Retail Business Model Change in the Era of Digital Transformation : A case study from the perspective of a business model canvas

University essay from KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

Abstract: With an increased level of digitization in the retail sector, retail incumbents need to adapt their business model to the new digital era. E-commerce business and other digital tools have transformed the retail industry and incumbent retailers have to react to the changes in order to remain competitive on the market. While previous research has examined the nature of the digital tools in retail or the general impact of digital transformation on the sector, the thesis aims to investigate the impact of digital transformation on the business model of a retail incumbent. To investigate the impact of digital transformation on the business model of a retail incumbent, a single case study has been conducted at Company X, an incumbent retailer operating in Sweden. The Business Model Canvas has been used as a tool to identify the current business model of the company, and to propose future business models for Company X. The findings have resulted in the creation of three different Business Model Canvas scenarios with different levels of change in the business model. The scenarios all implied an increased cooperation with external partners and the implementation of new customer channels.The findings of the thesis contribute to an increased knowledge of retail business model change. While earlier research findings regarding the impact of digital transformation on the retail sector were confirmed in the case study, the thesis proposes new research concerning the impact on a retail incumbent’s business model. The study also contributes to how the Business Model Canvas may be used as a unit of analysis when investigating business model change.

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