Online shopping behavior in offline retail stores
: strategic value for companies?

  • José Pedro Santos Ferreira (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In a world where e-tailing and traditional in-store shopping live together and complement each other in several shopping activities (Chu, et. al, 2010), little is known about the possibility of an emerging reality in which online and offline shopping merge into one single phenomenon. The purpose of this dissertation is to explore whether consumers are willing to engage in a shopping behavior inside retail stores in a way that is similar to the one they have when shopping online. Additionally, it sheds light on the strategic value the online-offline shopping holds. To accomplish these objectives, a smartphone shopping scenario is designed to represent a situation that enables consumers to perform in-store shopping tasks in a digital manner, mixing and enhancing the features and benefits of e-tailing with traditional retail store experience. Moreover, a research model, that includes preliminary assumptions and eleven hypotheses to be tested, is designed to fundament the research methodology used. Based on this research model and the smartphone shopping scenario, a survey is conducted in order to collect empirical data on customer’s appraisal of the online-offline shopping process as well as their availability to permit recording their shopping data obtained after performing shopping tasks via smartphone. Furthermore, to access the strategic value of the online-offline shopping process, Resource-based View theory is used in order to identify the existence of possible sources of sustainable competitive advantage. The findings from the research show that respondents value the characteristics of the online-offline shopping process as well as they are willing to permit recording their own shopping data so that they are able to benefit from a contextual personalized shopping experience while shopping in traditional retail stores. The dissertation concludes that because customers value the characteristics of the online-offline shopping process they have a strong motivation to engage in an online-offline shopping behavior. Moreover, since they are willing to trade their shopping privacy for a contextual personalized shopping experience, it is plausible to admit that a strategy based on contextual personalization has potential to be strategic for retail companies. In fact, to generate such a strategy, the customer knowledge generated in the process is argued to be a firm resource that, combined with dynamic capabilities to leverage its utility in providing a contextual personalization experience, is considered to be a source of sustainable competitive advantage meaning the online-offline process has potential to be strategic to retail firms.
Date of Award4 Nov 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPaulo Fernando Vieira de Carvalho Cardoso do Amaral (Supervisor)


  • Retailing
  • E-tailing
  • M-commerce
  • Online consumer behavior
  • Permission marketing
  • Customer relationship management
  • Contextual personalization
  • Sustainable competitive advantage
  • Firm resources
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Customer knowledge


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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