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Multichannel shopping well-being: a narrative-based examination

Patricia Harris (Department of Strategy, Marketing and Innovation, Kingston Business School, Kingston University London, Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 12 June 2017




The purpose of this research is to investigate whether and how shopping well-being emerges from multichannel shopping. The multichannel shopper has more choice of where, when and how to shop, and could potentially experience greater shopping well-being than the single-channel equivalent. On the other hand, it is possible that multichannel shopping creates levels of complexity for consumers in terms of their channel decision processes, and therefore, the potential increase in shopping well-being may not actually occur.


An interpretive approach is adopted and narratives are used to provide a focus on the multichannel shopper’s lived experiences. Narrative generation was conducted with 12 participant shoppers from across the UK in March and April 2016.


Multichannel retailing does not deliver universally enhanced shopping well-being. Findings suggest that while well-being is enhanced by some aspects of multichannel shopping, diminished well-being is a more frequent outcome. Six themes emerged from the narratives delineating aspects of multichannel shopping which diminish well-being: finding what you want; ease and flexibility; staying in control; getting a fair deal; pleasure and fulfilment; guilt, regret and annoyance.


This research makes three contributions to our understanding of shopping well-being: by providing more in-depth insight than previous studies, by examining all shopping activity rather than recreational/discretionary shopping and by examining shopping well-being from a multichannel rather than single-channel perspective.



Harris, P. (2017), "Multichannel shopping well-being: a narrative-based examination", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 20 No. 3, pp. 354-369.



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