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The Retail Customer Journey: How Technology is Changing Shopping Behaviour

  • School: Nottingham Business School
  • Starting: 2021
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Self-funded


The increasing complexity of the customer journey, which involves interaction with organisations through multiple touchpoints and channels, has raised the need to understand the customer experience within this journey (Lemon and Verhoef 2016; Voorhees et al. 2017). The use of multiple channels for consumer shopping, aided by the availability of internet enabled smartphones and other devices is fast becoming the mainstream shopping model (Beck and Rygl, 2015). Technology driven communication such as social media is also providing the customer with information in order to make informed choices about purchases of goods and services. Added to this, artificially intelligent assistants, such as Alexa, are predicted to become the channel by which people access information about goods, and services (Dawar and Bendal, 2018). Because this technology will have deep knowledge about individuals’ habits and preferences, it will start to be able to anticipate a consumer’s needs even better than the consumer herself does. This will influence how companies acquire, serve, and retain customers and how they offer a customer experience. Technology has enabled a change in how, when and where customers shop, and retail models are having to adapt to accommodate a different shopping journey (Verhoef, et al., 2015).

There is currently a gap in knowledge in how customers are using technology to create their retail shopping journey, and how the development of artificial intelligence will change shopping behaviour. This development needs to be viewed from both a customer and a company perspective.


It is envisaged that a mixed methodology would be adopted using surveys, interviews and social media analysis. Both customers and companies need to be investigated.


Beck, N., and Rygl, D. (2015). ‘Categorization of multiple channel retailing in multi-, cross-, and omni‐channel retailing for retailers and retailing’. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. 27, 170- 178.

Dawar, N and Bendle, N. (2018). ‘’Marketing in the Age of Alexa.’ Harvard Business Review. (May/Jun) 96 (3), 80-86.

Lemon, K. N., and Verhoef, P. C. (2016). ‘Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey’. Journal of Marketing. 80 (6), 69–96.

Verhoef, P.C., Kannan, P.K.,Inman, J.H. (2015). ‘From Multi-Channel Retailing to Omni-Channel Retailing: Introduction to the Special Issue on Multi-Channel Retailing.’ Journal of Retailing. 91 (2), 174-181.

Voorhees, C. M., Fombelle, P. W., Gregoire, Y., Bone, S., Gustafsson, A., Sousa, R., and Walkowiak, T. (2017). ‘Service encounters, experiences and the customer journey: Defining the field and a call to expand our lens.’ Journal of Business Research. 79, 269-280.


Doctor Sheilagh Resnick

Entry qualifications

An applicant for admission to read for a PhD should normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of a UK university or an equivalent qualification, or a lower second class honours degree with a Master's degree at Merit level of a UK university or an equivalent qualification.

International students will also need to meet the English language requirements - IELTS 6.5 (with minimum sub-scores of 6.0). Applicants who have taken a higher degree at a UK university are normally exempt from the English language requirements. A research proposal (between 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words) must be submitted as part of the application.

For more information please visit the NTU Doctoral School – Research Degrees webpages.

How to apply

Applications are accepted all year round.

For a step-by-step guide and to make an application, please visit our how to apply page.

Fees and funding

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

Guidance and support

Further information on guidance and support can be found on this page.

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Sheilagh Resnick