Multichannel retailing: A case study of early experiences

  • Ruby Roy Dholakia, Miao Zhao, Nikhilesh Dholakia
  • Journal of Interactive Marketing, January 2005, Elsevier
  • DOI: 10.1002/dir.20035

A pioneering multichannel case: Stores, Mail Order, Phone and Internet

What is it about?

Professor Ruby Roy Dholakia had access to a large transactional database of a company that sold consumer products via website, via phone call center, mail order, and in physical store locations. This is a pioneering case study where Internet and other channels were directly comparable, and data on each channel was substantial. Ruby Roy Dholakia and her coauthors were really pleased that multichannel retailing could be studied, at least in this particular case, in considerable depth.

Why is it important?

Multichannel retailing has continued to grow in importance since the publication of this study and many important studies have ensued. The significance of this case study lies in its pioneering use of actual transactional data from the Internet, telephone and mail-order sales via mailed catalog, and brick-and-mortar store sales. This is one reason why this study is cited frequently as one of the earliest comprehensive multichannel retailing studies in the e-commerce era.


Dr Nikhilesh Dholakia
University of Rhode Island

While a lot of practical experience as well as conceptual work on multichannel retailing has occurred since this paper was published... yet, this paper remains one of the first studies that covered so many different retail channels for one single enterprise, using conceptual as well as empirical methods. There is continuing need to explore how multichannel retailing will be shaped by new devices and media; especially in developing and emerging economies.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Nikhilesh Dholakia