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From Multichannel to "Omnichannel" Retailing: Review of the Literature and Calls for Research

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Abstract

The continuously changing retail practices and consumer behavioural patterns mainly attributed to the wide diffusion and adoption of innovative technologies and applications for retail purposes, call for research initiatives that should investigate this topic through multiple perspectives and approaches. The paper provides a thorough literature review and implications for research and practice on the evolving retailing landscape, emphasizing on the transformation of multichannel to omnichannel retailing. Multidisciplinary research approach mainly positioned on the Marketing, Electronic Commerce and Information Systems domains is adopted aiming to explore the crucial role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in current business and consumer practices. The review of the literature is mainly displayed in a chronological sequence in accordance to multichannel-omnichannel concepts, so as to highlight the evolution of the research attempts and corresponding business initiatives on that topic and provide an integrated view of the available research insights. Also, it is attempted to present, discuss and synthesize available definitions, terms and concepts in order to further clarify the critical issues derived through the various disciplines/domains that are actively involved in that topic. A collection of relevant research calls, along with corresponding practical implications derived through the review of the existing literature, are thoroughly discussed.
From Multichannel to “Omnichannel” Retailing:
Review of the Literature and Calls for Research
C. Lazaris*, A. Vrechopoulos
ELTRUN The E-Business Center
Department of Management Science and Technology,
Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece, 76, Patission St.
*lazaris@aueb.gr
The continuously changing retail practices and consumer behavioural patterns mainly attributed to the wide diffusion
and adoption of innovative technologies and applications for retail purposes, call for research initiatives that should
investigate this topic through multiple perspectives and approaches. The paper provides a thorough literature review
and implications for research and practice on the evolving retailing landscape, emphasizing on the transformation of
multichannel to omnichannel retailing. Multidisciplinary research approach mainly positioned on the Marketing,
Electronic Commerce and Information Systems domains is adopted aiming to explore the crucial role of Information
and Communication Technologies (ICT) in current business and consumer practices. The review of the literature is
mainly displayed in a chronological sequence in accordance to multichannel-omnichannel concepts, so as to highlight
the evolution of the research attempts and corresponding business initiatives on that topic and provide an integrated
view of the available research insights. Also, it is attempted to present, discuss and synthesize available definitions,
terms and concepts in order to further clarify the critical issues derived through the various disciplines/domains that
are actively involved in that topic. A collection of relevant research calls, along with corresponding practical
implications derived through the review of the existing literature, are thoroughly discussed.
Keywords: Multichannel Retailing, Omnichannel Retailing, Literature Review, Research Calls
1. INTRODUCTION
Τhe increasing diffusion and adoption of alternative business-to-consumer retail channels through both traditional and
innovative retail settings has transformed retail practices and consumers’ shopping processes, as well as has created
several interesting research issues in the context of the fast evolving multichannel retail environment. Today, the
capability of the simultaneous use of several consumer-store interaction channels (e.g. use of mobile internet access
within the physical retail store to search for product information and/or compare product prices) constitutes the
dominant characteristic of the “omnichannel” retailing phenomenon, which builds on the well established multichannel
retail infrastructure, mainly developed since the commercial exploitation of the World Wide Web. Omni” is a Latin
word meaning all, universal”. This new term originates from business practitioners, but recently also gained
attention among academia. The first encounter of the term was at IDC’s Global Retail Insights research unit reports,
where Parker & Hand (2009) and Ortis & Casoli (2009) suggested that the "omnichannel" shopper is an evolution of the
multichannel consumer who instead of using channels in parallel, he uses them all simultaneously. Since then, the term
remained a buzzword until it started to gain increased attention in recent years by both the academic community and
practitioners. Rigby (2011, p.4) was the first to mention the term in academic literature by defining omnichannel
retailing as: “an integrated sales experience that melds the advantages of physical stores with the information-rich
experience of online shopping”. We observe that the definition was extended to the point that it involved not just the
simultaneous use of channels, but the experience that derives from the integrated combination of them. The last attempt
to define the term was by Levy, et al. (2013, p.67), who introduced “omniretailing” as: “a coordinated multichannel
offering that provides a seamless experience when using all of the retailer’s shopping channels”. They all agree that the
prevalent notions are integrated/seamless experience using all channels.
By studying the available academic literature we admit that these concepts are not new. In fact, they have appeared at
multiple disciplines and research areas since the very beginning of the e-commerce era. The following sections of this
paper aim to conduct a thorough review of the existing literature on this emerging and highly promising topic, as well as
provide some directions for empirical research designs. Specifically, the paper attempts to clarify the main differences
observed between multichannel and omnichannel retailing, placing particular emphasis on the role of Information and
Communication Technologies (ICT). Also, the paper presents through a structured manner the main academic works
that have focused on the omnichannel retailing phenomenon. Similarly, except the presentation of the available
theoretical definitions and frameworks, the study thoroughly depicts the existing empirical studies that have been
conducted in the context of omnichannel retailing settings by discussing their specific objectives, the research
methodology followed and their main findings, conclusions and implications as well as their calls for future research.
