نوآوری در مدل های کسب و کار خرده فروشی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|7704||2011||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Retailing, Volume 87, Supplement 1, July 2011, Pages S3–S16
A retail business model articulates how a retailer creates value for its customers and appropriates value from the markets. Innovations in business models are increasingly critical for building sustainable advantage in a marketplace defined by unrelenting change, escalating customer expectations, and intense competition. Drawing from extant strategy and retailing research, we propose that innovations in retail business models are best viewed as changes in three design components: (1) the way in which the activities are organized, (2) the type of activities that are executed, and (3) the level of participation of the actors engaged in performing those activities. We propose six major ways in which retailers could innovate their business models to enhance value creation and appropriation beyond the levels afforded by traditional approaches to retailing. We also describe the drivers of business model innovations, the potential consequences of such innovations, and numerous examples from retail practice that highlight our concepts and arguments. In doing so, we provide a starting point for academic research in a domain that is deficient in theoretical and empirical research, and offer retailing managers a framework to guide retail business model innovations for sustainable competitive advantage.
There is no commonly accepted definition of business model in the literature. Instead, the literature reveals a wide range of definitions that vary in their emphases and scope (e.g., see the 2010 Long Range Planning special issue dedicated to business models). Nevertheless, most authors agree that a business model articulates a firm's value proposition, its sources of revenue, the resources used to extract rents, and the governance mechanism that links firm's stakeholders (Zott and Amit 2010). Drawing from this core idea, we propose a working definition of business models: A business model is a well-specified system of interdependent structures, activities, and processes1that serves as a firm's organizing logic for value creation (for its customers) and value appropriation (for itself and its partners). The business model represents the firm's distinctive logic for value creation and appropriation (Chesbrough and Rosenbloom, 2002, Gambardella and McGahan, 2010, Osterwalder and Pigneur, 2009, Teece, 2010 and Zott and Amit, 2010).2 For instance, a business model may outline how the firm creates value for customers via activities related to product development and flexible pricing. A business model may also outline how value is appropriated through, for instance, improved inventory management and changes to governance structures that reduce opportunity costs, increase customers’ switching costs, or lower the leverage that various stakeholders exercise on the firm. Articulating the means by which a firm creates and appropriates value allows for a clearer delineation of the sources of its competitive advantage, which, in turn, facilitates updating and strengthening the business model. A central aspect of our definition of a business model is that it incorporates interdependencies that transform a set of structures, activities, and processes into an integrated system. A business model is not only specified by a revenue model, a cost structure, a set of resources, or a value proposition; it is fundamentally about how these pieces of the business “fit together” to create and appropriate value (Magretta 2002). In this context, “fit” refers to multi-layered interdependencies among the elements of a business model such that the “whole” (business model) is not simply the sum of its “parts” (elements). If these interdependencies reflect a high level of complementarity or synergy among the elements of a business model, then the business model is likely to be more cohesive and effective in achieving its purpose (e.g., Porter 1996). Indeed, complementarities have been highlighted in numerous papers as a source of economic rents and competitive advantage (see Ennen and Richter 2010 for a review). For instance, Milgrom and Roberts (1994) found that the total economic value added by combining two or more complementary factors in a production system exceeds the value that would be generated by applying these production factors in isolation. Conversely, if the elements of a business model, however well designed, do not reinforce each other, synergies are less likely to emerge and the risk of failure will increase. In sum, the beneficial interplay of the elements of a business model is pivotal to its successful implementation. Conceptualizing the business model as an interdependent system thus encourages “systemic and holistic thinking” instead of local optimizations or piecemeal decisions (Zott and Amit 2010). Business model and strategy: similarities and differences Hambrick and Fredrickson (2005, p. 49) define strategy as “a central, integrated, externally oriented concept of how the business will achieve its objectives”. At the same time, business model has been described as the “essence of a firm's strategy” (Gambardella and McGahan 2010) and “a reflection of the firm's realized strategy” (Casadesus-Masanell and Ricart 