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Multichannel retailing: profiling the multichannel shopper

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While some Internet-only retailers survive and prosper, for most, multichannel retailing provides a sustainable and attractive blend of new and existing retail formats. The complementary roles of stores and Internet are frequently noted, yet the renewed significance of catalogues is often ignored. This paper is based upon a survey of 2,341 shoppers across three product sectors and three shopping scenarios, identifying their relative utilization of, and attitudes towards, stores, catalogues and the Internet. Principal component analysis and multi-attribute analysis (MAA) scores summarize attitudes across the three channels, sectors and motivational scenarios. Four major components in channel choice emerge consistently: risk reduction, product value, ease of shopping and experiential. K-Means clustering on preference and behavioural variables identifies the truly multichannel shopper segment. Key characteristics of these shoppers are summarized, demonstrating that the multichannel shopper comprises a large and mainstream segment. Implications are identified for retailers and researchers.
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Keywords: Multichannel retailing; catalogue shoppers; multi-attribute model; multichannel shopping; Internet shoppers; shopping scenarios

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK 2: Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK,The Co-operative Group, Manchester, UK

Publication date: 01 May 2007

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