While firms have been digitizing their business processes and replacing human labor with machines for decades, recent developments in computing power and data storage have opened up a whole range of new possibilities. New technologies do not only render many backend line-workers obsolete, but also many customer-facing employees, such as supermarket clerks, bank tellers, or hotel concierges. While these developments are fascinating in their own regard, we often accept them all to easily. This research critically examines the impact of new technologies on consumer behavior and derives empirically-tested recommendations for marketing strategy in the digital age. In particular, this research advances current knowledge on 1) how an increasing digitization, automation, and dehumanization transforms consumer interactions with businesses, and 2) how new technologies should be designed and implemented to avoid possible drawbacks of these developments or accentuate their benefits.

Author: Anne Scherer