Supply Chain Management
Omni-Channel Strategies: An Exploratory Typology to Better Understand Logistical Dimensions

Article Details
Pub. Date : Dec, 2018
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Supply Chain Management
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJSCM11812
Author Name : Aurelien Rouquet, Tatiana Henriquez and Gilles Pache
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Strategic
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 20



While numerous new distribution channels have emerged in recent years, the challenge for today’s large retailers is to develop effective omni-channel strategies. This paper, based on an analysis of 26 large retailers, explores the omni-channel strategies being followed by French retail brands. The analysis reveals an original typology of four ideal-types of strategies: the delivery omni-channel strategy, the logistics omni-channel strategy, the experiential omni-channel strategy, and the relational omni-channel strategy. The typology contributes to the emerging omni-channel literature, and feeds into the reflection on how the relationship between the large retailer and the customer is constructed.


According to the American Marketing Association, a distribution channel is “an organized network (system) of agencies and institutions which, in combination, perform all the functions required to link producers with end customers to accomplish the marketing task.” Over the last decade or so, large retailers (as institutions) in most western countries have chosen to extend their portfolio of distribution channels greatly to reach as many end consumers as possible. Whilst traditional sales in physical stores had long been the favored option, particularly during the postwar boom, it is now increasingly combined with internet sales (e-commerce) or mobile phone sales (m-commerce), which both act as virtual stores. At the same time, physical options for product delivery have increased significantly, with a boom in warehouse collection, click-and-drive approach, pick-up points, home delivery, etc. This phenomenon, known as ‘multichannel’ distribution, has significantly affected product commercialization. Consumers can now choose among a wide array of channels to satisfy their needs, including by creating complex scripts in which they look for information on internet, compare product specifications in the physical store, place their order by smartphone, and collect the product at a pick-up point or a click-and-drive outlet.

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