Informations and abstract
Keywords: Retail technologies, visual merchandising, in-store digital, national brand.
New technologies are reshaping the retail industry and have become a significant driver of customer value creation and retail profitability. In the academic literature, these technologies have been generally studied either from the retailer’s perspective or from the consumer’s perspective, but to our knowledge never from the manufacturer’s perspective. However, manufacturers are heavily involved in how their products and brands are stocked, displayed and sold by retailers, and invest significant resources in visual merchandising activities. It follows that manufacturers who sell through retail stores can take a significant stake in the development and implementation of new technologies to enhance their customers’ experience and to increase the effectiveness of their brand’s visual merchandising. An empirical research on a sample of 145 manufacturers of the grocery industry in Italy shows that: a) visual merchandising activities are oriented mainly to improve retail in-store efficiency, i.e. to optimize space management; b) there are four segments of manufacturers who assign different priorities to visual merchandising; and c) in each segment there is a very high variance in the willingness to implement in-store digital. Results confirm that in-store digital technologies are still an area of experimentation and test to estimate the effectiveness of digital tools.