It Is Time for a “System” Perspective on Retail Channels

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Retailers often believed, at least a decade ago, that adding more retail channels to their existing channel(s) would be the key to success in a world where online retail was competing with offline formats. But retailers often were less successful than expected, leading them to question the merit of channel additions.

This post (in German) explains this result with a lack of integration between the channels. Only when the channel system is treated as a whole and fully integrated, can competitive advantages be realized. This is because retailers in an integrated omni-channel system can separately optimize channels for customer acquisition and for conversion. Because they relax the assumption that every customer has to purchase where first in contact with the company, customer journeys can be addressed as a whole, without channels solely working for their own benefit. In this “system” perspective on retailing, show- and webrooming are not necessary evils, but accepted as necessary for many purchase processes.

After a brief introduction to the different types of retail channel systems (mono, multi and omni channel), this proposes the evolution of the channel system as explanation for a current lack of integration with many retailers.

In his blog, Jun.-Prof. Dr. Erik Maier discusses current challenges of the retail industry. You are invited to subscribe to the news.
Read the post (in German):
Omni- statt Multi-Channel: System vor Kanalerfolg