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The challanges of adopting a multi-channel retail approach - Essay Example

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The increasing power of consumers has reshaped business distribution and marketing models. In turn, this has required retailers to add value in stores to compete with the multiple retail channels and highlighted the need for businesses to adopt customer relationship oriented approach in order to create value for the consumer …
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The challanges of adopting a multi-channel retail approach
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Download file to see previous pages It is evident that the digital era fuelled novel business opportunities and the continuous evolution of online business channels have made multi-channel retailing a reality, with the customer now placed at the forefront of retail strategy (Jain, 2008). In turn, this has reshaped business distribution and marketing models. To this end, it is submitted as a central proposition in this paper that consumers increasingly dictate retail strategy and therefore CRM is vital as part of an integrated retail strategy to ensure that an organization keeps pace with the multi-channel retail model. Moreover, the central consideration should be given to the movement away from the conventional economics based approach to consider the benefit of integrating effective CRM into retail strategy. For example, Weinberg at al’s 2007 report into changing consumer behaviour highlights that approximately 65-70% of consumers fall within the category of “multichannel shoppers” and they increasingly have the highest purchasing power. (Weinberg et al, 2007). As a result, Weinberg et al posit that it is “critical that organisations effectively employ a multichannel marketing approach, as consumers in B2C contexts now expect it” (Weinberg et al, 2007, p.385). The impact of multi-channel retailing has continued to grow and Retail Solutions Online highlight that industry research indicates that approximately 40% of sales will be attributable to the multi-channel model by 2012 (2009). Additionally, the Retail Solutions’ Online research indicates that the proliferation of the multi-channel retail model will continue to grow and as a result, retail business have to embrace the model as part of integrated retail strategy to compete in the marketplace (2009). Moreover, Vollmer and Precourt argue that the underlying basis for marketing is rooted in economic principles of exchanging goods for value (2008). It is precisely this concept of “value” that has been at the heart of marketing strategy in persuading consumers to exchange value for goods in conventional business strategy. However, as the business models continue to evolve in line with changing consumer habits and retail channels, Vargo and Lusch point to the fact that economical basis for traditional marketing strategy has been forced to adapt to remain relevant (2004). Additionally, Vargo and Lusch further refer to the arguments of Achrol and Kotler that the: “very nature of network organisation…..and the potential impact on the organisation of consumption all suggest that a paradigm shift for marketing may not be far over the horizon” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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