This article examines the tension between efficiency and customer experience management in retailing. It concludes that one way forward is to give customers the tools to manage their own experience. To put it another way, in these industries, it is up to the customer to manage their own experience. In some industries, such as complex financial services, regulatory barriers prevent self-service, ... [Show full abstract] on the grounds that advisors know better than consumers what the latter need. However, these barriers will eventually collapse as consumers use improved information technology, including advising each other via social media, to identify products that they want, at the right price. Where customer service is concerned, suppliers will increase their focus on efficiency and margin, and seek the win-win of self-fulfilled customer experience with minimised human intervention from staff. Consumers will be provided with ever more sophisticated information and communications technology, particularly but not solely by suppliers who use a multi-channel approach. Younger consumers’ strong preferences for buying in their own way will eventually pervade most markets. Suppliers who fail to come to terms with this will lose market share to those who lead in applying information and communications technology to support self-service. Eventually, the self-fulfilled experience will be the norm, except in most difficult and risky purchases. Even here the role of human intervention will be minimised. Consumers will increasingly use their own technology, especially smart-phones, to identify the best offers, make comparisons between products and services, and receive offers from national and local suppliers. For more complex products and services or buying situations, expert third party diagnosis of customer needs will be replaced by self-diagnosis.