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Do they see eye to eye? Managing customer experience in phygital high-tech retail

Gianluca Pusceddu (Department of Economics and Business Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy)
Ludovica Moi (Department of Economics and Business Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy)
Francesca Cabiddu (Department of Economics and Business Sciences, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 15 March 2023

679

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to empirically investigate the typologies of phygital (synaeresis of “physical” and “digital”) customer experiences (CXs) that can arise in high-tech retail based on the intensity of consumers' responses and reactions to the stimuli triggered by firms. Moreover, it explores how firms attempt to shape the architecture of the phygital CXs. Notably, this article identifies the flexible and agile strategies implemented by firms to enhance the several typologies of phygital CXs, with the intention of better exploiting physical and digital features to respond to the differences in customers' needs, preferences and expectations.

Design/methodology/approach

This study performs an in-depth exploratory single-case study based on semi-structured interviews with the customers, managers and employees of the Webidoo Store.

Findings

This study develops a framework illustrating the main typologies of ordinary (“hostile”, “controversial” and “disappointing”) and extraordinary (“passionate” and “explorative”) CXs that can arise in phygital contexts. Also, it identifies some key flexible and agile strategies (“decompressive strategy”, “mentoring strategy”, “prompting strategy” and “entertaining strategy”) that companies might follow to adjust their offerings and respond quickly to the different forms of phygital CXs to create a more compelling experience tailored to customers' needs, preferences and expectations.

Research limitations/implications

Among the study's limitations are the single-case study methodology and a specific setting like the Italian one. As a result, future studies could broaden the study to include other research contexts and countries. The paper offers significant managerial insights based on the many forms of CX across ordinary and extraordinary CXs. Thus, it provides critical takeaways for businesses to meet customer demand.

Originality/value

This paper analyzes the different typologies of ordinary and extraordinary CXs that could occur in phygital contexts based on the intensity of consumers' responses and reactions to firms' stimuli. Also, it explores how firms attempt to shape the architecture of the phygital CXs through flexible and agile strategies. From this paper, managers and decision-makers can reflect on successful strategies they could use to affect the stimuli to which customers respond in an agile manner, thus enhancing phygital CXs.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Gianluca Pusceddu gratefully acknowledges the University of Cagliari (Department of Economics and Business) for his Ph.D. scholarship (Fondi Dipartimento di Eccellenza Ex Art.1, Commi 314-337 L.N.232/2016).

Citation

Pusceddu, G., Moi, L. and Cabiddu, F. (2023), "Do they see eye to eye? Managing customer experience in phygital high-tech retail", Management Decision, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-05-2022-0673

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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