3 May 2021
Member Feature: The Connected Consumer Editors

On the occasion of our newly launched topical collection “The Connected Consumer” we would like to share with you the scholars behind it and a summary of the key aspects of connected consumers. This post will consist of an introduction to the topic and two investigator spotlights, one dedicated to Prof. Dr Rodríguez-Ardura and the second to Dr Ammetller. 

What is a "connected consumer"?

A connected consumer is a person who buys online, who consumes digital content or products, who interacts with friends and acquaintances through social media and who makes purchase decisions with the assistance of artificial intelligence.

How do connected consumers have transformed e-commerce businesses?

Connected consumers embrace innovative products and process large amounts of marketing information but pay less attention to detail than ever before. They expect to receive instant gratification for their actions and requests on e-commerce platforms and quickly become bored or distracted. They particularly trust other connected consumers’ opinions, even if they do not know them personally, and contribute to brands' virtual communities just for fun, to feel part of a group or to help others. Despite being overstimulated by digital marketing communications, they tend to appreciate the ones with highly emotional or sensorial elements more. In e-commerce, brands should offer compelling and immersive experiences, which at the same time make consumers feel empowered in their relationships with brands.

Will this new trend in consumer behaviour change the e-commerce and commerce landscape in general?

Through their attitudes, preferences and behaviour, connected consumers are not only changing the face of e-commerce but also brick and mortar stores. Physical stores need to digitize and reimagine. They should add e-commerce services, and fully integrate e-commerce with the traditional channels so as to offer true seamless, omnichannel experiences. Because the connected consumer’s behaviour is non-linear but fragmented across channels, retailers should work hard to convert clients in each and every step of the consumer journey; so they must push the conversion rate of physical store browsing to purchasing on the e-commerce platform. Also, visits to physical stores should be so appealing and engaging that no connected consumer wants to miss out.

Investigator Spotlight I: Prof. Dr Inma Rodríguez-Ardura

Dr Inma Rodríguez-Ardura is a Professor of Marketing at the Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya or UOC) and is also the director of the UOC’s Digital Business Research Group (or DigiBiz), which is officially accredited as a Consolidated Research Group. She has been a Visiting Fellow of the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, a Visiting Professor at Babson College, Boston, and a Resident Researcher at the UOC’s Internet Interdisciplinary Institute. Furthermore, she has served as a faculty member at the University of Barcelona and as a part-time Lecturer at the University of Miami Herbert Business School; and has taught master’s courses and seminars at a number of other universities. At the UOC, Prof. Rodríguez-Ardura has coordinated the Marketing Area of the Faculty of Economics and Business and created and has been Director of the Master's Programme in Marketing Management, and the Bachelor's Degree Programme in Marketing and Market Research. Moreover, she has served as Director of the University Master's Programme, and the Doctoral Programme in the Information and Knowledge Society. Her work designing and developing courses in marketing has led her to coordinate and author over thirty didactic materials. 

Prof. Rodríguez-Ardura has carried out twenty-seven research projects funded by European and international institutions. Her research has appeared in numerous impact journals. In addition, she has authored scores of research books and textbooks and has guest-edited special issues on social e-commerce (International Journal of Electronic Marketing and Retailing), qualitative methods for digital marketing (Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research), and consumer behaviour in digital markets (Sustainability). She is currently Section Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research and Associate Editor of Behaviour & Information Technology.

Educational background

  • PhD in Economics and Business from the University of Barcelona

Research interests

Prof. Rodríguez-Ardura’s research interests are in the areas of digital marketing channels and e-retailing, the connected consumer (immersive) experiences, and marketing for e-learning.

Personal Interests

  • Travelling
  • Sports

Investigator Spotlight II: Dr Gisela Ammetller

Dr Ammetller is an Associate Professor of Marketing within the Economics and Business Department of the Open University of Catalonia (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, UOC), where she is in charge of marketing courses. She has created several didactic materials for this University, has been the Academic Coordinator (2006-2008) and the Director (2008-2011; 2014-2015) of the Master’s Degree Programme in Marketing and Communication Management. She also collaborates as a lecturer in Postgraduate and Master courses of other universities. She is a researcher of the Digital Business Research Group (DigiBiz) within the UOC, which is accredited as a Consolidate Research Group by the Catalan Government in Spain.


Educational background

  • Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of Barcelona
  • Bachelor in Marketing and Market Research from the University of Barcelona
  • M.Sc. Information and Knowledge Society from the UOC
  • PhD in Information and Knowledge Society from the UOC

Research interests

Dr Ammetller’s research focuses on digital marketing and consumer behaviour, entrepreneurship and the interface between marketing and e-learning. Within these fields of knowledge, she has co-authored books, book chapters and scientific articles, and she has also participated in related research projects.

Personal Interests

  • Photography
  • Rock music
  • Travelling

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