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Managing Multi- and Omni-Channel Distribution: Metrics and Research Directions

Kusum L. Ailawadi and Paul W. Farris

Journal of Retailing, 2017, vol. 93, issue 1, 120-135

Abstract: The increase in the variety of channel formats, and the progression from single, to multi-, then to omni-channel marketing has made shopping and buying more convenient for consumers, but trickier to manage for marketers—both upstream suppliers and downstream retailers. The first step in managing multi- and omni-channel distribution is to find the specific metrics that will facilitate reliable analysis of the relationship between distribution and marketing objectives. That is our primary goal in this article—to present the metrics, both old and new, that marketers, both suppliers and retailers, need to monitor, and that academic researchers, both theoretical and empirical, should incorporate in their models. We present a basic framework for managing distribution, and summarize the metrics that are relevant to each element of the framework. Then, we lay out what we believe are important questions that multi- and omni-channel marketers are grappling with, refer the reader to what existing academic research has to say about them, and suggest how future research can build off our framework and metrics to supplement what is known and address what is not.

Keywords: Distribution strategy; Multichannel; Omnichannel; Marketing metrics; Distribution metrics; Distribution coverage (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Handle: RePEc:eee:jouret:v:93:y:2017:i:1:p:120-135