The Roles of Channel-Category Associations and Geodemographics in Channel Patronage
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Consumers purchase goods from various channels or retail formats, such as grocery stores, drugstores, mass merchandisers, club stores, and convenience stores. To identify the most appropriate channels and to allocate the distribution of products among channels efficiently, managers need a better understanding of consumer behavior with respect to these channels. The authors examine the moderating role of channel-category associations in consumer channel patronage by extending the literature on brand associations to the context of channels, and they estimate a model that links channel-category associations with consumer geodemographics and channel share of volume. The authors first identify the product categories associated with particular channels through a correspondence analysis of a field-intercept survey. They then use the channel-category associations and geodemographic factors to estimate their direct and interactive effects on channel share of volume. The channel-category associations have significant main effects and interaction effects with channel type and geodemographic factors on channel share of volume, and they account for the majority of the explained variance (72%) in channel share of volume. Overall, the findings provide several conceptual and managerial insights into consumer channel perceptions and patronage behavior.
author list (cited authors)
Inman, J. J., Shankar, V., & Ferraro, R.