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Understanding multichannel shopper journey configuration: An application of goal theory

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  • Harris, Patricia
  • Dall’Olmo Riley, Francesca
  • Hand, Chris

Abstract

Shopping motivation is the dominant theoretical framework upon which shopping behaviour research is based. A shopper's motivation is assumed to be fixed and enduring, implying, in turn, homogeneity of shopper journeys. This paper reports on an exploratory, qualitative study of 76 multichannel shopper journeys. Heterogeneity of individual consumers’ shopper journey configuration, in terms of numbers and types of phases and channels, was found both within and across product categories, which cannot be accounted for by motivation theory. For an individual shopper, multichannel shopper journey configuration appears to be driven by multiple goals operating at varying levels of abstraction. Higher level goals are relatively stable but lower level goals vary over time, place and context resulting in heterogeneity of journey configuration. Goal theory is proposed as a more suitable lens through which to examine multichannel shopping behaviour, overcoming the deficiencies inherent in shopping motivation theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Harris, Patricia & Dall’Olmo Riley, Francesca & Hand, Chris, 2018. "Understanding multichannel shopper journey configuration: An application of goal theory," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 108-117.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joreco:v:44:y:2018:i:c:p:108-117
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2018.06.005
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    6. Paula Rodríguez–Torrico & Sonia San–Martín & Rebeca San José Cabezudo, 2020. "Consumer behavior using multiple channels: a review," DOCFRADIS Working Papers 2002, Catedra Fundación Ramón Areces de Distribución Comercial, revised Jul 2020.
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