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Emerging Market Retail: Transitioning from a Product-Centric to a Customer-Centric Approach
Journal of Retailing  (IF5.245),  Pub Date : 2021-03-23, DOI: 10.1016/j.jretai.2021.01.008
Shaphali Gupta, Divya Ramachandran

In an environment with digital disruptions, retailers must adopt a customer-centric approach to survive and compete effectively. Retailers need to be agile and forward-looking in adopting the relevant analytics and performance metrics to bring a customer-centric approach across upstream and downstream activities in the retail value chain. However, retailers in emerging markets (EMs) need clarity on the specific analytics and performance metrics in the value chain that will enable them to transition from their current product-centric state to the desired customer-centric state. Employing a triangulation approach (i.e., literature review, marketplace evidence, and managerial interviews) in the fragmented retail landscape of EMs, this study provides an organizing framework that explains: (i) the need for a customer-centric approach across the retail value chain, (ii) the specific performance metrics that need to be adopted across upstream and downstream activities in the retail value chain to enable EM retailers to achieve their desired customer-centric state, and (iii) the role of analytics in providing insights to achieve these performance metrics and improving monetary and non-monetary firm performance outcomes. We also provide firm-specific and macro-level conditions that can influence the EM retailers’ adoption of relevant analytics and explain the different paths retail formats can follow to adopt analytics. We present a strategy matrix that enables retail managers to identify the appropriate analytics to be adopted at different retail value chain stages to achieve desired performance metrics. We also highlight future research opportunities in retailing in EMs.