Shoppers at the heart of multi channel strategy – is current behaviour of shoppers reflecting the drive by retailers and suppliers to develop multi channel strategies?

Mark Burgess and Susanne Goller
Ipsos MORI, United Kingdom

INTRODUCTION

The idea that it is imperative for companies to master 'multi-channel marketing' in order to maintain competitiveness has taken hold over the last few years. It is considered that there are two key factors that have fuelled this development (Banta 2004):

The first is the growth of the number of channels available to companies to communicate and deliver their products to end-users. There has been an explosion of electronic channels, such as web sites, which trade alongside and can compete with more traditional channels such as 'Bricks and Mortar' retailers (B&M) and Catalogue suppliers. There has also been the blurring of usage between communication channels, such as e-mails and texts, and sales channels. This has meant that companies have had to look afresh at the strategies for reaching and delivering to shoppers and consider adopting different approaches with these new channels.