Disentangling the Impact of Omni Channel Integration on Consumer Behavior in Integrated Sales Channels

Manuel Trenz, Daniel J. Veit, Chee-Wee Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


“Brick-and-mortar” retailers, when expanding their businesses to online channels, can either add a separate online channel or integrate channels to enhance service offerings. Although past studies on channel choice have yielded insights into factors affecting consumers’ channel preference, there is a dearth of research that sheds light on when and why massive investments into channel integration would be preferred over online optimizations. To this end, we construct and validate a theoretical model that posits omni channel integration services for acquisition and recovery as predictors of consumers’ online channel preference through influencing their perceptions of convenience and risk. Our experimental study reveals how distinct configurations of cross-channel service offerings affect consumers’ channel evaluations and decisions, as well as how complementarities from channel integration across transaction and post-transaction phases can prevail over pure online substitutes. Consequently, this study bridges diagnostic and prescriptive research streams on multichannel and omni channel retail by attesting to channel integration as a viable channel differentiator. From a practical stand point, we compare 12 distinct channel configurations with regard to consumers’ core evaluative criteria and highlight the value of omni channel integration since efficiency improvements to the online channel can only serve as a partial substitute to channel integration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMIS Quarterly
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1207-1258
Number of pages52
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • Omnichannel retail
  • Multichannel retail
  • Channel integration
  • Channel synergies
  • Electronic commerce
  • Convenience
  • Risk

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