Are Multichannel Customers Really more Valuable? The Moderating Role of Product Category Characteristics Academic Article uri icon


  • How does the monetary value of customer purchases vary by customer preference for purchase channels (e.g., traditional, electronic, multichannel) and product category? The authors develop a conceptual model and hypotheses on the moderating effects of two key product category characteristics-the utilitarian versus hedonic nature of the product category and perceived risk-on the channel preference-monetary value relationship. They test the hypotheses on a unique large-scale, empirically generalizable data set in the retailing context. Contrary to conventional wisdom that all multichannel customers are more valuable than single-channel customers, the results show that multichannel customers are the most valuable segment only for hedonic product categories. The findings reveal that traditional channel customers of low-risk categories provide higher monetary value than other customers. Moreover, for utilitarian product categories perceived as high (low) risk, web-only (catalog- or storeonly) shoppers constitute the most valuable segment. The findings offer managers guidelines for targeting and migrating different types of customers for different product categories through different channels. © 2013, American Marketing Association.

altmetric score

  • 8.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Kushwaha, T., & Shankar, V.

citation count

  • 185

publication date

  • July 2013