Omnichannel Retail Management: How Cross-channel Integration Should be Managed at the Different Stages of a Customer's Journey in Order to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience

Hugo Ignacio Zuloaga Ríos

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Providing a superior customer experience it is considered fundamental to stay active on the retail industry. To achieve this goal, retailers need to identify and analyze the whole extent of activities that customers perform when they interact (i.e. customer journey), so companies can provide customers valuable experiences at all of points of interactions with them (i.e. touchpoints). Thanks to the fast evolution of technology, the retail industry is shifting towards omnichannel management, a strategy were all offline and online channels of a company are integrated, allowing customers to seamlessly change from one channel to another in a cross-channel experience. However, despite the increasing importance in the industry, omnichannel management still is considered a new topic in the marketing world. Because of this, more research on omnichannel management is needed, especially in one of its key characteristics: cross-channel integration. By using the survey method to gather information and the multiple regression analysis technique, this master ́s thesis focuses on measuring the relationship between the amount of channels that customers are currently using at each stage of their journeys with a company and different drivers for using omnichannel services. By performing a descriptive study, the objective of this master ́s thesis is to provide insights for retail managers to determine the right level of cross-channel integration that their organizations should follow in order to improve customers ́ shopping experience.
The results from the different regression models provide statistical evidence that drivers of omnichannel services have different effects on the intensity of channel usage by customers during their journeys within a company. In specific, frequency of purchases hasa positive relationship with the amount of channels that customers are using at all stages of their journeys, while knowledge of channels only hasapositive relationship at purchases stages.Surprisingly, consistency of content across channels, which is considered a key aspect of omnichannel management, did not present positive relationships at any stage, suggesting that this driver losses relevance as customers become active users of omnichannel services. These results provide insights that retailers should manage channel integration according to what customers are expecting from channels at each stage of their journey, and that retailers can achieve successful omnichannel strategies despite its restrictions to implement. Nevertheless, this master ́s thesis also concludes that it is very likely that there are other variables that are better predictors for the values of CChU at each stage of a customer ́s journey, thus future research should incorporate more variables into the analysis.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages82
SupervisorsAd de Jong