Consumer channel choice: integrating electronic and conventional service channels

van Dijk, Geke; Laing, Angus and Minocha, Shailey (2006). Consumer channel choice: integrating electronic and conventional service channels. In: Sixth international conference of the European Academy of Management, 17-20 May 2006, Oslo, Norway.



When investigating the consumer experience in multi-channel retail service environments, one of the more themes is the decision-making process on channel choice. Most of the literature on channel choice addresses it as a single decision during the consumption process. The study reported in this paper describes how consumers often make several channel choices throughout the consumption process. The described study is an ethnographically inspired, in-depth case study that examined online and offline travel preparations. From the raw data travel stories were developed as the unit of analysis. The consumer behaviour observed from the travel stories shows evidence of multi-channel use and of movement between online and offline channels. The study has identified two types of movement between channels: parallel channel use and channel switching.

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