Multichannel shopper journey configuration : drivers and affect

Harris, Patricia (2019) Multichannel shopper journey configuration : drivers and affect. (PhD thesis), Kingston University, .


Research context: The over-arching aim of this Alternative Format Thesis, undertaken in the form of three linked research studies, is to investigate the relationship between multichannel/omnichannel shopping and shopping well-being. To date, shopping well-being has only been studied in the context of single-channel, store-based shopping. The advent of multichannel and omnichannel shopping, and the increased control and flexibility which these provide to the shopper, could be expected to mitigate against the aspects of shopping which diminish well-being, and therefore lead to greater satisfaction and positive affect for the shopper. Aim and objectives: Study 1: To develop understanding of shopping well-being by examining all types of shopping activity rather than recreational/discretionary shopping and by examining shopping activities and shopping well-being from a multichannel rather than single channel perspective (Study 1). Study 2: To examine the types of multichannel shopper journeys which shoppers undertake, evaluate the extent to which multichannel shopper journeys are configured homogeneously over time and shopping context, and assess the applicability of motivation theory as an explanatory framework for multichannel shopper journey configuration (Study 2). Study 3: To develop a means of capturing shopper journey configurations in detail, and examine whether the shopper's style of decision making has an effect on multichannel shopper journey configuration, subsequent affect and well-being (Study 3). Research design: A multiple-methods research design is used, comprising interpretivist qualitative and positivist quantitative research. Studies 1 and 2 used qualitative data in the form of narratives generated via depth interviews with multichannel shoppers. Thematic data analysis was conducted using NVivo 10. Study 3 used a survey instrument to collect data on multichannel shopper journeys. Smart PLS 3 was used to test the conceptual model. Findings: While the flexibility of multichannel shopping can deliver enhanced well-being, its inherent complexity often results in diminished well-being. Contrary to what would be expected, given the dominant view of shopping motivation as fixed, stable and enduring, a multichannel shopper's journey configuration is heterogeneous across, and even within, product category. Goal theory is proposed as a more suitable theoretical basis upon which to examine contemporary multichannel shopping behaviour. The shopper's decision making style is found to affect mutlichannel shopper journey configuration. Shoppers engaging in maximization as a strategy in their decision making configure longer and more complex shopper journeys in their quest for perfection, but experience greater maladaptive affect. Thus, the quest for perfection in shopping can have a detrimental effect on the shopper's well-being.

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