With the advent of the internet and the digitisation process, the retail world has undergone numerous changes. As a matter of fact, this process has prompted all sectors to integrate technology into their sales processes. Particularly in retail, this process has meant that the physical and digital worlds have begun to find a meeting point. In this scenario, there has been a shift from multi-channel, understood as a set of activities where goods are sold through different channels (online and offline), to an omnichannel retailing, where the two channels (online and offline) are integrated during the sales process. In this way, existing geographical and physical barriers are removed, leaving room for an all-round experience for the consumer. In this scenario is placed the work of this doctoral thesis, which stems from the interest of investigating the perception of consumers and sellers in the use of immersive technologies, with a particular focus on what is predicted by the reports as the most used immersive technology in the next five years: augmented reality. Through three exploratory studies (two qualitative studies on the consumer and retailer side and the last quantitative one), the present work aims to extend knowledge on the consumers’ and retailers’ perception on this technology. In chapter 2 consumers’ perception of augmented reality during the phases of a purchasing process is analysed through 20 semi-structured interviews, outlining the main perceived benefits and disadvantages. Chapter 3 analyses retailers’ side through 4 case studies, with the aim of studying their perception and readiness to adopt this immersive technology. Finally, chapter 5 aims to measure the relationship between the involvement of a product and its consumption behaviour, mediated through the immersion in the augmented reality shopping experience by 254 Italian consumers. Results highlight the role of immersive technology when combined with emotional product involvement, without which it remains a mere hedonic instrument. In fact, on the one hand, consumers perceive technology as an additional, stand-alone tool, if not combined with specific products of their interest. On the other, retailers are aware of the main benefits brought by the introduction of new technology, but they are reluctant to adopt it into their business. This is mainly due to two factors: the small and medium size of companies in Italy and a high uncertainty avoidance given by all the innovations not tested by their sector. The relationship between product involvement and behavioural intentions mediated by the immersive experience with augmented reality described in the model of this PhD thesis opens new managerial horizons for all those companies, which are aware of the benefits of these technologies and that would like to improve their performance using immersive tools.

Augmented reality in retail: an analysis of this immersive technology through consumers’ and retailer’s perception

Serravalle Francesca
2020

Abstract

With the advent of the internet and the digitisation process, the retail world has undergone numerous changes. As a matter of fact, this process has prompted all sectors to integrate technology into their sales processes. Particularly in retail, this process has meant that the physical and digital worlds have begun to find a meeting point. In this scenario, there has been a shift from multi-channel, understood as a set of activities where goods are sold through different channels (online and offline), to an omnichannel retailing, where the two channels (online and offline) are integrated during the sales process. In this way, existing geographical and physical barriers are removed, leaving room for an all-round experience for the consumer. In this scenario is placed the work of this doctoral thesis, which stems from the interest of investigating the perception of consumers and sellers in the use of immersive technologies, with a particular focus on what is predicted by the reports as the most used immersive technology in the next five years: augmented reality. Through three exploratory studies (two qualitative studies on the consumer and retailer side and the last quantitative one), the present work aims to extend knowledge on the consumers’ and retailers’ perception on this technology. In chapter 2 consumers’ perception of augmented reality during the phases of a purchasing process is analysed through 20 semi-structured interviews, outlining the main perceived benefits and disadvantages. Chapter 3 analyses retailers’ side through 4 case studies, with the aim of studying their perception and readiness to adopt this immersive technology. Finally, chapter 5 aims to measure the relationship between the involvement of a product and its consumption behaviour, mediated through the immersion in the augmented reality shopping experience by 254 Italian consumers. Results highlight the role of immersive technology when combined with emotional product involvement, without which it remains a mere hedonic instrument. In fact, on the one hand, consumers perceive technology as an additional, stand-alone tool, if not combined with specific products of their interest. On the other, retailers are aware of the main benefits brought by the introduction of new technology, but they are reluctant to adopt it into their business. This is mainly due to two factors: the small and medium size of companies in Italy and a high uncertainty avoidance given by all the innovations not tested by their sector. The relationship between product involvement and behavioural intentions mediated by the immersive experience with augmented reality described in the model of this PhD thesis opens new managerial horizons for all those companies, which are aware of the benefits of these technologies and that would like to improve their performance using immersive tools.
Augmented Reality; Product Involvement; Consumer Behaviour; Perception; Omni-channel; Retailing.
Serravalle Francesca
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1765033
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact