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