2010). Although business model and strategy share some common roots, they are different in important ways.3 First, strategy articulates a certain goal, whereas the business model details the mechanisms that moves the organization towards that goal. In other words, strategy specifies how the firm aims to differentiate from, or compete with, its rivals to achieve competitive advantage (Magretta 2002). It is focused on the firm's (unique) position in the marketplace (Porter 1996). The business model focuses on the organizing logic of how to create and appropriate value in a way that achieves distinctive competitive advantage. It details the structures, activities, and processes (including the required resources) that connect the firm's internal functional areas (e.g., marketing, sales, and finance) and external constituencies (e.g., suppliers, partners) in an interdependent system that delivers on the firm's strategy (Teece 2010). Here, the business model plays a key role in placing the (“internal”) organizational system of interdependent activities in a network of (“external”) partners, suppliers and customer group(s) that is distinctive to the firm's value proposition to customers. Potentially disparate business models may be consistent with a given strategy, just as many different paths may lead to the same destination. Second, the adoption of a new strategy typically implies reliance on a new business model, but changes to the business model can be made within an existing strategic framework. For instance, a strategy of low-cost manufacturing may prompt the adoption of outsourcing if, at some point, it is more cost effective than in-house production. Such adoption will require a change to the business model without a significant change in strategy. Thus, a business model may change more frequently than a firm's strategy, although these changes may prompt questions on whether the strategy needs to be updated as well. For instance, Amazon.com has updated its business model multiple times, from creating Prime membership where customers pay upfront a fee for year-long free expedited shipping, to allowing third party merchants to sell on its site, to an added emphasis on creating a preeminent marketplace for digital products, but its strategy has not wavered from being the ultimate Internet superstore. Third, strategy and business model differ in the level of detail. The business model takes a firm's strategy from a relatively abstract level and translates it into a more specific interdependent mechanism that guides managers in fine-tuning their actions to realize the firm's competitive advantage. For instance, at the strategic level, American Girl strives to be the premier supplier of dolls for children; at the business model level, it focuses on how to make transactions more valuable for both its customers and for itself by seamlessly integrating customer co-creation, add-on services (such as cafés and spas where girls can spend time with their dolls) and complementary products such as accessories for the dolls purchased in their stores. The preceding distinctions indicate that theory and practice can benefit from the study of business models, in addition to research on strategic positioning. In the following section we extend this conceptualization of business model to the context of retailing and relate it to the extant literature.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
For researchers studying business model innovations in retailing, much work lies ahead. Although the conceptualization we present here is a start, more research is needed to clarify the concepts and to measure them empirically. A rich theory that elaborates on antecedents, consequences and various facets of business model innovation needs to be developed and linked to extant theoretical frameworks such as value chain (Porter 1998), configurational theories (e.g. Meyer et al. 1993), or the resource based view (Barney 2001). In particular, more theoretical work is needed to specify different modalities of interdependencies among the elements of retail format, activities, and governance, as well as develop empirical models for measuring such interdependencies and their effects on customer experience and retail performance. For retailers, we have proposed a three-element conceptualization of RBMs and a framework consisting of six design themes that they can use to design innovative business models. The three elements that comprise an RBM – format, activities, and governance – can help retailers to think strategically about the optimal locus of business model innovation, as well as any necessary updates to how these elements are connected. The framework of design themes can also be used as a checklist of expected outcomes with respect to value creation and value appropriation associated with a business model innovation. Finally, the framework may provide performance benchmarks for retailers’ current business models, and help them set up continuous improvement processes along as many of the six dimensions as possible. In addition to periodically examining the performance of their business model along each of the proposed six design themes, a retailer would benefit from keeping abreast of the major internal and external factors that might warrant changes to the business models. We summarize below some of these key factors. Keep abreast of new