Infographic: The Evolution of In-Store Customer Experience from 1800 to 2050

March 22, 20174min

A new study that analyses the history of in-store customer experience and anticipates how the store of the future will look has been released. Carried out by Mood Media, global leader in elevating customer experience, the research highlights retail innovations that represent key milestones in the evolution of the customer experience from the 19th century through to the present day and beyond.

The team analysed eight historical periods, going from 1800 to 2050, identifying and observing different indicators of customer experience in each era: store format, atmosphere, services offered to customers, shop windows and payment methods. Four key lessons could be drawn from the analysis:

Emotion as the core vector of the customer experience: this goes back to the 18th century with the creation of the first commercial galleries in France, Italy and the UK. In the 19th century, the movement grew with the advent of department stores. With their size, broad choice of products and technological innovation of their time (electricity), they succeeded in revolutionising the consumer journey, laying the foundations of modern commerce.

Sensorial marketing started developing in the ‘20s with the first recorded backgound music. In 1970 we witnessed the advent of shop windows. The brands of tomorrow will be able to measure emotional data, referred to as “feel data”.

Personalisation: Customisation applies to all criteria of the customer experience (store format, services, products or customer relationship). This is a trend that intensified with the development of geolocalisation, the arrival of 3D printing and augmented reality. Personalised prices will soon follow – could this be the end of standard pricing?

Experience vs flows management: at the beginning of the 20th century, customers became more autonomous, due to different factors, such as price tags and changing rooms. Grocery stores started developing their strategy around the management of flows, while retailers started focusing on the concept of pleasure and experience.

Stores as life environments: Will physical stores still need to exist when customers may be able to see products via augmented reality or even 3D print them at home? Is there a point in keeping brick and mortar shops open? The history of the customer experience shows that physical stores have become part of our lives, where we go to discover, be inspired and socialise. Additionally, time is a factor that still needs to be considered. Even when deliveries are made by drones, or products can be printed at home, nothing will be faster than choosing, testing, trying and buying an item.

Interesting Links:

Mood Media Corporation

Mood Media Corporation

Mood is the global leader in Elevating Customer Experience through the right combination of sight, sound, scent, systems and social mobile technologies. With more than 500,000 active client locations around the globe, we consult and serve businesses of all sizes and market sectors, from the world’s most recognized retailers and hotels to quick-service restaurants, local banks and thousands of small businesses.

Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.



UK Trademark UK00002648900

EUIPO Trademark 018131832

Contact Information

For article submissions:
Paul Ainsworth

For general inquiries, advertising and partnership information:
Tel: 0207 1932 428

For Masterclass enquiries:
Tel: +44 20 86385584

Customer Experience Magazine Limited
Company number: 12450532
International House, 24 Holborn Viaduct,
United Kingdom, London, England, EC1A 2BN


Find a job in customer support with Jobsora