Purchasing behaviour across traditional retail and internet routes to market is becoming increasingly integrated. The positive and negative consequences of such behaviour for multi‐channel businesses have not been thoroughly examined – while an offline retail presence may reassure customers purchasing from an online channel, poor service online may negatively influence customer usage of an offline channel. This paper aims to address this issue.
A questionnaire survey of the online customers of four companies is employed and structural equation modelling used to investigate influences of demographic and behavioural variables (purchase involvement, loyalty, experience with the internet, company and product‐type) on positive and negative cross‐channel behaviour (CCB).
Strong evidence for both positive and negative customer CCB is found. Females, higher purchase involvement, higher loyalty and those with more experience of the company were more likely to display positive CCB; higher education, experience with the product type and online channel negatively influenced positive CCB. Increased age, education, occupation/class and purchase involvement lead to more negative CCB; product and company experience lead to reduced levels of negative CCB.
As a first step towards understanding of customer CCB the research generates many insights; however, more research is required to explore in more depth each of the constructs discussed and measured.
Understanding how different customer groups display different tendencies for CCB can help companies shape fulfilment and delivery strategies across different channels to market.
The study makes contributions to customer cross‐channel customer behaviour, developing implications for future research as well as management practice.
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