Will they still pay? A study of consumer behavior in an unmanned retail environment

Lan Yihong (PhD student)

  25 Feb 2020 Tuesday, 03:00 PM to 04:30 PM

 SR8, COM1-02-08

Examiners: Assistant Professors Lim Shi Ying and Jin Chen


An unmanned retail shelf is a new retail format made possible by the advance of mobile internet and digital payment technologies. With drastically reduced personnel cost and upfront equipment investment, unmanned retail shelves promise the potential of deeper penetration into more convenient locations for consumers. However, a lack of onsite staff can also mean that unmanned retail shelves are more vulnerable to incidences of theft and vandalism, as compared to traditional stores. We explore implementing two technological interventions in the form of CCTV surveillance and sensor greeting bells to carry out tasks traditionally fulfilled by onsite staff, such as theft deterrence, transaction security assurance, and customer interaction. We then design a field experiment to evaluate the effectiveness of these technological interventions in an unmanned retailed environment by analyzing its impact on theft rate, customer approach rate and customer conversion rate.