Technology-enabled personalization in retail stores: Understanding drivers and barriers

Anne-Sophie Riegger, Jan F. Klein, Katrin Merfeld, Sven Henkel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Smart technologies grant brick-and-mortar retailers novel opportunities to introduce the amenities of online retailing, such as data-driven personalization, into physical interactions. Research on consumer reactions to the novel phenomenon of technology-enabled personalization (TEP) in retail stores is scarce though, so the current article proposes a conceptualization that demarcates TEP from broader notions of personalization. Qualitative data from 25 in-depth consumer interviews reveal five drivers (utilitarian, hedonic, control, interaction, integration) of and four barriers (exploitation, interaction misfit, privacy, and lack of confidence) to consumers’ acceptance of TEP. The juxtaposition of these drivers and barriers, in combination with insights from prior literature, reveals five success paradoxes for TEP (exploration–limitation, staff presence–absence, humanization–dehumanization, personalization–privacy, personal–retailer devices). The findings provide several theoretical and managerial implications, as well as avenues for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-155
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • smart retail
  • personalization
  • retail innovation
  • technology paradoxes
  • explorative study


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