Self-Scanning Services in Food Retail : An Investigation on how Self-Scanning Services are adopted in the Swedish Food Retail Environment from a Service Fascination Perspective

University essay from KTH/Skolan för datavetenskap och kommunikation (CSC)

Abstract: The retail industry is a competitive environment moving towards being rather service-oriented than product-oriented. It is hence essential for businesses to comprehend the market and act accordingly to differentiate themselves. A way of gaining competitive advantage and engage consumers is to invest in innovative technology. Self-scanning services are a fast-improving technology offering consumers a convenient way of shopping. To self-scan through scanners and via self-checkout cashiers are common on the Swedish food retail market. The retailing group ICA is however unique in the sense that they since 2014 additionally offer mobile self-scanning through their smartphone application “ICA Handla”[1]. Despite the increasing use of self-scanning services, there is a lack of research on this area. Thus it is of interest to further investigate the views regarding self-scanning. An interesting concept is ‘Service Fascination’, which is defined as a positive emotional state arising through conscious and subconscious effects when using innovative technology. By reviewing ‘Service Fascination’, it is possible to investigate how innovative technology is adopted. The thesis hence proves to what extent Service Fascination can be measured regarding self-scanning services using the Service Fascination Evaluation Model (SFEM). Based on the model, the essay suggests areas of improvement within ‘Service Fascination’ and depicts the views on self-scanning from the perspectives of consumers, retailers and experts. Tailored communication regarding self-scanning, depending on if the receiver is a non-user, a user or a retailer, is suggested to be further elaborated on. The quality of the self-scanning equipment and the appearance/features are moreover also key conclusions which are proposed to be further developed. Self-scanning services used in the right way are by the thesis' results argued to be a useful tool to differentiate on the Swedish food retail market. [1]

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