customer journey map for consumer electronics

Consumer electronics is generally a pretty research-heavy category. Whether you’re selling audio equipment, computers, cameras, TVs, or something else, there’s usually a high price point and important layers of technical information. Consumers will naturally spend more time researching their options and familiarizing themselves with the category, so in this example, we’ve included a “research” stage.

Here’s how a company selling TVs might create a customer journey map for an avid sports fan. Across the top, you’ll see we’ve broken the customer journey into four stages:

  1. Research
  2. Comparison
  3. Shopping
  4. Purchase

lowest-cost product they need to do the job. This is where producing educational content can give brands a major advantage. By establishing touchpoints earlier in the customer journey, you get your foot in the door sooner, and the consumer feels more familiar with your brand when it’s time to make a decision.

If you can get someone to think, “Well, this is the tool the pros used in that YouTube video,” they may not even care what your competition is offering.

Here’s an example of a customer journey map that a hardware brand might create for a do-it-yourselfer who wants to renovate their home.

Awareness >Comparison>Decision>Purchase
Touchpoints-Ads-Google search
-YouTube videos-Billboard-”How to” articles-Social media-Hardware store
-Product page-Review sites-Ratings-Ads-Email-Physical shelf-Retail partners-Product page-Ratings-Ads-Email-Website shopping cart-Website checkout-Retail partners
Motivations-Wants to know what they’ll need for a project-Wants to feel confident that they don’t need a professional-Wants to understand the steps/stages of their project-Price-Durability-Accessories-Power source-Simplicity-Capacity-Speed-Voltage-Warranty-Convenience-Perks-Return policy-Price-Urgency-Warranty-Expertise-Wants to buy your product
Questions-Do I need to own this tool, or can I rent it?
-How complicated is this tool/task?-What safety precautions should I take?-Will I need help?
-What’s the best tool in my price range?
-What features should I care about most?-What should I avoid?-What accessories do I need?
-What makes this type of tool high/low quality?
-What store should I buy from?
-What if I need to make a return?
-How soon can I get it?-Can I pick it up locally?-Can I get a warranty from the retailer?
-How do I buy it?-Do I need to  grab my credit card?-Are there any special offers I can use?
Obstacles-No content-Have to leave site to answer questions-No comparison page-Some features not listed or poorly described-Unable to get useful help in-store-Have to leave site to see what retailers are offering-Product search-Account creation-Product search
Improvements-Create resource pages, buying guides, etc.-Create comparison page-Provide more detail in product pages and packaging-Get a where to buy solution-Reduce account creation fields
-Reduce number of clicks

4. Customer journey map for athletic shoes

With a product category like athletic wear, you might think that narrowing down your personas is simply a matter of focusing on the type of athlete you’re appealing to: baseball players, soccer players, volleyball players, etc. But that’s really just getting more specific about your product category. 

For each sport, there are different types of people who would fall under your target audience, and each of them will have a different customer journey. A student athlete won’t have the same path to your product as a parent shopping for their kid, or an adult playing the sport recreationally. You can see how this could easily lead to dozens of customer journey maps for a single brand, and why a more generic “football player” journey map isn’t all that useful.

Here’s an example of a customer journey map that an athletic shoe brand might use for a high school football player.

Discovery>Evaluation >Selection>Purchase
Touchpoints-Ads-Google search-Billboard-Blog post-Social media-Product page-Review sites-Ratings-Ads-Email-Retail partners-Product page-Ratings-Ads-Email-Website shopping cart-Website checkout-Retail partners
Motivations-Needs equipment to participate-Looking for a competitive advantage-Wants to avoid injury-Doesn’t want to look foolish-Price-Quality-Aesthetic-Fit/comfort-Convenience-Perks-Return policy-Price-Urgency-Wants to buy your product
Questions-What should I be looking for? -Are all cleats basically the same?
-What does everyone else wear?-How do cleats help me play better?
-What’s the right cleat for me? -What do the pros use?
-What features do I care about most?
-What’s the best I can afford?-Will people think these are cool?
-What store should I buy from?
-What if I need to return them?
-How soon can I get them?-Can I get them locally?
-How do I buy it?-Do I need to grab my credit card?-Are there any special offers I can use?
Obstacles-No content-Have to leave site-No comparison page-Have to leave site to see what retailers are offering-Product search-Account creation-Product search
Improvements-Create resource pages, buying guides, etc.-Create comparison page-Sponsor pro athletes-Invest in thought leadership-Get a where to buy solution-Reduce account creation fields
-Reduce number of clicks

Remember: the journey doesn’t start with you

While it’s important to identify the touchpoints you have available at every stage of the customer journey, the customer journey almost never starts with one of your touchpoints. It starts with your customer’s motivations. Their problems, goals, and aspirations are what lead them to your brand. The only time the opposite is true is if you’re the reason someone first becomes aware of their problem, or you instill a desire rather than simply activate one that’s already there.

Your customer journey map can only be as good as your customer research. If you can’t articulate those underlying motivations that lead a customer to your touchpoints, your journey is going to start with a major hole.

