Consumer trial, continuous use, and economic benefits of a retail service innovation: The case of the personal shopping assistant

Evanschitzky, Heiner, Iyer, Gopalkrishnan R., Pillai, Kishore Gopalakrishna, Kenning, Peter and Schutte, Reinhard (2015) Consumer trial, continuous use, and economic benefits of a retail service innovation: The case of the personal shopping assistant. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 32 (3). pp. 459-475. ISSN 0737-6782

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Abstract

Service innovations in retailing have the potential to benefit consumers as well as retailers. This research models key factors associated with the trial and continuous use of a specific self-service technology (SST), the personal shopping assistant (PSA), and estimates retailer benefits from implementing that innovation. Based on theoretical insights from prior SST studies, diffusion of innovation literature, and the technology acceptance model (TAM), this study develops specific hypotheses and tests them on a sample of 104 actual users of the PSA and 345 nonusers who shopped at the retail store offering the PSA device. Results indicate that factors affecting initial trial are different from those affecting continuous use. More specifically, consumers' trust toward the retailer, novelty seeking, and market mavenism are positively related to trial, while technology anxiety hinders the likelihood of trying the PSA. Perceived ease of use of the device positively impacts continuous use while consumers' need for interaction in shopping environments reduces the likelihood of continuous use. Importantly, there is evidence on retailer benefits from introducing the innovation since consumers using the PSA tend to spend more during each shopping trip. However, given the high costs of technology, the payback period for recovery of investments in innovation depends largely upon continued use of the innovation by consumers. Important implications are provided for retailers considering investments in new in-store service innovations. Incorporation of technology within physical stores affords opportunities for the retailer to reduce costs, while enhancing service provided to consumers. Therefore, service innovations in retailing have the potential to benefit consumers as well as retailers. This research models key factors associated with the trial and continuous use of a specific SST in the retail context, the PSA, and estimates retailer benefits from implementing that innovation. In so doing, the study contributes to the nascent area of research on SSTs in the retail sector. Based on theoretical insights from prior SST studies, diffusion of innovation literature, and the TAM, this study develops specific hypotheses regarding the (1) antecedent effects of technological anxiety, novelty seeking, market mavenism, and trust in the retailer on trial of the service innovation; (2) the effects of ease of use, perceived waiting time, and need for interaction on continuous use of the innovation; and (3) the effect of use of innovation on consumer spending at the store. The hypotheses were tested on a sample of 104 actual users of the PSA and 345 nonusers who shopped at the retail store offering the PSA device, one of the early adopters of PSA in Germany. Data were analyzed using logistic regression (antecedents of trial), multiple regression (antecedents of continuous use), and propensity score matching (assessing retailer benefits). Results indicate that factors affecting initial trial are different from those affecting continuous use. More specifically, consumers' trust toward the retailer, novelty seeking, and market mavenism are positively related to trial, while technology anxiety hinders the likelihood of trying the PSA. Perceived ease of use of the device positively impacts continuous use, while consumers' need for interaction in shopping environments reduces the likelihood of continuous use. Importantly, there is evidence on retailer benefits from introducing the innovation since consumers using the PSA tend to spend more during each shopping trip. However, given the high costs of technology, the payback period for recovery of investments in innovation depends largely upon continued use of the innovation by consumers. Important implications are provided for retailers considering investments in new in-store service innovations. The study contributes to the literature through its (1) simultaneous examination of antecedents of trial and continuous usage of a specific SST, (2) the demonstration of economic benefits of SST introduction for the retailer, and (3) contribution to the stream of research on service innovation, as against product innovation.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2016 15:00
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 01:51
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/60966
DOI: 10.1111/jpim.12241

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