For consumers, cross-channel behaviour is increasingly prevalent. Such behaviour involves consumers actively engaging in (and deriving benefit) from one channel during a…
For consumers, cross-channel behaviour is increasingly prevalent. Such behaviour involves consumers actively engaging in (and deriving benefit) from one channel during a product search but switching to another channel when making a purchase. Drawing on multi-attribute utility theory, this study proposes a cross-channel behaviour typology consisting of three key aspects: channel choice behaviour, functional and economic outcomes and consumer-specific psychographic and demographic variables.
Segmentation analysis conducted via latent class analysis (LCA) was performed on a sample of 400 US consumers collected via an online survey.
Cross-channel behaviour is not always intentional. We identify a specific segment of consumers that most often engage in unplanned, rather than intentional, cross-channel switching. We find that of all shoppers that engage in cross-channel behaviour, a fifth (20%) are forced to switch channels at the point of purchase.
Cross-channel behaviour can be mitigated by retailers via a deep understanding of the driving factors of different configurations of showrooming and webrooming.
In contrast with existing conceptualisations, this study suggests that cross-channel behaviour often stems from consumers being “forced” by factors outside of their control, but within the retailers' control. This research presents a nuanced approach to decompose consumer cross-channel behaviour from the consumer perspective as planned, forced or opportunistic.
This paper investigates the degree to which self-selection explains the apparent higher purchase value of research shoppers.
An online survey was administered to 594 retail shoppers. The purchase value of research shoppers and single-channel shoppers was compared before and after propensity score matching to account for self-selection effects.
Prior to matching, research shoppers spend significantly more than single-channel shoppers. This difference persists after accounting for self-selection but is reduced by 25%. The impact of self-selection differs across product categories and channels, with the online channel most likely to lead to higher purchase value.
The findings build on existing literature on the value of omni-channel retail strategies and provide insights for retailers to determine the likely impact of encouraging research shopping among their customers.
The research provides important insights into the role that self-selection plays in the value of multi-channel shoppers, and the likely value to retailers of omni-channel strategies.