About the Project
Beacon technology has been heralded by retail experts as the “most important retail technology since the mobile credit card reader”. It can bring to the physical environment benefits of online commerce such as pre-ordering, queue avoidance, customization, or remembering customer preferences. It could also help physical retailers counter showrooming or, even, lure back customers that have shunned physical stores altogether. These benefits might accrue because beacon technology allows high-street retailers to deliver targeted offers which reflect the customers’ context (e.g., their location or behaviour), which get noticed amid the noise of other communications, which develop customer intimacy, and which increase involvement with the brand. Yet, research that investigates, empirically, consumers’ perceptions and use of beacons is very limited in both number and scope. Research is needed to address the lack of empirical, consumer-focused research on consumers’ perception of beacons, and the delivery of personalised advertising in physical stores.
The empirical setting for the project is flexible. It can be either utilitarian, low-involvement settings or hedonic, high-involvement ones. Though, candidates are expected to carefully consider and justify the empirical focus of their work. The research design will require the use of mixed methods, including in-depth interviews, observations and either experiments or surveys.
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