On fit uncertainty-reducing interventions in retail supply chains
Fit uncertainty-reducing interventions consist of existing digital product fitting and recommendation technologies. The research designs are included in the five appended research papers. Paper I uses a case survey of retail practices to develop a maturity model of digitalization of product fitting, and it proposes supply chain effects for each of the three maturity levels. Paper II uses three cases, design science, and interventionist research to conceptualize digital product fitting as an intervention that improves product flow and reduces lost sales in retail supply chains for experience goods. Paper III uses case research, quantitative analysis of return transactions, test of an intervention, and mathematical modeling to calculate product return costs associated with fit uncertainty in online retailing. Paper IV uses order and return transactions to investigate how online customers shopping for experience goods seek to mitigate fit uncertainty through different order-placing behaviors, and it assesses the cost implications of the behaviors. Paper V uses order and return transactions to explore the effects of an online apparel-fitting intervention on order performance outcomes and fit uncertainty-mitigating ordering tactics.
This thesis theorizes fit uncertainty-reducing interventions. The use of these interventions to facilitate the product-fitting activity can reduce fit uncertainty, leading to many benefits for the retail supply chain in terms of product flow, such as fewer returns and more sales. This thesis contributes to previous research on end-customer behaviors by focusing on order and return behaviors associated with fit uncertainty. The quantification of existent order and return behaviors is an important theoretical contribution to our understanding of the direct effects of fit uncertainty on retail supply chain performance. This thesis theoretically contributes to returns management and to inventory and assortment planning management; its practical contribution supports retail supply chains of experience goods that are reconsidering how they handle fit uncertainty and the unwanted effects thereof. This thesis provides hands-on knowledge on how the interventions work in real life and how they improve retail supply chain performance. Studying the link between fit uncertainty and retail supply chain performance is important for retailers and manufacturers' understanding of end-customer behavior and for improving product development and assortment planning to ensure availability of products that fit.
retail supply chains
product recommendation system
digital product fitting
Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management
Digital Product Fitting in Retail Supply Chains: Maturity Levels and Potential Outcomes
Supply Chain Management,; Vol. 24(2019)p. 574-589
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Reducing retail supply chain costs of product returns using digital product fitting
International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management,; Vol. 51(2021)p. 877-896
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Efficiently providing fitting products to customers is a costly process requiring inventory management and customer service. Retail supply chains face trade-offs between cost efficiency and responsiveness in terms of customers' willingness to wait for a product (a delivery lead time constraint), retailers' ability to stock variety (an inventory-holding constraint), and manufacturers' ability to responsively supply variety (a production-capacity constraint). Inefficiency in reaching customers results in waste and obsolescence, as indicated by retailers' markdowns or even disposal of products.
This thesis provides hands-on knowledge on how to digitalize product fitting in order to improve retail supply chain performance. Studying the link between fit uncertainty and retail supply chain performance is important for retailers and manufacturers' understanding of end-customer behavior and for improving product development and assortment planning to ensure availability of products that fit.
Fysisk handel förbättras genom digital modellering
Handelsrådet (2016:721), 2016-09-01 -- 2018-08-31.
Plattformsbaserad digital skohandel
Handelsrådet (2018:847), 2018-11-27 -- 2020-11-27.
VINNOVA (2018-03619), 2018-11-27 -- 2020-11-27.
Informations- och kommunikationsteknik
Innovation och entreprenörskap
Transportteknik och logistik
Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 5015
Chalmers tekniska högskola
Vasa B, Vera Sandbergs Allé 8
Opponent: Professor Johan Hagberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden