Your Retailer Needs You: Retaillance and its Marketing Implications

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Elnahla, Nada




Retaillance is surveillance in a brick-and-mortar retail setting. In today's competitive landscape, retailers have moved beyond using surveillance practices and technologies for security reasons to using them to compete for consumers' personal and shopping data, even if this information is not voluntarily reported. Retaillance raises ethical questions regarding the differences between the public and the private spheres. Using a pragmatic mixed research methods design that includes an MTurk survey and semi-structured interviews, this exploratory research examines the different retaillance channels and systems, and explores retail consumers' awareness of the presence and scope of retaillance and of the relevant laws and regulations, consumers' behavioural reaction towards retaillance, and the attitudinal and behavioural outcomes of using various surveillance technologies in retailing. Demonstrating the multiplicity and complexity of influences, this research brings together past research by leading scholars from the fields of marketing, consumer behaviour, political science, communications, media studies, science studies, war studies, law, cultural studies, sociology, criminology, and literature. This research has various contributions. Conceptually, it integrates extant literature, synthesizes prior studies, provides definitional clarity and creates a conceptual retaillance model that works as a roadmap and opens new avenues for future research. Theoretically, it embraces a multidisciplinary perspective by borrowing theories from other disciplines and integrating them to reveal novel insights when looking at retaillance, offers a new theoretical model, and reconciles contradictory reactions to surveillance. In addition, foreseen contributions encompass helping scholars, retail managers, consumers, and policy makers gain a better understanding of the impact of both traditional surveillance and smart retail technologies on consumer behaviour in a brick-and-mortar setting.






Carleton University

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