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Development of a classification framework for technology based retail services: A retailers' perspective

: Wolpert, S.; Roth, A.


International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research 30 (2020), Nr.5, S.498-538
ISSN: 0959-3969
Fraunhofer IIS ()

The purpose of this study is to identify different types of technology-based retail services (TBRS) for brick and mortar environments and analyze them by developing a framework that can be used to classify TBRS in respect of their dimensions, categories and category elements. The research design is twofold. First, this study conducts a systematic literature review to identify a relevant body of various TBRS in scientific literature. Second, it uses grounded theory as a method to analyze the identified TBRS from part one, in order to expose TBRS classification dimensions for developing a classification framework. This study identified 35 TBRS from 124 peer-reviewed articles, published worldwide between 2003 and 2019. It shows that TBRS can be classified along four dimensions: (1) participant issues, (2) technology issues, (3) information issues, and (4) intended purposes. The findings indicate that the majority of TBRS has technology-generated customer contact and is a fixed in-store totem with a low task complexity. Most TBRS enhance customer experience or improve store management. This study addresses a significant and on-going change in retailing. It provides insights into the TBRS market and offers an analytical classification framework to take TBRS to pieces, showing their elements and purposes. The framework can both guide future research and aid retail practitioners in analyzing TBRS.