Designing, Managing and Evaluating Channels in a Multichannel Environment: Challenges and Opportunities

Chiara Lucia

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The distribution channel is the path that a product follows from the producer to reach the sphere of availability of the final consumer.
Each supplier must deal with distribution decisions: from the analysis of the environment, the players that are in the distribution channels and the relationships between them; to get to decide the strategies to follow, the channels’ architecture and their management logic. These
are fundamental decisions for businesses as through distribution channels a product is made available in the places, times and ways desired by the end user. Indeed, through the intermediary distribution channel it is filled the space-time gap between the world of production and that of consumption.
The distribution channel is now increasingly seen as a relevant asset. Thanks to policies of choosing the right channels that a manufacturer can achieve a distinctive competitive position, considering that the distribution choices contribute to the differentiation of the overall offering proposition compared to competitors, and very often are not so smooth to imitate.
Nowadays companies utilize more than one channel to reach the final customers and each channel has different characteristics, advantages and disadvantages. The increase of the number of channels used to interact with the customers has become a challenge for companies, which have to manage this environment efficiently and adequately.
“Multi-channel customer management is the design, deployment, coordination, and evaluation of channels through which firms and customers interact, with the goal of enhancing customer value through effective customer acquisition, retention and development.” (Neslin, et al., 2006).
In this work it is presented a customer management based framework which classify five tasks for managers in order to develop and implement a successful multi-channel strategy for both local and international firms.

EducationsMSc in International Business, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages75
SupervisorsFrancesco Di Lorenzo