Engineering the Value Network of the Customer Interface and Marketing in the Data-Rich Retail Environment

Key Pousttchi and Yvonne Hufenbach
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 18, Number 4, Summer 2014, pp. 17-42.

Abstract: In this paper we use a mixed-methods engineering approach to analyze how traditional retailers can use mobile commerce services to enable data-driven marketing and thus compete with the pervasive end-customer ownership of companies controlling the mobile channel. The paper provides the first systematic analysis of the implications of the virtual world market players Apple, Google, Facebook, eBay/PayPal, and Amazon on traditional retailers’ business. We use case study research to identify the elements that are required for and suitable to such a strategy. In a second step, we use design science in order to identify and develop the necessary value creation roles, their activities, and the value flows between them. The paper provides two major outcomes: (1) a set of 12 building blocks for generating and applying customer data for traditional retailers adding mobile services and (2) a role-based reference model for the value network of the future retail customer interface and marketing (CIM). The reference model is validated with expert interviews. As an exemplary application of the model, we show two extreme scenarios with strong and weak retailer market positions. As an additional contribution to practice, we present a further introspective analysis of the value network’s key new role—that of mobile customer relationship management service provider—and propose a corresponding functional component architecture that fulfills the information technology requirements for the role’s complex functionality.

Key Words and Phrases: AGFEA, big data, CIM, data-driven marketing, e‑tail, IT strategy, mobile CRM service provider, mobile services, retail innovation, strategic impact of digitization, value network.