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Understanding the Digital Customer Experience: Automation, Augmentation and Smart Devices

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

Submission Deadline - January 31st, 2018


Aim of the Special Issue

The increasing availability, processing power and variety of devices, such as smartphones, tablets and voice-based ancillaries such as the Amazon Alexa, open up new media-rich possibilities for brands to engage with consumers. Beyond content marketing and two-dimensional interaction on websites and apps, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) offer an opportunity to immerse the user directly in the simulated product or service experience.

At the same time, data generated through consumer touch points creates possibilities for greater automation and development of smart, algorithmically-driven interactions. Artificial Intelligence enhances the capabilities of existing devices and software, opening opportunities for adding interactive capabilities to everyday objects, through the Internet of Things.

With customer experiences becoming (1) increasingly multi-sensory and (2) largely data-driven, conventional marketing concepts may not support management of all aspects of digital customer experiences. The increasingly automated and smart customer experience calls for a stronger focus on models, strategies and ethics inherent in such practices. It is important to broaden the perspective on the customer experience beyond marketing and psychology to insights from computer-human interaction, analytics, systems design, law, ethics and other areas.

The purpose of this special issue is to share and consolidate the knowledge base on digital customer experience research in this fast-changing landscape, set the future research agenda and support the development of ethically responsible and effective digital customer experiences.

Special Issue Themes

The call title identifies three core sub-themes of digital customer experience:
1.    Smart devices and Internet of Things
2.    Automation and Artificial Intelligence
3.    Augmentation of the customer experience

Papers on related sub-topics will also be considered, including macro perspectives and specific applications. Examples of topics include, but are not limited to:
•    Customer experience dimensions and models in digital context
•    Adoption of innovations across different user groups
•    Development of the ecosystem
•    Smart innovation and older consumers
•    Smart automation and digitalization of the customer experience in different sectors e.g. retail, financial services, automotive, transport, public services,
•    Augmented reality as driver of engagement
•    Automation of user interactions
•    Brand management and smart innovations
•    Development and combination of business models
•    Customer experience implementation
•    Impact on value creation, especially co-creation
•    Trust, due diligence and governance in the ecosystem
•    Legal and regulatory changes e.g. GDPR
•    Impact of social media
•    Data privacy and protection

Any methodological approach can be considered if it fulfils the criteria of reflectivity, relevance and rigor.

We invite papers from academics, industry leaders, cultural theorists and innovators. Academic papers as well as case studies and conceptual proposals offering scientific, commercial, creative or cultural insights are welcome.

Format and Submission Information

Submitted manuscripts should follow the format as indicated in the author guidelines on the journal website:

As a guide, papers should be between 4,000 to 6,000 words. Papers are desk reviewed by one of the Special Issue Guest Editors and if judged as suitable for this publication, the manuscripts are sent to two referees for double-blind peer review.  Submissions should be made via the journal's ScholarOne site at:

If you are interested in reviewing other papers which have been submitted to this issue of the journal, please indicate so on Step 4 of the ScholarOne submission process in the ‘Cover Letter’ box and an account will be created for you. Others interested in reviewing should contact the Guest Editors.

Submission deadline

The deadline for electronic submission is January 31st 2018.

Special Issue Guest Editors

For more information, please contact Special Issue Guest Editors:

Dr Julia Wolny,

Professor Merlin Stone,

Related Reading:

Ashman, R., Wolny, J.  & Solomon, M.R. (2018) The Quantified Self: Self-Regulation in Cyborg Consumers, in The Routledge Companion to Consumer Behaviour, (eds) Solomon and Lowrey, Rutledge: New York.

Ashman, R., Solomon, M. R., & Wolny, J. (2015). An old model for a new age: Consumer decision making in participatory digital culture. Journal of Customer Behaviour, 14(2), 127-146.

Gensler Sonja, Scott A. Neslin and Peter C. Verhoef. (2017) The Showrooming Phenomenon: It's More than Just About Price. Journal of Interactive Marketing 38, 29-43.

Gonzalez-Fuentes, M. (2016). The Organization of the Future and the Marketing Function: Marketers’ Competencies in the. Strategic Imperatives and Core Competencies in the Era of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, 126.

Javornik, A. (2016). Augmented reality: Research agenda for studying the impact of its media characteristics on consumer behaviour. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 30, 252-261.

Kannan P. K. and Hongshuang “Alice” Li. (2017) Digital marketing: A framework, review and research agenda. International Journal of Research in Marketing 34:1, 22-45.

Kannan, P.K., Werner Reinartz and Peter C. Verhoef. (2016) The path to purchase and attribution modeling: Introduction to special section. International Journal of Research in Marketing 33:3, 449-456L

Lemon, K. and Peter C. Verhoef (2016). Understanding Customer Experience Throughout the Customer Journey. Journal of Marketing: November 2016, Vol. 80, No. 6, pp. 69-96. Maklan, S., & Klaus, P. (2011). Customer experience: are we measuring the right things? International Journal of Market Research, 53(6), 771-792.

Novak, T. P., Hoffman, D. L., & Yung, Y. F. (2000). Measuring the customer experience in online environments: A structural modeling approach. Marketing science, 19(1), 22-42.

Rajkumar Venkatesan. (2017) Executing on a customer engagement strategy. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 45:3, 289-293.

Schmitt, B. H. (2010). Customer experience management: A revolutionary approach to connecting with your customers. John Wiley & Sons.

Stone M, Parnell B, Stott R, Aravopoulou  & Timms L (2017). Business model innovation, strategic information and the role of analyst firms, The Bottom Line (in press)

Stone M and Laughlin P, (2016). How interactive marketing is changing in consumer financial services, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing 10 4 338-256

Stone M, Stott R and Fae J (2016), Business models in the business to business and business to consumer worlds – what can each world learn from the other, Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing 31 8 943-954

Stone M (2015), Competitive marketing intelligence in a digital, data-based world, Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice 17 1 20-29

Stone M (2014), The new (and ever-evolving) direct and digital marketing ecosystem, Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 16 2 71-74

Stone M and Woodcock N (2014), Interactive, direct and digital marketing – a future that depends on better use of business intelligence, Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing 8 1 4-17

Wolny, J. & Charoensuksai, N. (2014). Mapping customer journeys in multichannel decision-making. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice, 15(4), 317-326.

Wolny, J. (2016). Marketing Communications in a Digital World. Marketing Theory: A Student Text, (Eds) Baker, M. & Saren, M.  318-332.

Wolny, J. (2017) Thinkers and doers on Digital Customer Experience - A Symposium, DMA Website,