Title: Designing a channel mix

Authors: Luuk P.A. Simons, Harry Bouwman

Addresses: Technical University of Delft, PO Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands. ' Technical University of Delft, PO Box 5015, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands

Abstract: In their quest to develop an optimal channel mix, organisations face significant challenges. Despite ubiquitous discussions concerning click and mortar strategies, there is little empirical work that compares the strengths and weaknesses of emerging and existing technologies, or addressed channel mix design in relation to the opportunities provides by information and communication technologies (ICT). In this paper, we introduce a multi-channel design support method, based on a discussion of existing literature and a number of case studies. Based on existing theory and current literature and research approaches to internet servicing, we develop a multi-channel design support method. We start from and extend the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) method by explicitly distinguishing requirements and solutions. The main extension to traditional QFD is that in addition to customer requirements we also take supplier requirements as our starting point. We focus on a combined use of the web, call centres, retail stores and personal sales. Our main case finding is that there are a number of significant differences with regard to the sales cycle support that these channels can provide.

Keywords: multi-channel service; marketing channel management; click and mortar; call centre; retail; personal sales; ICT; internet servicing; QFD; quality function deployment; customer requirements; supplier requirements.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2004.005016

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2004 Vol.1 No.3, pp.229 - 250

Published online: 23 Aug 2004 *

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