To read this content please select one of the options below:

The influence of perceived media richness of marketing channels on online channel usage: Intergenerational differences

Marcin Lipowski (Department of Marketing, Maria Curie Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland)
Ilona Bondos (Department of Marketing, Maria Curie Skłodowska University, Lublin, Poland)

Baltic Journal of Management

ISSN: 1746-5265

Article publication date: 3 April 2018

Issue publication date: 24 April 2018




The purpose of this paper is to identify the differences in the perceived media richness of three marketing channels by different consumer generations as well as to indicate the importance of the perceived media richness of each of channel for the intention of online use at pre-purchase stage.


The study is based on a sample of 1,103 consumers in Poland, which research sample included three generations: Baby Boomers, X generation and Y generation. Computer-assisted personal interview method was used with a standardised questionnaire; the research sample was determined using a quota-random method, with the quotas referring to age and gender and the nature of the place of residence (provincial town, town/city other than a provincial one, or a village) – the structure of the sample was maintained at the regional level.


Analysed channels (online, offline, phone) have different perceived media richness. Consumers from different generations can perceive media richness of the same marketing channels in various ways. Perceived media richness of the analysed marketing channels has an impact on the intention to use the channel online.

Research limitations/implications

First, the fact of blurring differences between consumers generation, particularly X and Y generation. As well the fact that each generation has identified an internal diversity. Second limitation refers to the type of marketing channels included in research. Finally, limitation also applies to spatial extent of the study. The above limitations can also be some directions of future research – taking into account some other marketing channels and verifying the conclusions on other consumer groups.

Practical implications

General recommendation refers to the need for treating customers in each marketing channel in the same way – immediate response is one of the aspects of this recommended unified customer service in multichannel environment. Online channel communications with customers should be supported by giving consumers more personalised communication via phone, chat and social media. For older consumers, it is recommended to gradually redirect them to an online channel. Information search is a good start for online customer journey, because this channel at the pre-purchase stage is the most useful and least risky for the consumer unfamiliar with online environment.

Social implications

Better understanding of the needs of different customers generations and their perception of different marketing channel at the pre-purchase stage.


Identification of intergenerational differences in the perception of media richness of online, phone and offline channels.



Source of research: National Science Centre, Poland, grant No. 2014/13/B/HS4/01612. This paper forms part of a special section “The retail sector: technology, competitiveness, and consumer insights”, guest edited by Brent McKenzie, Steve Burt and Igor Dukeov.


Lipowski, M. and Bondos, I. (2018), "The influence of perceived media richness of marketing channels on online channel usage: Intergenerational differences", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 169-190.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles