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Building With Bricks and Mortar: The Revenue Impact of Opening Physical Stores in a Multichannel Environment

Koen Pauwels and Scott A. Neslin

Journal of Retailing, 2015, vol. 91, issue 2, 182-197

Abstract: A crucial decision firms face today is which channels they should make available to customers for transactions. We assess the revenue impact of adding bricks-and-mortar stores to a firm's already existing repertoire of catalog and Internet channels. We decompose the revenue impact into customer acquisition, frequency of orders, returns, and exchanges, and size of orders, returns, and exchanges. We use a multivariate baseline method to assess the impact of adding the physical store channel on these revenue components. As hypothesized, store introduction cannibalizes catalog sales and has much less impact on Internet sales. Also as hypothesized, returns and exchanges increase. Interestingly, transaction sizes of purchases, returns, and exchanges do not change. The “availability effect” produces a net increase in purchase frequency across channels. This more than compensates for increased returns, producing a net increase in revenues of 20% by adding the store channel. Our findings yield a deeper understanding of the revenue relation between channels, and of the dynamic cross-channel effects of marketing actions.

Keywords: Multichannel customer management; Customer relationship management (CRM); Vector autoregression models; Stores; Internet; Returns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
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