Information and Communication Technologies in Marketing Channels: Product Considerations

Information and Communication Technologies in Marketing Channels: Product Considerations

Irene Gil Saura (University of Valencia, Spain), Marta Frasquet Deltoro (University of Valencia, Spain) and Maria Eugenia Ruiz Molina (University of Valencia, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-738-8.ch005
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Abstract

There is broad consensus about the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICT) for distribution channel members. Notwithstanding, it has been pointed out that there is a need to adjust investment to what is strictly necessary. In this vein, this chapter attempts to analyze the level of use and assessment as well as the differences between the different actors’ perceptions of their respective suppliers’ ICT. In this way, it is intended to discern the major factors which suppliers should take into account when prioritizing the implementation of certain technological solutions, depending on the retail activity.
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Theoretical Background

ICT is “a term that encompasses all forms of technology utilized to create, capture, manipulate, communicate, exchange, present, and use information in its various forms (business data, voice conversations, still images, motion pictures, multimedia presentations”, etc.)” (Ryssel et al., 2004:198).

Among the benefits derived from ICT implementation, the literature has pointed out significant improvements in internal processes that ultimately contribute to customer service improvements. In particular, it has been argued that ICT positively affects internal effectiveness through important savings in terms of time, communication costs and personnel expenses; greater reliability, accurateness and error reduction; improvements in inventory management, as well as increases in productivity through the automation of labor intensive tasks (Ellram et al., 1999; Lowson, 2001).

From the consumer point of view, ICT allows service improvements (Lowson, 2001; Gil et al., 2008a; 2008b), providing savings in shopping time through a wider assortment and making it possible to accomplish the required purchases in one shopping trip (Messinger and Narasimhan, 1997).

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