Digital Retailing: An Abstract for Preliminary Results of a Systematic Literature Review
A growing body of research has emerged on digital retailing due to the introduction and rapid spread of technologies that changed the retail settings. Retailers are constantly making decisions about the implementation of digital technologies, evaluating every negative and positive effect from the costs saving to the customers’ satisfaction (Verhoef et al., 2009). These developments are modifying the way to do shopping, making it more exciting and involving, thanks to a large range of services offered (Liao & Shi, 2009). This systematic review of the literature (Tranfield et al., 2003) aims to identify, classify, and analyze the main current research fields on digital retailing developing an overall interpretation of the topic investigated. The process of analysis has been divided into three stages. In the first one, authors planned the review by delimiting the subject area, identifying the main purposes of the analysis, and consequently developing the review protocol including details of the information source (authors, title, year of publication, journal, keywords). During the second stage, authors collected the papers published from 2013 to 2016 in the databases EBSCO, Scopus, ScienceDirect, and Web of Science. In order to retrieve relevant publications in the field of digital retailing, authors selected the search query keywords “digital” and “online” linked via Boolean and with the keyword “retailing.” The search resulted in overall 693 articles. After a screening process, authors select 290 papers belonging to the field of B2C level and tangible goods digital retailing. In the third stage, authors codified the results by running a content analysis through the software NVivo (Bazeley & Jackson, 2013) aiming at codifying a set of main themes, according to the thematic analysis approach (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The themes were identified launching the auto-coding wizard query of the software on titles, abstracts, and keywords allowing researchers in the identification of the main topics. This process resulted in both father nodes and son nodes, summarized by authors into six father nodes with relative son nodes. Finally, the interactions among the nodes were measured to understand the eventual conceptual links and bonds between them, running the word similarity cluster analysis, through the using of the Pearson correlation, a tool for estimating the linear relationship between two quantitative random variables (De Oña et al., 2014).
To conclude, authors assigned each paper to the six clusters identified, namely, consumer behavior, customer-firm relationships, multichannel distribution, touchpoints management, branding and communication, and product and service management. Starting from these preliminary results, authors aim to shed light on the evolution of digital retailing research streams for supporting scholars to conceptualize the future development of this emerging phenomenon and practitioners to assume their managerial decisions on a consistent framework.