Finally, the paper identifies managerial implications that arise due to the shift to omnichannel retail practices.
2. LITERATURE REVIEW
From the previous section, it is evident that a literature review in omnichannel retailing should include studies from
multiple disciplines, since omnichannel refers to the use of both physical and online channels combined with the
delivery of seamless shopping experiences. To this end, Multichannel retailing/E-Commerce literature should be the
basis for such a review and should extend to the areas of Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain
Management, Mobile Commerce and Pervasive Retailing. However, it should be noted that due to space constraints, the
present study elaborates on an indicative list of relevant key references on that topic.
2.1 Multichannel Retailing/E-Commerce Literature
Multichannel literature throughout the years has dealt with several concepts, such as: strategy, pricing, consumer
decision-making process, channel cannibalization, service quality, brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, multichannel
attribution, channel mix optimization, channel switching, customer experience, coordination, integration, synergies &
dissynergies. The last seven of them are the most relevant to omnichannel by definition.
The review of the relevant literature reveals that the origins of omnichannel arise from the notion of “click ‘n’ mortar”.
Specifically, in 2000, Otto & Chung wonder how can e-commerce techniques be combined with traditional physical
retailing, in order to enhance the value of the shopping experience. They named this concept “cyber-enhanced retailing
and propose e-commerce practices that can be used in conjunction with conventional retailing. Customer experience
was also addressed by Burke (2002). He conducted an empirical quantitative study investigating how consumers want
to shop online and offline, including 128 different aspects of the shopping experience. He found out that shoppers were
fond of shopping features that assisted them in multichannel shopping (e.g. research online purchase in store, shop
online pickup in store) and concluded that retailers should integrate channels so as to assist consumers to move
transparently between them. Similarly, Görsch, D. (2002, p.757) showed that the goal of multi-channel integration
must be to provide a superior customer experience that is consistent and seamless across channels. Also, Shankar et al.
(2011) suggested that a seamless shopping experience leads to satisfaction and shopper retain, which can be achieved
by providing the same information in the same style and tone across the channels” (p.33). Finally, last year, Nash et al.
(2013) signified the importance of enabling technologies to provide data-enabled customer interactions and advanced
analytics, in order to create enhanced customer experience, which results in increased customer satisfaction, loyalty and
greater customer lifetime value.
Regarding channel integration, synergies & coordination, Steinfield et al. (2002) underlined the importance of seamless
integration across channels and recognize that it is a difficult task. At the same year, Schoenbachler & Gordon (2002)
elaborate on the consistency of brand image and propose that advertising should maintain the consistency of image,
integrated across channels and the focus should be on customers, not channels. Also, Bendoly (2005) discovered
through a quantitative research that firms simultaneously managing both online and in-store channels should adopt
seamless & transparent channel integration, which is associated with increased loyalty. Next, Sousa & Voss (2006)
proposed “integration quality” as a component of quality in multichannel service and define it as: “the ability to provide
customers with a seamless service experience across multiple channels” (p.365), comprising of two dimensions:
channel-service configuration and integrated interactions. Chatterjee (2006) suggests that cross-channel retailers that
adopt coordinated order onlinepurchase offline strategies can be more profitable than those who employ multiple
channels independently. On the other hand, studying a different selection of online & offline shopping channels during
at home (TV, catalogs, and the web), Joo & Park (2008) discovered that there is no cross-channel synergy among in-
home channels and that firms should clarify the role of each channel and link the channels appropriately. Furthermore,
Kwon & Lennon (2009) conducted a quantitative research and underlined the significance of seamless integration and
consistent image management in multichannel environments. On the other hand, Cassab (2009) predicted the powerful
impact that the mobile channel will have in channel integration, marketing and customizing of retail mix offerings,
while Hahn & Kim (2009) concluded that consumers trust can be retained by ensuring offline to online and vice versa
seamless transactions, with minimum of hassle. To this end, Pookulangara et al. (2011) using a quantitative empirical
research discovered the importance of retailers to utilize a retailing strategy of uninterrupted flow of communication
with their consumers (p.319) through the use of blogs, customer-generated reviews and electronic word of mouth.
Finally, Yang et al. (2011) introduced the concept of perceived entitativity (“the degree to which a collection of
individual entities is perceived as belonging to a group”, p.1689) as a construct to evaluate the benefits of multichannel
seamless integration.
