Shopping as a “networked experience”: an emerging framework in the retail industry

Eleonora Pantano*, Alessandro Gandini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
255 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to devise a comprehensive framework of the emergent shopping experience as the result of the combination of store access and the use of communication technologies, particularly social media. Design/methodology/approach: The paper builds on a set of 20 semi-structured interviews to London-based young consumers aged 18-23 and adopts an exploratory approach aimed at understanding the broad relationship between retailing and social media use. Findings: The findings highlight how an intensive use of social media and digital communication technologies emerges as an integral part of the shopping experience inside and outside the store. Research limitations/implications: Drawing upon the notion of the “experience economy,” scholars and practitioners are actually pushed to reconsider the role of traditional shopping as in-store experience that is evolving fast as an effect of the continuous progress into communication technologies. This concept contributes to knowledge development by linking research in retail with work in the area of consumer culture. Practical implications: Marketers and retailers should consider that the shopping experience is no longer limited to the physical point of sale. This means that retailers should be able to provide a shopping experience that is natively networked. Originality/value: The authors identify the emerging “networked experience” of shopping, which derives from the consumers’ widespread usage of new communication technologies to collect information, their willingness to share part of this information with others, while creating new digitally mediated relationships with retailers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-704
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Retail and Distribution Management
Issue number7
Early online date9 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018

Structured keywords

  • MGMT Marketing and Consumption


  • Consumer co-creation
  • Experience economy
  • Networked experience
  • Retailing
  • Service economy
  • Shopping experience

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