Information Systems & Service Design

Multichannel Customer Management: An investigation of medium-sized retailer entering the online market

  • Type:Master Thesis
  • Date:August 2016
  • Supervisor:

    Dr. Martin Kretzer

  • Person in Charge:Benjamin Autschbach
  • The rapid development of modern economy provokes many changes in the retailer market and forces companies to interact with each customer more and more in an individual way, to communicate the needs of every single one individually. The quality of personalized offers depends on the extent of knowledge about the customer’s upcoming actions and needs. Still, just offering multiple channels to interact does not ensure company success. The identification of drivers for customer behavior are the key for the success of a company. Former research has analyzed which channel attributes drive customer’s channel preferences and found out about a general phenomenon, the so-called Research Shopper Phenomenon. It explains that customers search online but purchase offline. Nevertheless, there is a lack of investigation which puts those characteristic channel attributes in context with the customer’s prejudice about a channel. Moreover, investigations did not try to identify similarities or differences of consumer behavior within the same customer base divided into online and offline investigation.

    This academic work forms a theoretical model, which is based on adequate former theories. The research then conducts an extensive online and offline survey in order to analyze the quantitative research. The aim is to achieve data about individuals situated in the regarded branch to analyze the subject under investigation. The obtained data from both surveys is then analyzed by the partial least squares method. It has been found out, that the prior phenomenon cannot be stated within this specific case, but a clear differentiation between online and offline behavior as well as certain drivers for each channel persuasion could be identified. These findings contribute to the identification of consumer behavior and the corresponding decisions of a company regarding the Multichannel Customer Management. As the observation of a clientele in both channels, online and offline, at the same time in context with the differentiation between attribute and prejudice based customer behavior has rarely or not been under investigation in prior research, this academic work allows conclusions for theory as well as practice.