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CONSUMERS IN A MULTICHANNEL ENVIRONMENT: PRODUCT UTILITY, PROCESS UTILITY, AND CHANNEL CHOICE

By Sridhar Balasubramanian, Rajagopal Raghunathan and Vijay Mahajan

Abstract

is an Assistant Professor and VIJAY MAHAJAN is a Professor, Department of Marketing, We present a conceptual framework that clarifies the utilities that consumers using a channel derive from both the purchase process and the purchased products, and the mutual influences between these process and product utilities. Drawing on interviews with customers, we examine how the following factors influence product and process utilities, and hence consumers’ choice and use of channels: (a) their economic goals, (b) their quest for self-affirmation, (c) their quest for symbolic meaning associated with the product and with the shopping process, (d) their quest for social interaction and experiential impact, and (e) their reliance on schemas and scripts for shopping.We examine how these factors may influence channel choice at the following three stages of the purchase process—forming a consideration set, choosing a product, and buying the product. Consumers may navigate between channels when they use distinct channels across these stages. Our analysis yielded implications for researchers examining consumer behavior in the multichannel environment and recommendations for marketing managers operating in that environment

Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:10.1.1.320.8065
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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