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Using customer integration in New Service Development: A study in swedish retailing
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

For a retailer, who has a close and everyday contact with its customers, understanding the customers can be of benefit if they know how to use the information in the right way. One way of using the customer is to integrate customers when developing new services, to enhance the possibility of the new service gaining market acceptance. Customer insight, Omnichannel retailing and Big Data are areas that recently have caught the interest of retailers. The latter two are of interest as these provide retailers with better possibilities of gaining customer insight, by taking the opportunities to observe the customers’ virtual footsteps to a whole new level.

This thesis is a study made with the market research company Nepa as employer of the thesis, in order to develop their B2B offer with end-customer integration. Why and how customers are integrated were further studied through the frame of reference. The factors that were chosen to describe from a theoretical standpoint how customers can be integrated were type of integration, role of the customer, type of customer and timing of the integration. The underlying factors that were chosen to answer why retailers choose different alternatives among the above mentioned factors were market orientation, service/goods dominant logic, environmental uncertainty and market maturity.

The study was made with a qualitative, positivistic approach using a collective case study. The case study is a good way to be able to answer both how and why-questions and was therefore chosen as method. By investigating multiple cases and performing a cross case analysis the authors were able to draw more generalizable conclusions. Five retailers took part in the study and for each of these a developed service was chosen as case for investigation. By doing low structured interviews using a method called story-telling, the authors let the respondents from each company speak freely about the chosen case, and that information could then be analyzed.

The conclusions of the study concern the different ways retailers choose to integrate customers and the reasons they do it in different ways. A company’s market orientation affects if and what type of customer integration is used in the idea-generating phases. The degree of market orientation also affects the amount of occasions and what type of customer integration is used in the execution-oriented phases. Retailers’ turbulent technology environment has influenced their general perception of risk and the risk of unacceptance with the specific project. This results in that a company can initially integrate customers proactively to let them guide the company or the company can consider customer integration to be secondary. Retailers generally are guided by a goods dominant logic which leads to them not choosing to integrate the customers in active roles in the innovation process. Instead, the retailers combine different integration techniques to gain some of the advantages that active customer could have brought. This is also connected to the retailers wanting to get quickly through the early phases of the process and instead use agile development after the launch of the service. The retailers do not choose different types of customers for integration, but the combination of integration techniques can still provide them with some of the characteristics of the more knowledgeable customer.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 101 p.
Keyword [en]
Customer integration, New Service Development, omnichannel retailing, Big Data, service innovation, digital channels, proactive, reactive, customer insights
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-119876ISRN: LIU-IEI-TEK-A—15/02308—SEOAI: diva2:827947
External cooperation
Subject / course
Industrial Management
Available from: 2015-07-10 Created: 2015-06-29 Last updated: 2015-07-10Bibliographically approved

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