Channel switching, consumer decision-making & brand loyalty are subjects of utmost importance in omnichannel
environments. In relation to these, Dijk et al. (2005), through an exploratory empirical study found out that consumers
actively assess the acquired information from several channels in order to obtain the best deal offered by the channel
that suits them best at that moment. Along these lines, Van Baal & Dach (2005), defined free riding behaviour (“when
consumers use one retailer’s channel only to obtain information and evaluate products and switch to another supplier to
place their business”, p.76) and examined it in a multichannel environment. They found out that in order to deal with
such kind of behaviour, retailers should offer distinctive cross-channel benefits and also apply distribution integration
strategies, as well as apply customer relationship management practices. Furthermore, Sands et al. (2010) conducted a
quantitative survey and found out that the online channel leads to consumers’ engagement with the retailer in such a
way that can increase in-store spending. Chatterjee (2010) presents evidence via quantitative methods that price-
conscious consumers who order online & pick up in-store from a cross-channel retailer are less likely to engage in free
riding behaviour, than consumers who shop from a multiple channel retailer, that doesn’t provide such offering/service.
Schramm-Klein et al. (2011) employing a quantitative approach, proved that consumers that perceive a seamless
multichannel context, react with strong loyalty. Zhang & Oh (2013) elaborated on the notion of “showrooming“, which
is synonymous to free riding and discovered through an empirical study the factors that lead to it. Lastly, Heitz-Spahn
(2013) calls for further research on the effects of m-commerce, mobile applications and new retail formats regarding
cross-channel free-riding behaviour.
Store atmosphere in multichannel retailing is a topic not thoroughly researched. We believe that omnichannel
environments pave new grounds for scientific exploration in this direction. Verhagen & van Dolen (2009) provide
related literature, by employing quantitative methods, a linkage of store atmosphere with multichannel retailing:
multichannel store image (as an element of the store atmosphere) can be achieved by online and offline database
integration (managers can provide consumers with online offers that relate to offline purchases). Finally, Vrechopoulos
(2010) talked about a paradigm shift in multichannel retailing store atmosphere, since for the first time the consumer is
able to alter atmospheric elements utilizing emerging technologies in-store.
2.2 Pervasive/Mobile Retailing & ICT Literature
While traditional multichannel & E-Commerce literature contributed to the foundation of the omnichannel concept,
additional literature in other areas provided useful knowledge regarding the simultaneous use of channels, which is the
ultimate form of omnichannel and constitutes the prevalent behaviour of “omnishoppers” (consumers that utilize all
channels simultaneously). Indicatively, in 2001 Kourouthanassis et al. proposed a business and technology framework,
exploiting emerging ICT, mobile commerce technologies and the RFID, in order to integrate all available channels and
the supply chain, providing innovative in-store, home and on-the-move scenarios/services. Elaborating on pervasive
retailing concepts, Kourouthanassis et al. (2007) re-evaluated the 2001 concept from a user experience perspective and
found out through a field experiment that it can be greatly enhanced by pervasive retailing technologies (smart shopping
carts, RFID, etc). Then, Andersson & Nordmark (2008) bridged online and offline channels by transferring e-shop
elements into an in-store electronic kiosk and discovered that it assisted sales. Finally, van Ittersum et al. (2013)
experimented with smart shopping carts utilizing tablets and investigated if consumer spending was influenced by such
technology applications. They found out that as far as budget shoppers are concerned, shopping experience
enhancement leads to repatronage intention.
Regarding mobile commerce perspectives, van der Heijden (2006) introduced a mobile decision support system to
accommodate in-store purchase decisions, while Westerman et al. (2007) compares a similar system in-store and on the
internet. Along these lines, Xu et al. (2008) through an ethnographic study discovered that augmented reality in mobile
applications enhance the in-store shopping experience. Furthermore, Karpischek et al. (2009) test an NFC-based mobile
sales assistant for salespeople utilizing focus groups. According to their findings, the application wasn’t considered to
provide benefits for them, which was attributed to the fear of replacement by machines. Similarly, Jan-Willem et al.
(2010) applied an interdisciplinary approach in order to explore how mobile recommendation agents influence
consumer behaviour. They suggested that retailers should provide wifi access, QR codes and similar technologies in
order to gain competitive advantage and elevate the shopping experience. However, Hui et al. (2013) were the first to
combine mobile apps in conjunction with RFID inside a store in order to predict the effect of mobile promotions on
travel distance and unplanned spending. They used field experiments and their results showed that mobile promotions
targeted at increasing travel distance, resulted in significant increase in unplanned spending.
In general ICT literature we also observe several omnichannel-related concepts. For example, Ganesh (2004) underlined
the importance of web services & customer decision support systems in order to provide a seamless buying experience
across channels, which leads to customer relationship enhancement and retention. Similarly, Liu et al. (2005) proposed
an IS architecture in order to facilitate in-store connected consumers with seamless shopping experiences. Furthermore,
Oh & Teo (2006) realized the importance of IT (internet connectivity, data warehousing and CRM) in providing “a
seamless flow of synchronized information across channels” & of the salespeople who should “enhance customer
experiences at various touchpoints” (p.2). They concluded that service-oriented shoppers appreciate convenience in
cross-channel shopping and desire self-service in stores. Finally, Ahearne & Rapp (2010) point out a different
perspective in multichannel retailing: the role of social media, user-created content and complementary technologies
and their exploitation by salespeople.
