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Mindfully going omni-channel: An economic decision model for evaluating omni-channel strategies

: Hosseini, Sabiölla; Merz, Marieluise; Röglinger, Maximilian; Wenninger, Annette

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Decision Support Systems 109 (2018), S.74-88
ISSN: 0167-9236
ISSN: 1873-5797
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer FIT ()

In the digital age, customers want to define on their own how to interact with organizations during their customer journeys. Thus, many organizations struggle to implement an omni-channel strategy (OCS) that meets their customers' channel preferences and can be operated efficiently. Despite this high practical need, research on omni-channel management predominantly takes a descriptive perspective. What is missing is prescriptive knowledge that guides organizations in the valuation and selection of an appropriate OCS. Most existing studies investigate single facets of omni-channel management in detail while neglecting the big picture. They also require customer journeys to follow sequential and organization-defined purchase decision processes. To address this research gap, we propose an economic decision model that considers online and offline channels, the opening and closing of channels, non-sequential customer journeys, and customers' channel preferences. Drawing from the principles of value-based management, the decision model recommends choosing the OCS with the highest contribution to an organization's long-term firm value. We applied and validated the decision model based on real-world data from a German bank.