The Digital Revolution in Fashion Retailing: Examining Managerial Processes and Challenges in the Adoption of Consumer-Facing In-Store Technology

Francesca Bonetti, Patsy Perry, Lee Quinn

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding

Abstract

As a consequence of digitalization and technological development, fashion retailers are increasingly adopting consumer facing in-store technologies (CFIT) as they seek to bring innovation to their store environments in the pursuit of retail
competitive advantage. However, while the existing research on technology integration in retail settings is growing, it has not yet provided a full understanding of the managerial processes and challenges involved in CFIT adoption and
implementation. This study therefore aims to inform this gap. Adopting a qualitative research design, we draw from key informant interviews among senior members of the wider community of practice as we seek to reveal the nature and
extent of the CFIT implementation challenge. Our findings reveal a number of core themes - complexity; skills gaps; operational language barriers; and structural inflexibility - which serve as a basis for understanding the multifaceted
nature of CFIT adoption within retail organizations. In particular, a need for change towards the establishment of more tech-oriented managerial roles emerges.However, while a skills gap is clearly noticeable, external resourcing of the necessary personnel is highlighted as a major concern. Moreover, it emerges that tech, fashion and retail actors encounter professional language barriers in practice which inevitably carries the enhanced risk of project failure. Subsequently, our research suggests that successful CFTI adoption entails important changes in business structures. For example, the need to transform and innovate, integrating technology across the different functions of the organization, is paramount. However, to successfully embed CFIT within the company’s tactical and strategic sphere of activity also requires fundamental changes to strategic vision and organizational culture. Our research offers an early insight into a rapidly-changing phenomenon and exposes the broader scope of the research challenge which lies ahead. We question whether existing research fully articulates the breadth and complexity of CFIT implementation and highlight further opportunities to examine the nature of this challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFashion Futures
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings
EditorsLi Jun
Place of PublicationShanghai
Pages205-213
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event20th Annual Conference for the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes - Donghua University, Shanghai, China
Duration: 9 Apr 201813 Apr 2018
Conference number: 20
http://www.iffti.com/annual-conferences-general-council-meetings.php
http://iffti2018.csp.escience.cn/dct/page/1

Conference

Conference20th Annual Conference for the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes
Abbreviated titleIFFTI
CountryChina
CityShanghai
Period9/04/1813/04/18
Internet address

Keywords

  • fashion retail
  • consumer-facing in-Store technology
  • business innovation
  • managerial processes

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  • Best paper award

    Sandy Taramonli (Recipient), 3 Jul 2012

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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