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Multichannel retailing is the use of a variety of channels in a customers shopping experience including research before a purchase. Such channels include: retail stores, online stores, mobile stores, mobile app stores, telephone sales and any other method of transacting with a customer. Transacting includes browsing, buying, returning as well as pre and post sale service.
Multichannel retailing is often said to be dictated by systems and processes when in fact it is the customer that dictates the route they take to transact. Systems and processes within retail simply facilitate the customer journey to transact and be served. Pioneers of multichannel retailing include Macy's, Next PLC, John Lewis and Neiman Marcus, though specialist businesses such as Linnworks or ChannelGrabber have made the concept the success that it is in modern e-commerce. The pioneers of multichannel retail built their businesses from a customer centric perspective and served the customer via many channels long before the term 'multichannel' was used. Recent variations of the term include omni-channel.
- Dholakia, R. R.; Zhao, M.; Dholakia, N. (2005). "Multichannel retailing: A case study of early experiences". Journal of Interactive Marketing 19 (2): 63. doi:10.1002/dir.20035.
- McGoldrick, P. J.; Collins, N. (2007). "Multichannel retailing: Profiling the multichannel shopper". The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research 17 (2): 139. doi:10.1080/09593960701189937.