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Title: Agent models of customer journeys on retail high streets

In this review paper, we aim to make the case that a concept from retail analytics and marketing—thecustomer journey—can provide promising new frameworks and support for agent-based modeling, with a broad range of potential applications to high-resolution and high-fidelity simulation of dynamic phenomena on urban high streets. Although not the central focus of the review, we consider agent-based modeling of retail high streets against a backdrop of broader debate about downtown vitality and revitalization, amid a climate of economic challenges for brick-and-mortar retail. In particular, we consider how agent-based modeling, supported by insights from consideration of indoor shopping, can provide planning and decision support in outdoor high street settings. Our review considers abstractions of customers through conceptual modeling and customer typology, as well as abstractions of retailing as stationary and mobile. We examine high-level agency of shop choice and selection, as well as low-level agency centered on perception and cognition. Customer journeys are most often trips through geography; we therefore review path-planning, generation of foot traffic, wayfinding, steering, and locomotion. On busy high streets, journeys also manifest within crowd motifs; we thus review proximity, group dynamics, and sociality. Many customer journeys along retail high streets are dynamic, and customers will shift their journeys as they come into contact with experiences and service offerings. To address this, we specifically consider treatment of time and timing in agent-based models. We also examine sites for customer journeys, looking in particular at how agent-based models can provide support for the analysis of atmospherics, artifacts, and location-based services. Finally, we examine staff-side agency, considering store staff as potential agents outdoors; and we look at work to build agent-based models of fraud from customer journey analysis.

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Award ID(s):
2027652 1729815
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
Springer Science + Business Media
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 87-128
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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