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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Future of the Retailing Landscape

Published: May 28, 2019


Marleen Hermans, KU Leuven; Mirja Kroschke, University of Muenster; Els Breugelmans, KU Leuven


Nowadays, the retail landscape is under pressure. Societal and demographic changes together with mobile and digital technology revolutions influence what consumers need and want, and transform, among others, how consumers shop (McKinsey, 2013). Consumers nowadays have multiple channels to choose from when making a purchase (Verhoef et al., 2015) and the online purchase channel outperforms offline channels in terms of, for instance, convenience and accessibility. Consumers are no longer shopping in the same way as they did a few years ago. Customers’ changing preferences and expectations challenge traditional brick-and-mortar and enable new online retailers and new selling platforms to grow. The way customers search for products, experience products and purchase products has dramatically altered. New players have found their way in the market, while traditional retailers need to change their way of doing business and need to re-think their offerings in order to retain and grow their customer bases. The objective of this Special Session is to shed light on the future of the retailing landscape from different perspectives.

Paper 1 (“Window shopping in online retail”; Schulze et al.) focuses on the online channel that typically was used to serve directed shoppers or “searchers”. It questions how to design websites to attract consumers that are just browsing the online webshop as well as those customers that are purposely searching for an item. Paper 2 (“The brand building opportunities of online marketplaces in emerging markets”; Bei and Gielens) explores the phenomenon of online marketplaces, where brand stores sell directly to end-consumers in the marketplace. It examines when and in what categories manufacturers truly manage to lift their nationwide market shares after engaging in online marketplace operations. Paper 3 (“Handheld scanner shopping: evidence from the field”; Grewal et al.) focuses on a recent technological innovation within a brick-and-mortar store, i.e., handheld scanners. It assesses whether shoppers that use handheld scanners differ from shoppers that do not use such scanners in the way they shop, and if their shopping basket is affected. Paper 4 (“Store re-invention: how are sales performance and existing customers’ shopping patterns impacted?”; Breugelmans et al.) focuses on a brick-and-mortar store, too. It investigates whether and how a re-invention, which is a radical change in positioning and servicescape while being in the same location, affects the sales performance of the focal store and other stores in the geographical region, as well as shopping patterns of existing customers.