Will They Still Pay? A Study of Consumer Behavior in an Unmanned Retail Environment

An unmanned retail shelf is a new retail format made possible by the advance in mobile internet and digital payment technologies. With drastically reduced personnel costs and upfront equipment investment, unmanned retail shelves promise the potential of deeper penetration into more convenient locations for consumers. However, a lack of onsite staff can also mean that unmanned retail shelves are more vulnerable to incidences of theft as compared to traditional stores. We investigate the impact of formal and informal surveillance technology in the context of an unmanned retail environment. By investigating the impact of surveillance technology on consumer behavior outcomes such as theft rate, approach rate, and conversion rate, we hope to better understand if surveillance technologies live up to the promises of improving net economic outcomes by delivering better security.