TITLE: Examining Factors Affecting Consumer Behaviour in the Multichannel Environment across Global Markets
Program Leader: Jamie Carlson
Professor Aron O'Cass, University of Tasmania
Associate Professor Ramaswami Sridharan, University of Newcastle
Dr Dennis Ahrholdt, Hamburg School of Business Administration, Germany
Professor Togar Simatupang, Bandung Institute of Technology, Indonesia
The past fifteen years has been a period of rapid growth in the practice of multichannel commerce, mirroring the rise of the Internet as a tool that retail firms use to interact and transact with customers. Consumers are increasingly connected through a wide array of Internet-connected devices, and no longer communicate with companies from a channel perspective; instead they interact through touchpoints in the path to purchase (Shankar et al. 2011). These touchpoints include physical stores, branches, call centres and websites, and emerging interactions including smartphone applications (or 'apps'), social media sites, SMS messages and interactive advertising across phones, computing tablets, cars and even home appliances such as fridges (Forrester Research, 2011). On this basis, consumers-enabled through technology-will be empowered to research, shop, buy and obtain services, wherever they are. Thus, the future of successful retailing and customer engagement lies in a fully integrated, multi-channel environment (Thoma 2010; IDC Retail Insights 2012), in which customers seamlessly accesses their business of choice, across their choice of devices, with the retailer having an intimate relationship with, every customer that accesses their retail brand (Deloitte 2012; Varadarajan et al. 2010). However, as consumer adoption and integration of touchpoints multiplies, challenges intensify for retailers to reconfigure their resources and capabilities to stay ahead of the rate of change and serve customers across all touchpoints (Forrester Research, 2011).
Multi-channel commerce is a major catalyst for growth in the Australian retail industry, encouraging entrepreneurship, enabling new businesses to emerge and compete with more established players, and importantly, opening up opportunities to increase sales in key high growth Asian markets such as China and Indonesia. However, to effectively exploit international market opportunities, Australian retailers must understand what value consumers derive from engaging in multi-channel commerce. Furthermore, it is not known how Australian customer value preferences benchmark against other developed economies such as the North America, U.K. and Germany. Australian retailers need new knowledge to best configure and deploy firm capabilities to effectively target and deliver value to customers domestically and internationally. This program of study focuses upon the following research aims:
- How do consumers conceptualise customer value in a multichannel retail context? Is this conceptualisation consistent across global markets?
- How does the configuration of different multichannel offerings impact on consumer perceptions of shopping value and satisfaction levels across country markets?
- How can consumers be segmented across country markets to reflect their multichannel retail preferences and behaviour?
- How do consumers value different channels and touchpoints, in terms of their pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase behaviour across country markets?
For more information on this project, contact Jamie Carlson Jamie.email@example.com