The retail setting is characterised by an increasing usage of advanced and interactive technologies (i.e. mobile apps, Near Field Communication, virtual and augmented reality, etc.) based on high connectivity, ubiquitous and contactless systems that enhance and support consumer shopping experience. As a result of the consumers’ interaction with technology while shopping, technology-enriched stores provide new experiences and enable different forms of sociality. The aim of this paper is to explore the forms of sociality mediated by innovative technologies in retail settings. To achieve this goal, we use a qualitative approach involving 20 young consumers in the London-based market, where technology use by this group of consumers is growing. Findings show that digitally-mediated in-store activity mainly responds to a need for advice and trust, and the forms of sociality deployed around it are essentially ephemeral, low-intensity and publicity-oriented modes of interaction that echo the principles of “network sociality” described by critical media theory.
Pantano, E., & Gandini, A. (2017). Exploring the forms of sociality mediated by innovative technologies in retail settings. Computers in Human Behavior, 77, 367–373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2017.02.036