Consumer Value Creation In the Clothing Fashion Industry of the Digital Age

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Daniela Campaniolo

Abstract

The aim of the thesis is to investigate the use of 3D body scanning technology within the Business to Consumer (B2C) clothing shopping process and to evaluate the benefits and limitations of using this equipment. Specifically, the thesis intends to compare and contrast retailer and consumer perspectives in relation to the utility of 3D body scanning technology as a value creation element and consequent contribution to retailer competitive advantage, for a range of different retailers’ types. Technology is changing the way consumers shop and driving the move to a multichannel landscape. In this scenario, giving an integrated seamless experience to its consumers is pivotal for retailers (Drapers, 2016). The rise in online shopping presents a huge opportunity for companies to capitalise. Yet, fit and sizes remain an ongoing issue for fashion consumers in light of the difficulty of assessing these elements through the digital platform (Mintel, 2016). Online fashion is the biggest sector for returns with a return average rate of 25% of the majority of retailers, squeezing retailers’ profits and increasing investor’s risks (Barrie, 2015). This doctoral thesis proposes the use of the 3D Body Scanning Technology to leverage this issue. This technology would allow the provision of improved garments’ characteristics while facilitating the in-store and online experience. This thesis adopts an exploratory (Saunders, Lewis, Thornhill, 2012; Creswell, 2014) multi-method approach. This is articulated in a multi-perspective context: the consumer, the 3D Body Scanning practitioner and the retailer: (1) a series of 20 customers’ body scans to ascertain the perception of the 3D Body Scanning process. Respondents have been asked to describe this experience straight after the session by completing an open ended questionnaire. This has been supplemented by follow-up interviews (relating to whether the results of the body scanning process had had any impact on respondents' consumption behaviour); (2) semi structured key informant interviews with representatives of the companies operating body scanning in the UK, to get an industry perspective on the future potential business models for body scanning; (3) finally, semi-structured key informant interviews with representatives from relevant retail organisations, to ascertain their perceptions of how body scanning may be used by retailers in the future. Results indicate a positive attitude towards the use of the technology which suggests favourable future application of the technology in a clothing retailing context and contributes knowledge to research literature and theory.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Award date1 Aug 2019