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This article appeared in a journal published by Elsevier. The attachedcopy is furnished to the author for internal non-com...
Authors personal copy                                                                     ARTICLE IN PRESS                ...
Authors personal copy                                                              ARTICLE IN PRESS                       ...
Authors personal copy                                                                 ARTICLE IN PRESS202                 ...
Authors personal copy                                                         ARTICLE IN PRESS                            ...
Authors personal copy                                                                     ARTICLE IN PRESS204             ...
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Entertainment in retailing: The influences of advanced technologies


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In recent years, the importance of an enjoyable experience during the shopping activity increased. As a
consequence, many researchers are focusing on the best application of enjoyable elements in the points
of sale in order to maintain existing consumers and attract new ones.
The aim of this paper is to analyze how the introduction of advanced technologies modifies the
retailing context and affects consumers shopping experience. In particular, three aspects of our results
emerge from a theoretical standpoint: new advantages for retailers (the possibility to achieve fast
information on consumer behavior and preferences); the improvement of the point of sale; and the
positive influences on consumers shopping experience.

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Entertainment in retailing: The influences of advanced technologies

  1. 1. This article appeared in a journal published by Elsevier. The attachedcopy is furnished to the author for internal non-commercial researchand education use, including for instruction at the authors institution and sharing with colleagues. Other uses, including reproduction and distribution, or selling or licensing copies, or posting to personal, institutional or third party websites are prohibited. In most cases authors are permitted to post their version of the article (e.g. in Word or Tex form) to their personal website or institutional repository. Authors requiring further information regarding Elsevier’s archiving and manuscript policies are encouraged to visit:
  2. 2. Authors personal copy ARTICLE IN PRESS Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 17 (2010) 200–204 Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services journal homepage: in retailing: The influences of advanced technologiesEleonora Pantano, Giuseppe Naccarato ÃDepartment of Linguistics, via P. Bucci, cubo17b, University of Calabria, 87036 Arcavacata di Rende (CS), Italya r t i c l e in f o a b s t r a c t In recent years, the importance of an enjoyable experience during the shopping activity increased. As aKeywords: consequence, many researchers are focusing on the best application of enjoyable elements in the pointsRetailing of sale in order to maintain existing consumers and attract new ones.Shopping experience The aim of this paper is to analyze how the introduction of advanced technologies modifies theConsumer behavior retailing context and affects consumers shopping experience. In particular, three aspects of our resultsAdvanced technologies emerge from a theoretical standpoint: new advantages for retailers (the possibility to achieve fastEntertainment information on consumer behavior and preferences); the improvement of the point of sale; and the positive influences on consumers shopping experience. & 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.1. Introduction Restaurant, and the Ralph Lauren brand which created the Ralph Lauren Restaurant in Chicago (USA), where each element of the In recent years, the importance of an enjoyable experience environment reflects and reminds the brand style. With the sameduring the shopping activity increased (Kim, 2001; Kozinets et al., purpose, also other luxury firms are extending their signature ¨ ¨2002; Backstrom and Johansson, 2006). In fact, several authors label into the landmark hotel (especially in exclusive places): forcarried out that consumers who enjoy the shopping experience instance, BVULGARI opened a hotel in Milan and another one inengage more purchases if compared to those who not (Kim and Bali, and Versace opened the Palazzo Versace in the AustralianKim, 2008). The shopping experience, therefore, can be influenced Gold the fun provided in the store (Diep and Sweeney, 2008). In Hence, it’s emerging new vision of the shopping places: theparticular, this experience plays an important role in the shopping places as entertaining places. The current advances inconsumers satisfaction process. Indeed, an entertainment context technologies carried out new powerful tools to improve in-storeseems to have a stronger impact on consumers satisfaction than a consumers experience. ¨non-entertainment context (Soderlund and Julander, 2009). In The aim of this paper is to analyze how the introduction offact, it can add value to the goods and services provided in the advanced technologies modifies the retailing context, by provid-store (Newsom et al., 2009; Roussos et al., 2003). ing new enjoyable elements, and how these technologies can Moreover, the level of entertainment is a powerful tool to affect consumers shopping experience.improve processes, by enhancing users experience. For instance, it The first part is devoted to the most used technologies in theis very effective for facilitating learning processes (Cutr et al., ı points of sale; the second one analyzes the main implications of2008; Pantano and Tavernise, 2009). these technologies for marketers and the possible influences on In this scenario, many studies are focusing on the best consumers behavior.application of enjoyable elements in the points of sale in orderto entertain more consumers, improve their shopping experienceand communicate the brand