The demise of electronic-only retailers has led to the domination of electronic retailing by multichannel retailers. Many of the latter have recognized that multi-channel integration can improve their customer acquisition and retention capabilities. To realize these benefits, however, retailers need to provide a consistent and superior shopping experience across channels. This implies that the purpose of Web sites should no longer be solely to induce consumers to purchase products online. Instead, Web sites should facilitate and support consumers in their interaction with retailers throughout their purchase and consumption activities, regardless of in which channel the actual transaction takes place. Web sites thus become IT-based self-service instruments for consumers. Focusing on the retailing of tangible products, this paper elaborates on how multi-channel integration can lead to benefits for consumers and retailers. Specifically, the paper elucidates the new requirements and opportunities that arise for Web sites as integrated parts of retailers’ channel portfolios.
Goersch, Daniel, "Multi-Channel Integration and Its Implications for Retail Web Sites" (2002). ECIS 2002 Proceedings. 11.