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Paper by Jan Klein accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Research

Published: 20th October 2020 Last updated: 26th November 2021

In a new study that has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Business Research, Jan Klein, together with his colleagues from EBS University in Germany (Anne-Sophie Riegger, Katrin Merfeld, and Sven Henkel), investigate how customers perceive novel personalization approaches based on smart technologies in retail stores (e.g., smart mirrors) and derive five success paradoxes for this technology-enabled personalization (exploration-limitation, staff presence-absence, humanization-dehumanization, personalization-privacy, personal-retailer devices).

Abstract "Technology-Enabled Personalization in Retail Stores: Understanding Drivers and Barriers"

Smart technologies grant brick-and-mortar retailers novel opportunities to introduce the amenities of online retailing, such as data-driven personalization, into physical interactions. Research on consumer reactions to the novel phenomenon of technology-enabled personalization (TEP) in retail stores is scarce though, so the current article proposes a conceptualization that demarcates TEP from broader notions of personalization. Qualitative data from 25 in-depth consumer interviews reveal five drivers (utilitarian, hedonic, control, interaction, integration) of and four barriers (exploitation, interaction misfit, privacy, and lack of confidence) to consumers' acceptance of TEP. The juxtaposition of these drivers and barriers, in combination with insights from prior literature, reveals five success paradoxes for TEP (exploration-limitation, staff presence-absence, humanization-dehumanization, personalization-privacy, personal-retailer devices). The findings provide several theoretical and managerial implications, as well as avenues for further research.