in new and attractive ways (Burke, 2. Advanced technologies in retailing2002; Chang and Burke, 2007; Michon et al., 2006). To achievethis task, several firms added in their stores entertainment The main characteristic of the current technologies applied toelements as bar, gyms and restaurants capable to enjoy existing retailing is the interactivity. In fact, these technologies giveconsumers, as well as to attract new ones. consumers the possibility to interact with the products in the Meaningful example are the Armani brand, which added in its stores as in a videogame. For this reason, the interactivemost important Italian store (in Milan, Italy) the famous Nobu technologies (such as 3D virtual models) have been already exploited by several e-retailers in order to enhance consumers shopping experience (Kim et al., 2007; Yoo et al., 2010). Ã Corresponding author. Tel.: + 39 0984494363; fax: + 39 0984494110. Furthermore, these tools can be used also in the real stores with E-mail address: (G. Naccarato). similar results.0969-6989/$ - see front matter 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.jretconser.2010.03.010
  3. 3. Authors personal copy ARTICLE IN PRESS E. Pantano, G. Naccarato / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 17 (2010) 200–204 201 The advanced technologies applied to retailing are usuallybased on pervasive environments and mobile and ubiquitouscomputing (Wasinger, 2006; Roussos et al., 2003). Pervasivedevices are often embedded into a service infrastructure, likemobiles and RFID tags and sensors. In this case, information likeusers profiles, items description and data from sensors aresynchronized and shared over the network of devices, in thisway the database is constantly updated.2.1. RFID Fig. 2. The IBM Personal Shopping Assistant. Source: IBM. RFID is a radio frequency identification. It is an efficientautomatic identification technology for a variety of applications(Roussos and Kostakos, 2009). According to Ustundag and Tanyas, From the retailers point of view, these systems allow them to2009, the RFID is made up of an unique identification number know the quantity of the product on the shelves in real time; thisassigned to a particular item. A tag (the identity number) is information can be used to renew stock in a more efficient way,attached to the item through a chip, which provides the unique avoiding waits and obstacles for consumers. The consequence isidentification number. As a consequence, the RFID readers collect an increasing of both the service level and the consumerssignals from multiple tags and process this data through the data propensity to buy, as well as a general increasing of theprocessing system. This data contain the product information. qualitative perception of product, shop and brand (Burke, 2002). Furthermore, RFID is especially used in the management of the Moreover the shopping assistant systems can solve thesupply chain to trace products. problem related to the planning of the target advertising to From the consumers point of view, RFID allows them to locate specific consumers, which is a key factor in the consumersthe products in the store, which have been previously labeled satisfaction process (Iyer et al., 2005), by delivering highwith RFID tags, and achieve other information. In fact, the customized information.products tags can refer consumers to information held in the The most meaningful example are the IBM Personal Shoppingproducts database that they can access through special tools. Assistant and the mobile shopping assistant (MSA) (Pantano, These systems are usually based on shopping trolleys and 2009). One of the main advantages of these systems is thehandled devices, equipped with particular drivers which recog- multimodality of the interaction (Pantano, 2009). This modalitynize RFID tags of each product (Hansmann, 2003; Schneider, makes the interaction between consumers and system more2004). efficient (Oviatt, 2008). In this way, the shopping assistants create A meaningful example of RFID application in the point of sale a new standout which engages the consumers and enhances theis available at Galeria Kaufhof Essen (Germany). In this mall, each brand.product is tagged with an RFID, which reminds to a database with In particular, the IBM Personal Shopping Assistant (Fig. 2)more details. Consumers can use a particular Personal Digital consists of a mobile tablet (8.400 display), a bluetooth handheldAssistant (a portable RFID readers), which shows on the display scanner, a cart mount, a charging rack for the storage of the tabletthe information related to the products (Fig. 1). and an infrared beacon (located throughout store) for providing Due to its low cost and ease to manage, RFID is largely used in products location information.the development of shopping assistant systems, in order to The system allows consumers to: choose favorite items, addsupport consumers during the presence in the store. items to the shopping list and find items in the store. Furthermore, it highlights (graphically) the products, allows to visualize (graphically) the products on the basket and products on2.2. Shopping assistant systems sale, as well as to find their exact location. In this way, it becomes an interactive shopping guide, which supports consumers during The most used shopping assistant systems are usually based their presence in the store. Hence, consumers can save time andon the shopping trolleys available in the stores or on the enjoy the more efficient shopping experience.consumers mobile devices (smart-phone, pocket pc, iPhone, etc.). The MSA, realized by the METRO Group Future Store Initiative, In the evaluation process of different alternatives, these instead, consists of a new application for consumersparticular tools are capable to support consumers, by allowing own mobile equipped with a camera, which allows the interactionthem to fast compare different proposals, and providing detailed between consumers and the products available in theand complete information on products and services. store (Fig. 3). The mobile camera allows to scan the product barcode, which allows the interaction with the products focusing the camera on each good. Afterwards, the item can be added to the shopping basked and consumers can ask for additional products informa- tion. Furthermore, the system displays the scanned products, and gives consumers the possibility to remove the single item, visualize the total cost of the purchases and search for other items in the store. 2.3. Smart mirrorFig. 1. Application of RFID at Galeria Kaufhof Essen (Germany). Source: METRO To date, several researches are focusing on the development ofGroup Future Store Initiative. smart mirrors, which should be available in the point of sale, but
