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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

What Drives Customer Inspiration in Retailing?

Published: May 28, 2019


Heiner Evanschitzky, Aston University; Christof Backhaus, Aston Business School; Markus Blut, Aston University; Marc Linzmajer, University of St. Gallen/ Institute of Retail Management; Thomas Rudolph, University of St. Gallen, Institute of Retail Management


customer inspiration; retail marketing mix; shopping behavior


Customer inspiration is a new construct and has shown to predict relevant customer outcomes such as purchase behavior, browsing time and choice. While research has developed a psychometrically sound measurement instrument to capture the two dimensions of customer inspiration – inspired by and inspired to –, little is known about what improves inspiration in a retail context. Addressing this gap and based on the disruption theory of inspiration as an organizing framework, our study offers an assessment of the antecedents of inspiration by means of an exploratory, qualitative critical-incident study from a representative sample of 1,174 consumers and 1,664 incidents. Results reveal 20 unique retailer activities that can be linked to five retail mix instruments. By empirically deriving a conceptual model of the antecedents of inspiration, we offer retail managers practical insights on how to improve the level of customer inspiration and consequentially sales performance.