2.3 Omnichannel Retailing Literature
Since its first appearance by Rigby (2011), the omnichannel term has been referred in academic literature in recent
years appearing as the main or a supportive subject of several studies. In parallel, the omniretailing term was first
discussed by Bodhani (2012) and defined by Levy et al. (2013, p.67) as reported in the introductory section of the
paper. Specifically, Bodhani (2012) related it to retailers-shoppers connection across multiple traditional and non-
traditional channels. Then, in 2013 she used the term in conjunction with Augmented Reality in omnichannel retailing
(Bodhani, 2013a) and with Point-of-Sales systems threatened by cybercriminals (Bodhani, 2013b). As far as
omnichannel is concerned, Aubrey & Judge (2012) discussing about brand strategy and innovation, suggested that
omnichannel strategy should be adapted in order for brands to cope with consumer preference & loyalty. At the same
year, order online pick-up in-store in the context of omnichannel was the subject of a Thesis in a Portuguese
University (Rosa, 2012). The following year, one of the most inspiring papers about omnichannel was published
(Brynjolfsson & Rahman, 2013), dealing with omnichannel concepts and strategies. Finally, at the present year several
studies were published showing the dynamics of the subject. Specifically, Bhalla (2014) attempted to clarify the
differences between multichannel and omnichannel using an applied case study approach, whereas Williams (2014)
admitted that while his focus was on social commerce, omnichannel should be taken into consideration since retail
touch points have converged into it. Moreover, Kireyev et al. (2014) elaborated on the price-matching policy aspect of
omnichannel. The interdisciplinary nature of omnichannel retailing is also indicated by a recent book chapter (Tambo,
2014) titled Omni-channel Retail Information Systems”. Last but not least, Lazaris & Vrechopoulos (2014a) provided
research directions regarding HCI in omnichannel environments and, in addition to that, they explored the omnichannel
shopper behaviour though an exploratory quantitative study (Lazaris et. al, 2014b).
3. CONCLUSIONS, CLARIFICATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH AND PRACTICE
It is clear that while the commercial diffusion and consumer adoption of omnishopping retailing innovations (e.g. in-
store visibility technologies, omnichannel commerce platforms, location-based retailing services, augmented reality) are
continuously increasing, relevant academic research is attempting to approach and investigate this issue through both
theoretical and empirical approaches. It should be clarified, however, that these research initiatives are not exclusively
positioned in the Marketing discipline but also vary from Information Systems integration to business processes
reengineering and organizational culture changes. In sum, it should be reminded that the main objective of the paper is
to summarize and to present through an integrated approach the relevant to the omnichannel retailing phenomenon key
studies and corresponding calls for future research, as well as to highlight some indicative managerial propositions that
deal with the “new retailing agenda”.
The approach followed by the present study is multidisciplinary in nature since the topic investigated appears in
Marketing, E-Commerce and Information Systems research outlets. The multidisciplinary nature of the topic is also
reflected on the review of the relevant literature as well as on the calls for future research reported at the present section
of the paper. Therefore, it is recommended that, due to the multiple disciplines and domains that are actively involved in
the investigation of the omnichannel concept, research initiatives on that topic should exploit concepts and methods
from all these areas following multidisciplinary research approaches. For example, when investigating the role of ICT
applications in retailing environments through an IS integration perspective, researchers should examine how these
applications influence key multichannel concepts (channel switching, free riding, pricing, attribution, loyalty, etc) in
providing a seamless consumer experience.
The study underlines the need to initially approach this topic by conducting exploratory empirical research attempts that
could support researchers to obtain important knowledge and understanding of consumer behavioural patterns and
characteristics in this emerging landscape. Then, conclusive research designs could in depth investigate a series of
important issues like the following: (a) Omnichannel Retail Store Atmosphere (ORSA) effects on shoppers, (b) Store
selection criteria in omnichannel retailing, (c) Classification and detailed profiling of shoppers according to the intensity
of using omnichannel practices, (d) Omnichannel retail personal selling techniques, (e) Strategic impact of omnichannel
retailing on retailers, (f) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) dynamics in an omnichannel retailing
environment, (g) Personalization/customization of the omnichannel retail mix, (h) Loyalty & free riding behaviour in
omnichannel settings, etc. In sum, technology enabled omnichannel retailing dynamics strongly affects both consumer
(e.g. shopping behaviour steps, free-riding behaviour, multichannel perception) and business (e.g. salesmen training for
effectively negotiating with omnichannel shoppers, necessity of universal analytics that combine online and offline
data, channel coordination, multichannel strategies) processes in various ways. Thus, some indicative implications for
practice, as derived by the present study, could be the following: (a) education and training of in-store employees (e.g.
salesmen, customer service), (b) adoption of state-of-the-art omnichannel technologies and applications both for the
business operations & for the in-store employees, (c) invest in consumer behaviour studies in order to provide the
optimum mix of the offered technologies/services depending on the business sector, culture, consumer behavioural
patterns and preferences, etc. (d) incorporate the omnichannel concept in the strategic marketing planning of the
organization (i.e. marketing plan) both as strategy and as a promising tool to implement selected strategies, (e) adopt a
multidisciplinary approach (e.g. organizational structure and processes), (f) seamlessly integrate channels (e.g. CRM,
Social Media, Web Site, Call Center, Mobile Applications, In-Store Technologies and Applications), unify all data
analytics and analyze both online & offline data, (g) focus on consumer data protection and permission Marketing
guidelines in the context of the Information Management business processes.
