From E-Channel to Channel Mix and Channel Integration

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Abstract:

Based on longitudinal research, this paper elucidates the evolution of the e-channel. The results show that that the e-channel is still of limited importance in many areas, when measured by market share. However, the new channel is an important source of information boosting both consumer power and capability. Another important result is that firms, as well as consumers, still perceive the e-channel as promising. One reason is that today's time-pressed consumers are increasingly in need of affordable services to make their everyday life easier, which puts pressure on firms for developing an e-channel capable to perform cost efficient services. An additional result is that the e-channel and the physical channel do, in fact, complement each other rather than only compete. Therefore, to utilise the potential of the e-channel, a service provider strategy of channel mix and channel integration is suggested.
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