Serving Customers in a Hybrid World: Multi-Channel Strategies in Retailing

Serving Customers in a Hybrid World: Multi-Channel Strategies in Retailing

Claas Mulle-Lankenau (University of Munster, Germany), Kai Wehmeyer (University of Münster, Germany) and Stefan Klein (University College Dublin, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-629-7.ch013
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Abstract

In contrast to a widely held belief that online and offline channels of click and mortar companies should be tightly integrated, this chapter proposes a taxonomy of four multi-channel strategies that show varying degrees of integration and mutual support of online and offline activities. Each of the four basic strategies is illustrated by an example from the grocery retail industry in order to underscore the strategic choice companies have even within an industry. In a second step, we have developed a set of indices that we use to analyze multi-channel retailers’ Web sites. The indices are used to classify and discuss the four case companies’ implementations of multi-channel strategies in the Web channel.

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