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... Each stage in customer decision journey 1 (CDJ) may involve customer interaction or contact with the organization through medium called channels (Neslin et al. 2006). Channels include traditional, online, multi-channel or omni-channel (Lazaris & Vrechopoulos 2014). Gensler, Verhoef and Bohm (2012) revealed the influence of channel experience, channel characteristics, product channel association and channel spill-over effect at different stages of CDJ in the multi-channel retail sector. ...
... Multi-channel marketing has evolved into omni-channel marketing. In an omni-channel concept, marketers are not just focused upon providing multiple channels which operate in parallel but also the seamless experience across all multiple channels which are used simultaneously (Lazaris & Vrechopoulos 2014). Hence, Omni-Channel is defined as "the synergetic management of the numerous available channels and customer touchpoints, in such a way that the customer experience across channels and the performance over channels is optimized. ...
Thesis
Previous research has highlighted that behavior is the result of both individual and situational factors. Therefore, consideration of both these factors is importantto better understand and predict human behavior. Despite this, extant literature is replete with studies which have mostly focused on studying the influence of either individual or situational factors on behavior. Given the (i) increased complexity faced by marketers due to greater number of product and channel options at different stages of customer decision journey (ii) premise involving the importance of studying both individual and situational factors to understand behaviour (iii) paucity of research involving customer decision journey and channels from the regulatory focus theory perspective, this thesis aims to provide a nuanced understanding of customer behavior from a multi-channel and customer decision journey perspective grounded in regulatory focus theory. It provides a rich customer behaviour understanding during different stages of customer decision journey based on chronic and situational regulatory orientation interaction. It provides answers to the “why” (regulatory focus theory), of “what” (means and emotions) and “where” (CDJ and channel context) questions(Ratneshwar, Mick & Huffman 2003). Specifically, this research aims to determine the influence of chronic and situational regulatory focus interaction on the choice of means and emotions faced at each stage of cutomer decision journey. For instance, what means (e.g. channels) will be chosen and what emotions will be experienced in case of chronic promotion person facing promotion situation?A mixed method approach is adopted for this thesis. The first qualitative phase involved in-depth interviews with 30 multi-channel customers. The results of this phase indicated differences in channel choice, actions taken at channels and emotions experienced at each stage of the customer decision journey among the chronic and situational regulatory orientationsinteractiongroups. The results of the first phase helped in the design of second experimental phase. This experiment was conducted in lab settingwith the aim of identifying chronic and situational regulatory focus interaction on the online customer decision journey. The first two stages provide complementarity. The results of the lab session indicate a significantinfluence of incongruent chronic-situation regulatory condition on the basket amount, significant promotion chronicsituation congruent condition on session duration and significant prevention chronic-situation congruent condition on the overall extensiveness of search and comparison. The third phase involved 14 interviews with experts from different industries. These experts highlighted the channel choices and actions of their customers. The experts also explained their implemented marketing strategies for each customer decision journey stage. The results indicate greater focus on push online marketing and separate rather than an integrated focus on each channel. This thesis contributes towards consumer behavior, regulatory focus theory and mixed method literature. It helps obtain a rich understanding of the role of both chronic and situational regulatory orientation on the channel choices and actions taken at these channels during different stages of customer decision journey. This may help marketers in targeting, channel and messagedesign. The results emphasize that marketers must use a combination approach in online channel design, involving usage of visuals and information. Product category may provide further guidance regarding the extent of trade-off between one type of design overanother. The strengths and limitations related to each stage are also provided.
... Scholars have attempted to comprehend and explore omnichannel retailing on multiple fronts. Studies based on different aspects such as omnichannel conceptual understanding (Rigby, 2011), omnichannel shopping behavior (Lazaris et al., 2014), the role of technology and digitization (Hagberg et al., 2017), organizational strategy, omnichannel business models (Wiener et al., 2018) etc. are outcomes of such endeavors. Furthermore, studies have also attempted to identify the impact of digitalization on the business models of brick-and-mortar retail stores. ...
... With the backdrop of changes in retailing, physical retail stores are experiencing re-invention and re-innovation in the omnichannel ecosystem (Alexander & Blazquez, 2020;Mosquera et al. 2018). Furthermore, the omnichannel environment is framed with certain crucial aspects related to channel switching, brand loyalty and decision making (Lazaris, 2014). Notably, channel integration, channel service, product category, integrated interactions etc., influence customer engagement, thus forming pivotal elements of omnichannel customer experience (Lee et al., 2019;Shi et al., 2020). ...
