IJRM Best Article 2019


Harald J. van Heerde, Isaac M. Dinner and Scott A. Neslin have won the award for their article in the International Journal of Research in Marketing on engaging the unengaged customer


Author: Cecilia Nalagon

Announcement: Winner 2019 IJRM Best Article

The European Marketing Academy (EMAC) and the International Journal of Research in Marketing (IJRM) are pleased to announce the winner of the 2019 IJRM Best Paper Award:

Engaging the unengaged customer: The value of a retailer mobile app. Harald J. van Heerde, Isaac M. Dinner, Scott A. Neslin. (IJRM, Volume 36, Issue 3, Pages 420-438)


Mobile apps are becoming a go-to tactic for retailers because they offer the promise of highly convenient digital engagement. We hypothesize that two types of customers are best served by these apps — “offline-only” customers currently purchasing exclusively from the retailer’s physical store, and “distant” customers who reside far from the physical store. For offline-only customers, the app complements the physical engagement they currently have. For distant customers, the app offers convenient engagement their remoteness currently precludes. We model app access and purchase behavior of 629 customers who downloaded a retailer’s app. We find that apps generate more incremental sales among distant customers compared to near customers, and more incremental sales among offline-only customers compared to online customers. On an illustrative base of 100 K app users, we find accessing the app would generate $2.3 M in incremental sales. Consistent with our segmentation results, we find that the users with the greatest purchase lift (9.5%) due to app usage are those that are distant and offline-only. Our results confirm the economic value of retailer apps and their role as a segmentation strategy to enhance customer engagement.

Selection process:

The winning article was chosen from two rounds of voting open only to the members of the IJRM Editorial Board. In the first round, each voter nominated up to three (3) papers from the 38 that were published in IJRM in 2019. Five (5) papers received the most nominations. In the second/final round, the Board Members voted for one paper from this shortlist of five papers. The winning paper is the one that received the most votes.

Five Finalists (in order of appearance):

  • The effect of social networks structure on innovation performance: A review and directions for researc Eitan Muller, Renana Peres. Pages 3-19
  • Comparing automated text classification methods. Jochen Hartmann, Juliana Huppertz, Christina Schamp, Mark Heitmann. Pages 20-38
  • Ad wearout wearout: How time can reverse the negative effect of frequent advertising repetition on brand preference.Ann Kronrod, Joel Huber. Pages 306-324
  • Branding in the era of digital (dis)intermediation. Katrijn Gielens, Jan-Benedict E.M. Steenkamp. Pages 367-384
  • Engaging the unengaged customer: The value of a retailer mobile app. Harald J. van Heerde, Isaac M. Dinner, Scott A. Neslin. Pages 420-438