Engaging consumers on new integrated multichannel retail settings: challenges for retailers

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Pantano, Eleonora ; Viassone, Milena (2015)

The rapid diffusion of more channels for shopping posits new challenges for retailers, who need to compete in a complex environment for avoiding the problem of consumer cross-channel free riding. To discourage this behaviour, we propose a new environment where one retailer simultaneously handles more channels. The emerging integrated environment would engage more consumers if compared to the single handled channel, which in turn would avoid switching behaviours towards competitors’ channels. Our empirical research, based on the stimulus-organism-response paradigm, involves a sample of 237 consumers who were asked to explore the new retail settings simulated in a university lab. The results lead us to suggest the effective combination of multiple channels managed by one retailer as the new challenge for scholars and practitioners. We note that our participants showed positive emotional reactions towards the environment, which lead them to choose this environment for purchases.
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