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The purpose of the study is to elucidate linkage of Omnichannel retail business model with innovation and technological advancements. The study is exploratory and qualitative in nature, based on primary and secondary data sources collected from varied retail sectors such as fashion, furniture, eyecare and electronics . The study has used Business Model Canvass (BMC) as a tool for strategic analysis. The study presents findings about business model and strategies in Omnichannel context from Indian retailers. The findings of the study posits four main dimensions resultant of digitalization and technological advancements in Omnichannel retail, namely Omnichannel Intensity, Organizational Structure Integration, Operations and Supply Chain Management Innovation, Data Analytics and Intelligence. Cross-channel Integration and Data Analytics & Intelligence have been found to be contributing enormously towards the strategic growth of Omnichannel retailers, thus emerging as the prominent managerial implications of the study.
... Omni-channel retailing, also known as click-and-mortar, refers to retailers with both a physical and digital presence and creating an integrated sales experience that melds the advantages of physical stores with the information-rich experience of online shopping (Lazaris & Vrechopoulos, 2014;Taylor, 2020). Put simply, omni-channel retailers use a variety of channels to interact with customers and fulfil their orders (Chopra, 2018). ...
... Smaller retailers are a key part of the urban landscape, contributing to serendipity (Woyke, 2011), conviviality and robustness of a city. The increasing number of dead malls and retail sites due to a lack of physical consumer traffic is worrying and calls on a greater need for adaption (Lazaris & Vrechopoulos, 2014). Retail stores are one of the major pillars of the built environment and the urban economy (Ozuduru & Guldmann, 2013). ...
... In this area, we would highlight the papers that refer to specific case studies of manufacturers or wholesalers (Hansen and Sia, 2015;Saghiri et al., 2017). The paucity of relevant research in the B2B field is shown by the multiple literature review papers, which, however, restrict their review to the retail field (Cai and Lo, 2020;Galipoglu et al., 2018;Lazaris and Vrechopoulos, 2013;Melacini et al., 2018;Mirsch et al., 2016;Simone and Sabbadin, 2017). However, these are the models that are applicable to the scope of this work and have already been identified in this field, although they are in the retail industry. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to establish a reference model that will allow us to understand the factors that influence the omnichannel management of an organization in a business-to-business (B2B) context. Design/methodology/approach In building the model, a partial least squares structural equation modeling approach was followed. More than 1,000 executives with a C-level profile (chief executive officer, chief marketing officer or chief digital officer), from manufacturers and wholesalers, in various industries worldwide were contacted. The final sample consisted of 124 C-level executives in multinational B2B companies from 35 countries worldwide. Findings The principal finding is that optimal omnichannel management must involve a customer-centric proposition forming the basis for individualized marketing that tailors the company’s portfolio of solutions to suit each client. To ensure this, customer knowledge at each touchpoint is essential. The results show that the main predictor of B2B omnichannel management is sales and marketing, even above channels. The principal conclusions are that the model shows that good omnichannel performance is measured by the performance of the industrial buyer. Loyalty and experience are primary measures of this customer’s performance. Originality/value Research into omnichannel management in the B2B field is scarce, especially concerning the creation of models for decision-making.
... In this area, we would highlight the papers that refer to specific case studies of manufacturers or wholesalers (Hansen and Sia, 2015;Saghiri et al., 2017). The paucity of relevant research in the B2B field is shown by the multiple literature review papers, which, however, restrict their review to the retail field (Cai and Lo, 2020;Galipoglu et al., 2018;Lazaris and Vrechopoulos, 2013;Melacini et al., 2018;Mirsch et al., 2016;Simone and Sabbadin, 2017). However, these are the models that are applicable to the scope of this work and have already been identified in this field, although they are in the retail industry. ...
Article
Purpose-The purpose of this paper is to establish a reference model that will allow us to understand the factors that influence the omnichannel management of an organization in a business-to-business (B2B) context. Design/methodology/approach-In building the model, a partial least squares structural equation modeling approach was followed. More than 1,000 executives with a C-level profile (chief executive officer, chief marketing officer or chief digital officer), from manufacturers and wholesalers, in various industries worldwide were contacted. The final sample consisted of 124 C-level executives in multinational B2B companies from 35 countries worldwide. Findings-The principal finding is that optimal omnichannel management must involve a customer-centric proposition forming the basis for individualized marketing that tailors the company's portfolio of solutions to suit each client. To ensure this, customer knowledge at each touchpoint is essential. The results show that the main predictor of B2B omnichannel management is sales and marketing, even above channels. The principal conclusions are that the model shows that good omnichannel performance is measured by the performance of the industrial buyer. Loyalty and experience are primary measures of this customer's performance. Originality/value-Research into omnichannel management in the B2B field is scarce, especially concerning the creation of models for decision-making.
