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The digitization of health care retailing

Mark Scott Rosenbaum (Department of Retailing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
Germán Contreras Ramírez (College of Business, Universidad Externado de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia)
Karen Edwards (Department of Retailing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
Jiyeon Kim (Department of Retailing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
Jeffery M. Campbell (Department of Retailing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
Marianne C. Bickle (Department of Retailing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 10 September 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to offer insights into the impact of digitization technology on consumer goods manufacturers and retail organizations. The authors propose that the “next phase” of digitization will entail the employment of digitization technology to offer consumers personalized product offerings and recommendations based on their internal biomarkers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on past investigations into digitization and their retailing experience to speculate on how the next phase of digitization will affect both consumer goods manufacturers and retailers.

Findings

The next phase of digitization will entail the use of nutrigenomics (DNA sequencing), exhaled breath analysis, fitness tracker devices, sensory patches, radio frequency identification tags and quantum ID tags to create customized and recommend products, and support product-to-customer communication regarding authenticity.

Research limitations/implications

Consumers will increasingly rely on technology to inform them of their bodily needs and to receive personalized solutions to help satisfy those needs. Consumer behavior theories must be reconsidered because consumers will become more passive participants in retail consumption as they rely on technology for need-recognition and product-fulfillment.

Social implications

Digitization technologies that use consumers’ biomarkers for new product creation or product recommendation raise new risks and uncertainty. For example, the legal implications of an incorrect product recommendation based on customer biomarkers are unknown. Furthermore, retailers would need to maintain data privacy of biomarker data and be responsible for data breaches.

Originality/value

The research explores how digitization will affect consumers’ in-store experiences with consumer goods products.

Keywords

Citation

Rosenbaum, M.S., Ramírez, G.C., Edwards, K., Kim, J., Campbell, J.M. and Bickle, M.C. (2017), "The digitization of health care retailing", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 432-446. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRIM-07-2017-0058

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited