Let's Integrate! - A quantitative study on how retail channel integration affects consumer's satisfaction, offer perception and the value of the shopping trip itself

University essay from Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för marknadsföring och strategi

Abstract: Retailing is a tough business; changing consumer trends and technological improvements constantly pressure retailers to improve their offerings. With the proliferation of the mobile internet retailers are scrambling to offer their customers more and more touch points to interact. Current research has shown that retailers gain by offering more channels but it has not been researched how the integration between channels affect consumers. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how integration level (high or low) affects consumer satisfaction, offer perception and shopping trip value. It will also investigate if these effects are moderated by type of retailer, type of offer and the consumer's shopping motivation. The study was carried out with an online survey with 1034 respondents who where exposed to different scenarios. The results show that consumers are more satisfied, appreciate the offer more and value the shopping trip higher with integrated channels. It is also found that it is more important for some retailers than others to be integrated but that the type of offer does not moderate the results. Further it is shown that shopping motivation does affect the reaction towards channel integration. The implications are that retailers should not just focus on adding more channels but also plan on how they should integrate them to increase the customer value.

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