... According to Carvalho and Campomar (2014), the new retail model that has emerged from the multi-channel concept is referred to as omni-channel, and it achieves maximum efficiency by combining physical and online distribution channels. Marketing using offline marketing (Laudon, Kenneth, and Traver, 2015) makes it simple for both customers and sellers to do business (Lazaris and Vrechopoulos, 2014;McCormick et al, 2014;Rigby, 2011;Rigby, 2014). Hansen and Sia (2015) argue that businesses must concentrate on improvements in technological infrastructure and organizational processes in order to effectively alter the economy via the implementation of an omni-channel strategy. ...
... Hubner et al (2015) discover that customers have more opportunities to purchase using omnichannel retailing, breaking down the barrier of the online and offline environment to offer the customer a seamless shopping experience. Customers demand flexibility in product or service searching (Sengupta, 2014) and freedom to use different channels (Lazaris and Vrechopoulos, 2014;Chopra, 2015) to compare the quality and price, place their order online, and choose delivery options. All those activities are offered in omnichannel for customers' convenience. ...
Article
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Customer satisfaction is one of the success factors for many retailers. With the widespread use of smartphones worldwide, retailers have adopted many new innovative and disruptive retail business models. Digitalization brings retail business into a new era and has profoundly and positively affected the business' strategy. Retailers strive to provide customers with an easy, smooth, happy, joyful, and relaxed shopping experience. One of the disruptive digital innovations in retailing is Omnichannel Retailing. The ideas are to rejuvenate, revitalize, and increase customer satisfaction during their shopping journey either at the store (offline) or through online shopping platforms. The customer shopping experience is enhanced by providing channels and touchpoints that are emerged during their shopping journey. The objective of this study is to review the customer relationship literature within the context of the omnichannel retailing perspective. This study proposes a conceptual model to understand the factors that increase customer satisfaction through omnichannel retailing.
... Cai and La, 2020;Verhoef et al., 2017), OC logistics and fulfilment (Galipoglu et al., 2018;Hübner et al., 2016;Ishfaq et al., 2016) and OC customer behaviour and preferences (e.g. Chen et al., 2018;Lazaris, 2014). ...
Book
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The increase in globalisation of trade, digitalisation and new technical advances in marketing, IT, and logistics have created new opportunities for retailers to expand and reshape their businesses. These changes have resulted in more complex logistics, and retailers are now facing several critical logistics challenges. To manage these challenges, retailers need to have dynamic capabilities (DCs) that enable them to continuously modify their logistics in order to create and maintain well- functioning logistics systems that are both cost-effective and service oriented. In addition, retailers need to have specific antecedents in place that enable them to develop and use such DCs. Despite the importance of DCs in retail, there is a limited understanding of these DCs and their antecedents, and how they enable retailers to adapt their logistics to manage logistics challenges. Hence, the purpose of this dissertation is to: Using a DC lens, explain how retailers can manage logistics challenges. This dissertation is based on two studies and includes six appended papers, which together cover the two logistics challenges of geographical expansion of retailers and transition to omni-channel retailing. The methodologies applied include a combination of literature studies and multiple case studies of large-sized Swedish retailers, in order to identify, describe, and explain DCs and their antecedents in a retail setting. A DC lens was used to study DCs and their antecedents from an intraorganisational and an interorganisational perspective, in which intraorganisational DCs were first studied in the geographical expansion of retailers, followed by interorganisational DCs (IDCs) in the transition to omni-channel retailing. The findings present accessing, integration, and utilisation as three important DCs to manage the geographical expansion of retailers. In addition, the findings present three receive-oriented IDCs: accessing, integration, and utilisation, as well as two transfer- oriented IDCs: identify knowledge-transfer opportunities and transfer of knowledge, which together are important for the transition to omni-channel retailing. In terms of antecedents, four antecedents of intraorganisational DCs: centralised logistics control, centralised logistics structure, standardisation of logistics operations, and learning orientation, were found to support the geographical expansion of retailers. In the transition to omni-channel retailing, two antecedents of IDCs: supply chain orientation and learning orientation, were found. This research provides in-depth insight into how retailers can manage two important logistics challenges in retail: the geographical expansion of retailers and the transition to omni-channel retailing. In addition, this research provides a refinement of DCs and their antecedents to increase our understanding of how such DCs and their antecedents enable retailers to manage different logistics challenges. Previous research has not identified, described, or explained how DCs enable retailers to systematically adapt their logistics to new conditions and issues related to different challenges. By studying DCs from both an intraorganisational and an interorganisational perspective, this research identifies a distinction between receive-oriented and transfer-oriented DCs, which are essential for accessing, integration, and utilisation of external resources, as well as for identifying and transferring internal resources, in order to facilitate new logistics solutions to manage different logistics challenges. For logistics practitioners, this research demonstrates the importance of retailers working systematically to manage different logistics challenges and provides several concrete examples of how retailers can take on such challenges, as well as summarising valuable learning and experiences from retail practitioners. In addition, the research reveals the importance of a shared logistics vision, a proactive role taken by the logistics function of retailers, and collaboration between retailers and LSPs, in order to better manage logistics challenges in retail. Dynamic capabilities for managing logistics challenges of retailers Linnea Haag
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Purpose This paper aims to provide a systematic review of omni-channel marketing (OCM) literature and explore how it relates to business-to-business (B2B) marketing campaign development in the digital era. OCM’s evolution is tracked, exposing the areas in which research is most prevalent while also recognising knowledge gaps. Informed by these literature insights, the changing B2B channel dynamics that present within a digital era customer journey are appraised. An OCM model for B2B marketing campaign development is produced and avenues to further research are presented. Design/methodology/approach This paper uses a systematic approach to explore OCM literature. This review informs an OCM model for B2B marketing campaign development to help advance conceptualisation of OCM B2B customer engagement as an emerging phenomena in the digital era. Findings With just 21 papers identified, OCM is assumed to fit the criteria of an emerging concept as proposed in previous research studies. The proposed model presents the changing B2B omni-channel dynamics that can be used to create B2B OCM strategies, incorporating the myriad of B2B customer channels and touchpoints currently fabricating the modern B2B marketing terrain. Research limitations/implications Conceptual in nature, there is a need for more empirical research to fully comprehend the emerging OCM landscape and how it relates to B2B customer dynamics. Originality/value This research provides much-needed conceptualisation of data capture and management strategies for B2B marketing campaign development across the omni-channel in the digital era. While systematic literature reviews exist within the OCM realm, none have charted the current OCM literature.
