A technology company asked us:

What is the current role and opportunity of technology in the customer journey for in-store shoppers?

A client asked us for help better understanding the experiences of women using their platform to connect with service providers. Specifically, they wanted to understand circumstances where they felt unsafe, their expectations of safety options, and feedback on the helpfulness of proposed solutions and concepts.

We Answered:

AnswerLab designed a two-part research study with in-store shoppers to understand their behaviors and needs across their entire shopping experience.

We started with a diary study to document the consumer’s shopping journey, including prompts and entries pre-trip, in-store, and post-shop. Participant entries covered topics ranging from their motivations for shopping in-store, how they prepared for their shop, budgeting and list-making practices, coupon habits, and even the items they brought with them like their phone or mask.

Building on the diary data, we followed up with one-on-one interviews. In these sessions, to discuss their experience in-depth and introduce two shopping app prototypes for feedback.


Through our research, we learned that consumers’ motivations for shopping in-store rather than online ranged extensively, including the ease of discovering sales in-store, how urgently they needed the item, a desire to see products in person, or even just to get out of the house. Many shoppers faced longer-than-usual lines and were wary of navigating overcrowded stores due to pandemic risks, so efficiency and ease were top of mind.

Through the combination of diary responses and interviews, participants offered valuable insights on the whole shopping journey to inform our client’s research questions. Not only did we uncover context on their budgeting methods, how they liked to navigate the store, and reasons for using curbside pickup services. Our team also explored how participants used technology to make shopping lists, clip coupons, and stay organized with loyalty programs and special deals. 

Ultimately, the research findings and analysis provided critical context to help our clients better understand the customer journey and prioritize tangible ways to improve their prototypes and features to meet user expectations.

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