Create your own customer journey map

Every customer journey map should look a little different, depending on who you’re trying to reach, what you’re selling, and what the path to purchase looks like. (Where do your customers buy your products?) By creating maps for your own brand and empathizing with your customers, you’ll be able to identify gaps in the journey and see where you can better serve your target audience. 

You might, for example, discover that a particular type of influencer interacts with customers at a crucial stage, and you need to develop partnerships there or else compete for those touchpoints. Or you may find that you’re underutilizing a particular communication channel, such as your YouTube account or your packaging. As you associate specific touchpoints with each stage of the customer journey, you’ll start to see opportunities you simply couldn’t before.

Research >Comparison >Shopping >Purchase
Touchpoints-Ads-Google search-YouTube videos-Billboard-Blog post-Social media-Product page-Review sites-Ratings-Ads-Email-Retail partners-Product page-Ratings-Ads-Email-Website shopping cart-Website checkout-Retail partners
Motivations-Wants to feel like they’re at the game in their living room-Wants their home to be a gathering place for friends and family-Want to avoid spending a lot of money on a low-quality TV-Price-Resolution-Screen size-Color quality-Sound-Number of HDMI ports-Refresh rate-Warranty-Convenience-Perks-Return policy-Price-Urgency-Wants to buy your product
Questions-What should I be looking for in a quality TV? -What do all these terms and acronyms mean?
-Is there anything unique I need for watching sports?-Is a smart TV worth it?
-What’s the best TV in my price range?
-What features do I care about most?-What should I avoid?-What else will I need to buy?
-What will fit in my space? -Is it easy to mount on my wall or install?
-What store should I buy from?
-What if I need to return my TV?
-How soon can I get it?-Can I pick it up locally?-What if something happens to it after I buy it?-Have other people had a good experience with this TV?
-How do I buy it?-Do I need to  grab my credit card?-Are there any special offers I can use?
Obstacles-No content-Have to leave site to answer questions-No comparison page-Some features not listed or poorly described-Have to leave site to see what retailers are offering-Product search-Account creation-Product search
Improvements-Create resource pages, FAQs about TVs, buying guides, etc.-Create comparison page-Provide more detail in product pages-Get a where to buy solution-Reduce account creation fields
-Reduce number of clicks

As you can imagine, even with the same product, this customer journey would look very different for a gamer or a business administrator. There’s certainly overlap, but these personas will have different motivations and questions at each stage. They may also have different sources they turn to for expertise, and additional stages (such as some sort of approval stage for a business administrator).

2. Customer journey map for CPG

For consumer packaged goods (CPG), the sales cycle is often much shorter, and the products tend to have shorter lifespans. Earning a consumer’s loyalty is crucial so that they continue turning to your brand when they start to experience the same pain points they had before or find themselves with similar motivations.

Here’s an example of how a business apparel brand might map the customer journey for a young professional.

Awareness >Consideration>Decision>Loyalty
Touchpoints-Ads-Social media
-Billboard-Google search-Blog post-Influencer campaigns-Giveaways
-Product page-Review sites-Ratings-Ads-Email-Retail partners-Product page-Ratings-Website shopping cart-Ads-Email-Follow-up emails-Packaging-Rewards program-Ads-Social media
Motivations-Wants to look professional-Wants to feel smarter, more prepared, and reliable-Wants to fit in with (or stand out from) peers-Price-Material-Quality-Fit-Style-Colors-Pattern-Texture-Warranty-Convenience-Perks-Return policy-Price-Urgency-Wants to look ready for a promotion-Wants the best experience with their purchase-Trusts you to help them be professional
Questions-Why does what I wear to work even matter?
-How do I decide how formal to be? -What do most people wear in my profession?
-How many outfits do I actually need?-What do all the styles mean?-How are things supposed to fit?
-How do I know if a shirt is high or low quality?
-Does everything have to match?-How do I know what size to get?-What mistakes should I avoid?-What are the accessories I can skimp on?-Is this easy to clean?
-What store should I buy from?
-What if something doesn’t fit?
-How soon can I get it?-What’s the return policy?
-How do I keep my business attire looking good?-What else do you make?-Can I get a special deal for being a customer?
Obstacles-No content-Have to leave site to answer questions-No size chart-Not enough reviews -No customer questions-Models don’t look like me-Have to leave site to see what retailers are offering-Product search-Unclear which channel to follow you on-Lack of motivation-Not sure what else to get
Improvements-Create resource pages, buying guides, etc.-Implement a referral program-Create detailed, helpful size chart-Highlight reviews from retailers-Provide more customer feedback-Get a where to buy solution-Drive customers to preferred marketing channel-Offer loyalty discounts
-Suggest related products and add-ons

3. Customer journey map for hardware

Hardware is a product category that can involve a lot of research, depending on the product you’re selling and the price point. But it’s also ripe with potential for brand commoditization—consumers won’t necessarily differentiate between brands for low-cost tools. 

Is there a difference between a $10 keyhole saw and a $15 one? Sure. But without some serious brand awareness and product education, many consumers are just going to grab the

Want more insights like this?

The latest resources to take back control of the shoppers’ journey, maximize sales conversion, and protect your brand