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Journal cover: Journal of Services Marketing

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Online from: 1987

Subject Area: Marketing

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Determinants of multiple channel choice in financial services: an environmental uncertainty model

Document Information:
Title:Determinants of multiple channel choice in financial services: an environmental uncertainty model
Author(s):Filipe Coelho, (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal), Chris Easingwood, (Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK)
Citation:Filipe Coelho, Chris Easingwood, (2005) "Determinants of multiple channel choice in financial services: an environmental uncertainty model", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 19 Iss: 4, pp.199 - 211
Keywords:Distribution channels and markets, Financial services, Supply chain management, Uncertainty management, United Kingdom
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/08876040510605235 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The use of multiple channels is increasingly an option for many products. Yet, despite their popularity, little is known in a systematic way about such channel structures. In particular, there is a lack of research in respect of the reasons why multiple channels of distribution emerge. This work proposes to attempt to deal with this problem by developing and testing a model comprising a set of hypotheses regarding the circumstances under which companies go multi-channel.

Design/methodology/approach – The work draws on the organisational environment literature and, in particular, the sources of environmental uncertainty. Data were collected from firms in the UK financial services industry through personally administered questionnaires. Research hypotheses were tested using logistic regression.

Findings – The results suggest that customer heterogeneity, customer volatility and environmental conflict positively influence the choice of multiple channels, whereas intermediary heterogeneity and volatility may reduce the need to use such channel strategies.

Research limitations/implications – The extent to which results can be generalised is limited by the relatively small sample size and by the focus on financial services. Additionally, it is also possible that channel typologies other than that considered in this study might have yielded different results.

Practical implications – The degree of environmental uncertainty is an important issue affecting multiple channel choices, and should be considered at the channel design stage.

Originality/value – This study has helped understand the drivers of multiple channel strategies, a poorly understood topic.

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