Information standards in retailing? A review and future outlook

Mikko Hänninen, Jukka Luoma, Lasse Mitronen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
163 Downloads (Pure)


As a result of the ongoing digitalization of retailing, we are now seeing increasing interest from actors in the retail value chain to redefine the information standards and protocols through which manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers collaborate and share supply and demand-side data. The purpose of this study is to understand the role of information standards in the retail value chain and the implications that increased standardization has on the sector. Our findings illuminate the strategic implications of information standards on consolidation, competition, and collaboration in the retail value chain, including their potential benefits and drawbacks. We argue that retailers face a risk that rather than a ‘global’ standard for information exchange emerging, adopted by a majority of leading retailers worldwide, and spearheaded by global standard-setting bodies, as well as consultants and technology providers, several ‘local’ information standards may emerge which only ensure the interoperability of particular transaction partners. As such, managers of organisations operating across the retail value chain need to be aware of how both ‘global’ or ‘local’ information standards may represent a two-bladed sword. This conceptual study is one of the first studies to consider the strategic, sector-level implications of information standards in the specific context of the retail sector.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-149
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Early online date29 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Information standards
  • transaction cost economics
  • knowledge-based view
  • technology
  • e-commerce


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