technologies. Retailers should monitor any new technologies that can reduce the cost structure of their business or that can increase efficiencies. Self-service technologies are now pervasive in many stores and have gone beyond the ubiquitous self-service checkout counter. For instance, Stop & Shop Supermarket, a subsidiary of Ahold USA, has introduced wireless-based shopping cart “buddies.” Customers can use them to search for the product they need by name or category using a dropdown menu, and the selected products are displayed on a map of the store. The shopping cart buddy can also place deli orders, notify store associates of out-of-stock items and emit electronic rain checks, enhancing and simplifying the shopping experience of the customers who use it. Although retailers could consider the impact of such self-service technologies mainly in terms of the opportunities they afford for product and/or process innovations, they could also gain an understanding of the opportunities and challenges to their business models that arise from technology developments ( Grewal et al., forthcoming and Shankar et al., forthcoming). Another threat that is harder to monitor, but nevertheless important to keep on the radar screen, is that of technologies that could make a retailer's product outdated. Just as stores selling typewriters had to change their business models as PCs became popular, so do booksellers faced with electronic readers, or CD retailers faced with MP3 players and downloadable music. Joining an emerging market or forging alliances with the technology providers may be the best way to preempt this threat. Jeff Bezos beat Sony to the market with its Kindle, and leveraged the large book inventory that Amazon.com carries by offering an impressive e-book library for Kindle. Barnes & Noble soon followed suit with the Nook, upping the value added by offering free classics that can be downloaded to it and in 2010 a new color version of the e-reader. In contrast, Borders, a once successful retailer, failed to capitalize on this opportunity, reported a net loss of over $100 million in revenues for each of the past two years, and has filed for bankruptcy. Sometimes new technologies require thinking outside the box, as they have the potential to introduce completely new retail formats. Hamilton South, a founding partner of HL Group, a retail consultancy, thinks the future of luxury retail may not be online but on television. He envisions a world where viewers use their remote controls to buy the clothing that appears in the programs they are watching. “Retailers need to stop thinking about making shopping entertaining, he says, and concentrate on making entertainment “shopable” instead” (Economist 2009, p. 73). And yet another example of how we will, in the near future, shop differently can be seen in a Cisco ad that has gone viral on YouTube with over 1.7 million views, which depicts a young woman virtually trying apparel on an electronic screen. The ad suggests not only that a radically new customer experience is possible in the near future, but also that retailers will have to yet again rethink the manner in which they manage assortments and inventories, as well as any aspect of the business model that relates to them. Keep abreast of new consumer trends. Even if a retailer's model is customer centric, it is only as good as the assumptions the retailer makes about what customers value. Accurately identifying the main drivers of customers’ utility function and constantly updating this information is critical to keeping the business model current (see, for example, Reinartz et al. forthcoming). For instance, retail sales of organic foods in the US have increased 17.1% to $24.6 billion in 2008 (Organic Trade Association press release 2009). Anticipating this change in consumer priorities and modifying their business model accordingly have helped certain retailers, including Walmart, build competitive advantage. Conversely, food retailers that have waited to join this bandwagon may have to face yet another shift in consumer preferences, with some analysts reporting that the organic sector is peaking, and a focus on sustainability, fair trade or localization is now trending up (McKay 2010). Thus, retailers should have in place intelligence processes which ensure that they keep up with what their customers truly want. The extensive involvement of today's consumers with social media is also something that can be leveraged to update a retailer's business model and increase its efficiency. For instance, many retailers show parts of their assortment on Facebook in an attempt to gauge customer interest. Gathering customer reactions to the retailer's communications on social networking sites can be institutionalized and integrated more systematically with merchandising decisions. Retailers need to think beyond the advertising function of the social networking sites, and find innovative ways to use them as exchange media, rather than as one-way, or even two-way, communication channels. These sites are an integral part of the life of many consumers; retailers need to integrate them within their business models. Maintain organizational flexibility. Retailers should maintain organizational flexibility to create a new brand if a new retailing format or concept shows potential, but cannot be directly integrated into their current