What will retail look like in the future? How will we measure a store's success? And will we still think of ourselves as consumers?
These are the questions addressed by six international researchers who visited (virtually) The Centre for Retail Research at Lund University this week.
On Tuesday 6 October, retail researchers Jens Nordfält, University of Bath, presented his research on the digitalisation of the physical store, while Eleanora Pantano, University of Bristol, discussed how chatbots are emerging as customer assistants in online retailing. Finally, Arno de Caigny, IÉSEG School of Management, explained the importance of including metrics on e-commerce, social media, engagement and tactics for stimulating multichannel sales when evaluating the efficiency of stores in a multichannel retail environment.
On Wednesday 7 October, the focus shifted to the future of consumption and three consumer researchers discussed ways in which retail and sustainability might interact in the future. Jack Coffin, University of Manchester, presented ongoing conceptual research that explores the potential for consumers to be reconfigured as custodians in a more sustainable future. Katie Casey, University of Kent, discussed her empirical work with Eco villages and explained how such consumer collectivities can challenge neoliberal notions of choice, value and ownership. And, finally, Kat Duffy, University of Glasgow, described an action research project in which she has been investigating the potential of mindfulness to challenge overconsumption of fast fashion.
Both seminars were recorded and can be viewed on our website.
Katie Casey's slides are available for download in pdf form.