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The path-to-purchase is paved with digital opportunities: An inventory of shopper-oriented retail technologies

Kim Willems, Annelien Smolders, Malaika Brengman, Kris Luyten and Johannes Schöning

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2017, vol. 124, issue C, 228-242

Abstract: This study focuses on innovative ways to digitally instrument the servicescape in bricks-and-mortar retailing. In the present digital era, technological developments allow for augmenting the shopping experience and capturing moments-of-truth along the shopper's path-to-purchase. This article provides an encompassing inventory of retail technologies resulting from a systematic screening of three secondary data sources, over 2008–2016: (1) the academic marketing literature, (2) retailing related scientific ICT publications, and (3) business practices (e.g., publications from retail labs and R&D departments). An affinity diagram approach allows for clustering the retail technologies from an HCI perspective. Additionally, a categorization of the technologies takes place in terms of the type of shopping value that they offer, and the stage in the path-to-purchase they prevail. This in-depth analysis results in a comprehensive inventory of retail technologies that allows for verifying the suitability of these technologies for targeted in-store shopper marketing objectives (cf. the resulting online faceted-search repository at www.retail-tech.org). The findings indicate that the majority of the inventoried technologies provide cost savings, convenience and utilitarian value, whereas few offer hedonic or symbolic benefits. Moreover, at present the earlier stages of the path-to-purchase appear to be the most instrumented. The article concludes with a research agenda.

Keywords: Retail technology; Path-to-purchase; Shopping value; Smart retailing; Shopper marketing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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