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Financial Consequences of Adding Bricks to Clicks

  • Many e-commerce retailers are adding “bricks to clicks” - that is, opening an offline channel in addition to their digital sales channel(s). Taking the perspective of such an online pure player, this research assesses the effects of offline channel additions on the financial performance (e.g., sales, profits) and customer behavior (e.g., basket size, return rate) in the extended channel network as well as the initial online channel of the retailer. Across two studies, one at the zip code level and the other at the customer level, we find that the channel addition of a fashion and lifestyle retailer is synergistic in terms of increasing not only overall sales but also profits. At the same time, the new offline channel does not significantly cannibalize the existing online shop, as new customers are attracted through the channel addition. The effects of channel additions, however, are influenced by characteristics of customers gained before the channel addition and of the trade area around the newly opened stores: among existing customers, those who bought more in the online channel do not react as positively to the addition of an offline channel, and trade areas with socioeconomic characteristics that are often viewed as disadvantageous for digital retailing (e.g., an older population, lower average income) show a stronger positive sales effect of a brick-and-mortar addition. The attractiveness of the offline channel for these customer segments highlights that adding bricks to clicks might be most attractive for those customers who were previously unwilling to purchase from an online-only retailer.

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Document Type:Article
Author:Erik MaierORCiD, Rico BornscheinORCiD, Rico ManssORCiD, Damian HesseORCiD
Chairs and Professorships:Chair of Marketing and Retail
Parent Title (English):International Journal of Research in Marketing
Date of Publication (online):2023/06/10
Year of first Publication:2023
Content Focus:Academic Audience
Peer Reviewed:Yes
Rankings:AJG Ranking / 4
VHB Ranking / A
SJR Ranking / Q1
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt