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Going with the flow: smart shopping malls and omnichannel retailing

Nisreen Ameen (School of Business and Management, Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, UK)
Ali Tarhini (Department of Information Systems, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Mahmood Shah (Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Nnamdi O. Madichie (Department of Business, Bloomsbury Institute, London, UK)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 23 November 2020

Issue publication date: 14 July 2021




The transition from multichannel to omnichannel retailing requires a better conceptualisation, especially for customer experience in smart shopping malls. Therefore, this study aims to propose a theoretical model that captures customers’ omnichannel experiences in smart shopping malls in terms of personal interaction, physical environment and virtual environment encounters. It examines the mediating role of flow experience on the relationship between the three types of encounters and customers’ intention to revisit smart shopping malls.


The study draws on four key theories: the service encounter model, trust-commitment theory, flow theory and experiential value theory. A total of 553 completed questionnaires were collected from customers (millennials) in the United Kingdom (UK). The data was analysed using partial least squares-structural equation modelling.


The findings show that physical environment encounters and personal interaction encounters play a significant role in customers’ omnichannel experiences in smart malls. Also, of significance are the following aspects of virtual environment encounters: interface design, personalisation, trust, privacy, consumer–peer interaction and relationship commitment. The findings highlight the significant mediating role of flow on the relationships between these three types of encounters and intention, and the effect of flow on omnichannel service usage in smart shopping malls.


The research contributes to the existing literature by proposing a conceptual model: the smart shopping mall omnichannel customer experience (SSMCE) model. The findings offer practical guidance to shopping malls and retailers who wish to enhance the customer omnichannel experience.



Ameen, N., Tarhini, A., Shah, M. and Madichie, N.O. (2021), "Going with the flow: smart shopping malls and omnichannel retailing", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 325-348.



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