  4. 4. Authors personal copy ARTICLE IN PRESS202 E. Pantano, G. Naccarato / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 17 (2010) 200–204 the shoes which better fit the consumers foot, and realize the best customized final product. This system can be located in the stores all over the world. In this way, everywhere it is possible to scan the consumer foot, send factory the information and start the production of the crafted product, made to measure, which will be sent to the consumer address. In this scenario, some qualitative researches carried out that consumers have a positive response on the introduction of new technologies in traditional stores (Pantano, 2009). In fact, due to the level of innovation, the presence of these technologies attracts consumers attention and allows them to live new exciting in-store experiences. Furthermore, the shopping experience becomes more efficient because the systems support and guideFig. 3. The mobile shopping assistant (MSA). Source: METRO Group Future Store consumers during the shopping activity, providing customizedInitiative. messages and suggestion, and satisfying their information requests. 3. Discussion The current advances in technologies modify the store appearance and the consumers in-store behavior. In fact, they influence the course of searching for, choosing and comparing products, as well as interacting with the products and providing marketers new tools to understand consumer preferences and needs. In particular, three aspects of our results emerge from a theoretical standpoint: (1) the possibility (for retailers) to achieve fast information on consumer behavior, (2) the improvement of the point of sale by introducing new entertainment tools and Fig. 4. A prototype of smart mirror for optical products. Source: Acep Group. (3) the positive influences on consumers shopping experience. (1) The possibility to achieve fast information on consumer behavior. Nowadays, several researches show the increasing companies need to be constantly informed on consumers preferences and requests in order to create strategies capable to succeed in the current changing market (Zahay and Peltier, 2008). In this perspective, the technologies presented are capable to collect, organize and manage information related to consumers behavior, which can be accessed and updated constantly and rapidly by retailers. In this way, they can have an efficient feedback on consumer response about products, services and retailing strategies. Fig. 5. A smart mirror for handcraft shoes. Source: ACL de Tommaso. In particular, the interaction between consumers and the technologies provides information about consumers prefer- ences (i.e. about their favorite color, etc.), useful for improvingonly few prototypes are currently available on a limited number the quality of the products in the store, and shows their ownof stores. opinion about the shopping experience (i.e. which kind of The smart mirror consists of an integrated software and a messages influenced more the buying behavior). In fact, mosthardware system which recognizes consumer face and body by of these technologies are connected to databases witha web cam and reproduces graphically him/her while wearing a information related to the products, consumers and relatedcertain product. purchases. In this way, an efficient match between databases A meaningful prototype has been realized by Acep Group for allows to investigate consumers preferences, as well as theoptical products (Fig. 4). effectiveness of the use of the technologies and their willing This particular system allows consumer to visualize how to use.he/she looks in any frame of the store and to simulate the effect Furthermore, the use of these technologies allow to decreaseproduced by the good. the cost of interaction between consumer and firm, necessary Another meaningful example is the smart mirror developed by for the creation of a product/service which best fits consumersde Tommaso Factory. This factory produces handcraft shoes and needs (Syam et al., 2005) and, as a consequence, supports theintroduced in its stores a particular technology based on the development of new customized marketing strategies.technique of multidimensional scanning (Fig. 5). In particular, this (2) Improvement of the point of sale.technique is capable to visualize via computer an accurate image The introduction of advanced technologies in the storesof the consumer’ foot geometry. As consequence, the factory can modifies their appearance, in terms of style, layout andcreate the plastic form and models used by artisans to produce atmosphere. In fact, the core of the store becomes the
