ECIS 2020 Research Papers


Stationary retailers continue to try to respond to customers’ needs with regard to service offering and quality. Consequently, they are attempting to develop innovative value propositions and co-create value with customers through new technologies. Among other technologies, service robots (SR) are said to have the potential to revitalise interactive value creation in stationary retail. Nonetheless, the integration of such technologies poses new challenges. Use cases are subject to research, but few studies have explored customers’ perceptions of SRs from a service systems’ perspective, though this is crucial to integrating SRs into stationary retail service systems. In this study, a mixed method approach is adopted to explore customers’ acceptance of and resistance to SRs. First, a qualitative exploratory interview study is conducted among 24 customers. Second, a qualitative survey and a quantitative questionnaire are carried out. The findings identify decisive drivers and barriers, i.a. ‘social presence’ and ‘role congruency’ and reveal i.a. that customers envision harmonious human-robot teams with transparent responsibilities that improve service interactions: while SRs assist frontline employees (FLE) and respond to simple customer inquiries, FLEs can dedicate more time engaging with customers and providing professional customer advice. Moreover, customers suggest that SRs be introduced gradually and with FLEs’ qualified assistance.



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