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Measuring customer experience in physical retail environments

Juan Carlos Bustamante (Department of Marketing, ESPAE Graduate School of Management, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL), Guayaquil, Ecuador and Department of Marketing, Universidad de Los Andes, San Cristóbal, Venezuela)
Natalia Rubio (Department of Finance and Marketing Research, Autónoma University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 22 September 2017

Issue publication date: 19 October 2017




In a world where customer empowerment is continuously increasing and changing the service landscape, retailers must provide memorable shopping experiences to retain and attract new customers. When customers decide to go shopping in physical stores, they expect to enjoy their visit, experiencing cognitive, affective, social, and physical responses evoked by in-store stimuli. The purpose of this paper is to propose and validate a scale to measure in-store customer experience (ISCX).


This study’s theoretical review of customer experience (CX) demonstrates that a formative model provides the best structure for measuring the construct ISCX. Furthermore, the study follows the guidelines for rigorous construction of a formative scale, which include three main stages: generation of items, scale purification, and assessment of scale validity and reliability.


The results provide evidence that a formative third-order scale with a reflective second-order dimension (social experience) and three reflective first-order dimensions (cognitive, affective, and physical experience) has satisfactory psychometric properties. The findings also provide useful information on the effect of the ISCX scale on key performance variables such as satisfaction and loyalty to the store.


The ISCX scale proposed constitutes a useful multi-concept diagnostic tool for use by retailers to create fully experiential shopping environments with differential value for the customer. By providing a complete, robust, precise measure of CX in a retail environment, the scale gives researchers a structured way to examine the causes and consequences of CX in retail.



The authors wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Research Project Ref. ECO2015-69103-R) and Fundación Ramón Areces (Research Project: “El capital cliente en mercados minoristas de gran consumo”). The authors thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions. Their insights have contributed greatly to strengthening the manuscript.


Bustamante, J.C. and Rubio, N. (2017), "Measuring customer experience in physical retail environments", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 884-913.



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