  5. 5. Authors personal copy ARTICLE IN PRESS E. Pantano, G. Naccarato / Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services 17 (2010) 200–204 203 technology, which provides new services for consumers and service co-production (Fischer et al., 2009; Bharadwaj et al., communicates new customized messages. In fact, the stores 2009; Grant et al., 2010). Indeed, the interactivity of the appearance seems more technological and futuristic. In technologies allows them to interact with the products of particular, new elements capable to stimulate consumers the store and to search customized information. Furthermore, attention and interest are introduced, by providing a new the technologies provide a high and fast customized service, merchandise layout, which can also influence the consumers which allows consumers to save time. expectations about the search efficiency. Furthermore, these elements can affect the consumers in-store experience In this way, the shopping experience becomes more interesting (Puccinelli et al., 2009). and exciting and as consequence it can affect positively the In addition, in this new environment consumers can play with consumer buying behavior. products as in a videogame, due to the high level of In addition, consumers can choose to exploit or not the new interactivity of the technologies. In particular, consumers technologies in the point of sale. In particular, this option could can ask the system for more customized information, virtually produce more positive attitudes towards using the system and taste products, focus on some details, compare products and more positive attitudes towards the shop which propose this gain useful information for supporting the choice of the best service (Reinders et al., 2008). good. In this way, these technologies introduce new enjoyable tools in the stores and, due to their innovative characteristic, they 4. Conclusion are capable to stimulate consumers interests. The shopping experience, therefore, could become a funny This research analyzes the most used advanced technologies in experience for a larger target of population. retail context in order to shed light on how they can affect the in- For instance, the male population is not usually attracted by store shopping experience. The results suggest that consumers the conventional stores, so that they often prefer the e-stores have a positive response of their introduction, due to the presence (Otnes and McGrath, 2001), but the presence of these of new enjoyable elements. Importantly, consumers are willing to technologies is capable to attract also this segment of engage more purchases due to the fun provided in the store. population, by providing tools which can satisfy more their In this article, we presented advanced technologies that guide, requests of the marketplace than a conventional point of sale. support, or even enable consumer in-store behavior, as well as In fact, the aim of these technologies is to make the store advanced media applications that act as knowledge management more comfortable for consumers, by providing services in a systems for knowledge communication of products (in addition to funny way. As a consequence, they can spend more time, the traditional merchandise layout). engage more purchases and a more frequency of buy. Hence, we can conclude that the introduction of new(3) Influences on shopping experience. technologies in stores (1) modifies the appearance of the The introduction of advanced technologies affects the point of sales, (2) improves shopping activity by providing traditional decision-making process based on five steps: need new elements which can attract and excite more consumers, recognition (1), search for information (2), pre-purchase (3) influences their subsequent buying behavior, (4) as well as evaluation (3), purchase/consumption (4), post consumption provide new tools also which can satisfy a wider segment of evaluation (5) (Solomon and Stuart, 2005; Blackwell et al., population. 2006). These findings provide insights for retailers, who can increase their share of market by exploiting the potentialities of these technologies. As such, they have important implications for the In particular, it is possible to analyze how these technologies study of consumers–computer interaction in the retailing con-affect the different steps in order to understand their possible texts.influence on the consumers shopping experience:(1) Need recognition: these technologies can inform consumers 5. Limitation and future works about the new arrivals in the stores, and suggest them the products capable to stimulate the emerging of new needs; It should be emphasized that new technologies influences can(2) Search of information: the technologies become a useful tool come into play in different ways, according to the familiarity with for consumers to achieve fast and detailed information about the specified technology, products and consumers attitude to buy the products in the store, as well as for a further comparison besides what was investigated here. among products; In addition, in the present research we analyzed only few(3) Pre-purchase evaluation: on the basis of information achieved technologies, which have been introduced in the stores through these technologies, consumers have new useful separately. In fact, it is possible that the integration of more elements to make their choice. In this way, the technologies technologies in the same place may influence consumers in a support the consumers decision-making; different way, but how the increasing number of these technol-(4) Purchase/consumption: these technologies are capable to ogies affect consumers behavior is not fully investigated. More- support consumers during the payment, for instance, they over, although we focused upon the most used technologies in can automatically calculate the total cost of the purchases and this study, the results would likely extend to other technologies, show the different payment options. If consumer enjoyed, the as well as to the consumers response to them. shopping experience can decide to engage more purchases; Indeed, despite the increasing researches on the application of(5) Post consumption evaluation: the presented technologies affect advanced technologies to retailing, the researches focusing on the the consumers evaluation process. In fact, they improve the consumers acceptance of these systems in retailing contexts are provided services and, as consequence, the consumer satisfac- still underdeveloped. Several authors focus on the enjoyment as tion; therefore, they are capable to influence consumers an important factor which influencing users to use new loyalty to the point of sale. Moreover the total service quality technologies (Ha and Stoel, 2009), but most of the researches improves, due to the consumers active participation in the on consumer acceptance of new technologies focus only on
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