business model. While in some cases this may involve a simple brand extension (Toys R Us and Babies R Us), in other cases it may require a fundamentally new business model. A good example is Procter & Gamble's first forays into retailing, the now defunct Reflect.com, an Internet retailer of custom skin care products. While Procter & Gamble's business model relied on mass merchandising and economies of scale, the business model of its retailing venture Reflect.com had to accommodate customer co-creation and entailed completely different retail format, activities, and governance components, which were difficult to integrate with Procter & Gamble's core business model. Another context where organizational flexibility is of paramount importance is in ensuring that the various functional areas that define and bring to life each facet of the business model are in constant communication with each other. If feedback between the functional areas is exchanged on a regular basis, it is more likely that the critical interdependencies between the retailing activities, format and governance components of the business model are maintained and updated for optimal business performance. Finally, perhaps the best way to ensure that the business model stays current is to start thinking about the next business model innovation as soon as the current one is implemented. Walmart is a prominent example of staying ahead of competition by constantly innovating its business model –from the manner in which Sam Walton chose the location of the Walmart stores, to its innovative inventory management processes, to the way in which this retailer has embraced organic merchandise and now to the sustainability emphasis –and doing so with the nimbleness of a small retailer, rather than that of a large, stodgy incumbent. We hope that the concepts, arguments, and examples we provide in this paper help other retailers to innovate their business models to enjoy sustainable competitive advantages. Executive summary Rapid technological innovations, escalating consumer expectations, and the increasingly global nature of competition are dramatically changing the rules of the game for large and small retailers alike. To respond effectively, even survive, retailers are keenly motivated to innovate their business models, but theoretical and empirical research to guide them in this endeavor is lacking. We view a retail business model as a systemic conception of how a retailer creates value for its customers and how it appropriates value from the markets for itself and for its partners. A multitude of innovative retail business models, such as “fast fashion” (Zara), “Name your price” (Priceline), “Largest store” (Amazon), “Customer co-creation” (Build-a-Bear), “Self-service” (Redbox), “Store-within-store” (Sephora), “Customer experience” (Starbucks), “One deal at a time” (Woot!), and “Private-sale” (Ruelala.com) have emerged in the recent past. Is there an overall conceptual framework within which these varied business models can be understood and explained? What factors favor or inhibit the success of retail business model innovations? What lies ahead for retail business model innovations? We address these questions in this paper by developing an overall conceptual framework, and by articulating the value of our framework for retailing theory and practice. Building on our conceptualization of business model, we first differentiate between a business model and the closely related, but broader concept of business strategy. Next, we extend this conceptualization to define retail business models (RBM) by incorporating two specific characteristics of the retailing context: (1) retailers sell products manufactured by others, and as a result, they focus not only on what they sell but also on how they sell and (2) retailers are often directly engaged with a large number of end consumers, which creates opportunities and challenges for building stronger relationships with their customer base. Moreover, we propose that the RBM has three interconnected core design elements, namely, retailing format, activities, and governance, which together with their interdependencies define a retailer's organizing logic for value creation and appropriation. Thereafter, we theorize that a retail business model innovation is a deliberate change in one or more of these three design components and their interdependencies, beyond the levels afforded by current approaches to retailing. Using the above conceptualizations, we finally develop a framework that elaborates six major ways that retailers could pursue to build innovative business models which enhance value creation and value appropriation. We provide concrete retail examples to highlight the salient features of our framework. We also describe the internal and external drivers of business model innovations, and the potential profit and competitive consequences of such innovations, supported by illustrations from retail practice. In concluding, we offer some suggestions to retailers regarding what they might do to be alert to changing business models in their own retail sectors. As a whole, our paper provides a starting point for academic research in a domain that is deficient in theoretical and empirical research, and offers retailing managers a framework to explore business model innovations that are best suited to their own contexts.