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EMAC 2022 Regional Conference

Advancing the understanding of customer needs in fashion retailing: A jobs-to-be-done perspective

Published: December 1, 2022


Franziska Kullak, University of Bayreuth; Daniel Baier, University of Bayreuth, Germany; Herbert Woratschek, University of Bayreuth


Understanding customer needs is a key factor to ensure competitiveness and innovation for fashion retailers. However, surprisingly, the literature on customer needs is fragmented. Commonly, products and services are developed based on quantitatively collected customer needs often initiating unsuccessful innovations. To advance the field, this paper adopts a job-based view on customer needs. A job encompasses a problem a customer aims to get done whereby products and services are (only) means to an end. Based on 14 semi-structured interviews, this paper explores what needs, represented in jobs, customers have when shopping in in-store and online fashion retailing and how marketers can aid in fulfilling these jobs. Building from identified personal and social jobs our findings offer fruitful job-based service innovation potential.