MULTI-CHANNEL INTEGRATION: A CONTINGENT VISION

Rui Li, Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France
Gilles Paché, Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France
Carole Poirel, Aix-Marseille University, Aix-en-Provence, France

Published in

EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT
Volume 19, Issue 2, p35-46, October 2019

ABSTRACT

The issue of multi-channel integration has been addressed by an increasingly important academic literature over the past twenty years. Consumers have a multiplicity of touchpoints at their disposal, both physical and virtual, and companies are considering the most efficient way to manage them. A dominant stream defends the idea of the superiority of a fully integrated management of all distribution channels, particularly in the context of omnichannel policy. This research note takes a more moderate approach by indicating that it could be necessary for companies to develop a contingent level of multi-channel integration, avoiding the extreme options of channel independence or full channel integration.

Keywords

Distribution channel; information systems; integration; logistics; marketing; supply chains.


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