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This study explores omnichannel shoppers’ behaviour through an online questionnaire with 1324 respondents executed in November 2013 in Greece. The study classifies shoppers according to their “omnichannel retailing intensity” and tests whether the resulted groups differ in terms of a series of relevant to the omnichannel retailing phenomenon key behavioural patterns. The results indicate that omnichannel retailing intensity affects the frequency of mobile Internet usage, the research online - purchase offline behaviour, the importance shoppers attach to the offline retail stores’ assisting technologies and the research offline - purchase online behaviour. The paper provides implications for practice and future research.
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Chapter
Information Systems in the context of retailing is often overlooked as one of the most complex systems in the corporate information landscape alone from its geographical and probably also cultural span across nations, traditions, fiscal systems and work force regimes. When retail information systems are expanded into being able to handle, consistently, the same information, but seamlessly across different sales channels, trading platforms, consumers group and logistical systems, then the complexity is increased by yet a magnitude. Cross-channel or multi-channel retailing has normally reflected sales of physical or non-physical goods in stores and at internet-based shops. It has also reflected conceptually similar channels, e.g. the physical store could also be a concept store, a shop-in-shop, a trade fair booth, and the virtual store could e.g. also be a TV-shop and a mobile commerce platform. Recently the concept of omni-channel retailing has been introduced. Omni-channel retailing is covering the idea that anything can be sold anywhere with consistent marketing, reasonable efficiency of the supply chain channels, and responsible customer service. To support omni-channel retailing, retail information systems must be re-considered with much stronger emphasis on the distributed character of information and service platforms. This can be accomplished using a highly service-oriented architecture (SOA), a big data orientation towards consumer behaviours, context and activity, and flexible system approaches, where lack of data can be as valid as strong data. The omni-channel retail information systems are characterised by a breadth of management, information and logistical technologies; such as: - Product management with or without awareness of the omni-channel character of the sales activity - Free or controlled information access - Access to relevant warehouses and shipping operations - DAM - Flexibility regarding logistical and information scalability also encompassing e.g. seasonality, ramp-up/down, product portfolio change - Interrelational tools between consumer identity, context and consumer behaviour which e.g. can be found in social media intelligence tools and big data mining - Idealised common consumer identity management This article is discussing requirements for and character of information systems to support omni-channel retailing. This article is reviewing a case of a sporting goods company, where over relatively short time numerous sales platforms were established mostly without the knowledge of the company.
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The increasing availability of electronic applications in physical retail stores has created a series of interesting research opportunities with challenging managerial implications for practitioners. Since the graphical user interface design constitutes a critical user-consumer influencing factor in the context of a multichannel retailing environment, there are several multidisciplinary research initiatives that could add value towards an integrated investigation of this topic. To this end, the paper discusses the promising role of combining Information Systems and Marketing disciplines for conducting behavioural studies in the context of multichannel/omnichannel retailing, approaching humans both as users of information systems and consumers of retail stores. Similarly, the paper treats the screen of the electronic applications available in online and offline retail stores both as a graphical user interface of an information system and as the atmosphere/servicescape of a retail store. The paper provides several future research directions and practical implications for this fast evolving topic.
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Scholarly inquiry within the domains of social commerce has grown rapidly and seems destined to be a goldmine of future research opportunities. However, it is now time to reflect and assess these independent and spiraling contributions using a meta-theoretical approach. This captures and establishes the similarities occurring concurrently within the domains and highlights the linkages between them. This produces a firmer conceptual underpinning for future first-order theory building in social commerce and highlights the need to rethink fundamental concepts, definitions, and traditional research approaches.