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Online Channel Integration: Creating Customer Value Online and its Implications for the Offline Channel

abstract Marketing scholars as well as leading managers agree on the importance of harnessing the potential synergies that lie in the integration of the online and offline distribution channels. Although the interest in exploring various aspects of channel integration has increased during the last years, existing research has not focused on at least four different important aspects: First, marketing re-search and practice is still lacking a framework how firms can design synergies into their channels and how they can effectively hand off their customers from one channel to another. Second, little is known whether the creation of an integrated channel system actually increases the perceived cus-tomer benefits and whether these benefits translate into preferable customer reactions. Third, it has not yet been assessed whether actively managing and establishing integration strategies actually are a way to further increase the synergies between the online and the offline channels and whether online channel integration leads to higher sales in the online as well as physical stores. Fourth, the effect of integration strategies on different customer segments has not yet been analyzed. To investigate these research gaps, qualitative as well as quantitative research methods will be used. First, a unified classification of channel integration strategies will be developed by an extensive literature review. The resulting framework is validated with expert interviews and discussions of the framework in expert workshops. Second, a series of experiments will be conducted in cooperation with three companies and their customers to empirically test the hypothesized relationships. Since most multichannel customers use the online channel for search and the physical stores for purchase, the focus of this project lies in integration measures concerning the online store.
   
keywords Customer Value, Multichannel Management, Channel Synergies
   
partner
type dissertation project
status scheduled
start of project 2012
end of project 2013
additional informations
topics E-Commerce, Multichannel Management, Channel Choice Modeling
methods Experiments, Structural Equation Modeling (SEM)
contact Jochen Binder