Challenges at the Marketing–Operations Interface in Omni-Channel Retail Environments

42 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2019

See all articles by Tammo H.A. Bijmolt

Tammo H.A. Bijmolt

University of Groningen - Department of Marketing & Marketing Research

Manda Broekhuis

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Sander de Leeuw

VU University Amsterdam

Christian Hirche

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Robert P. Rooderkerk

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University

Rui Sousa

Catholic University of Portugal (Porto)

Stuart X. Zhu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: November 11, 2019

Abstract

To compete in today’s omni-channel business context, it is essential for firms to co-ordinate their activities across channels and across different stages of the customer journey and the product flow. This requires firms to adopt an integrative approach, addressing each omni-channel design decision from a dual demand-side (marketing) and supply-side (operations) perspective. However, both in practice and in academic research, such an integrative approach is still in an immature stage. In this article, a framework is developed with the following key decision areas: (i) assortment & inventory, (ii) distribution & delivery and (iii) returns. These affect both the customer journey and the product flow. As a consequence of the resulting interdependencies between the firm’s functions, addressing the issues that arise in the three decision areas requires an integrated marketing and operations perspective. For each of the areas, the key decisions that affect or involve both the customer journey and product flow are identified first. Next, for each decision, the marketing and operational goals and the tensions that arise when these goals are not perfectly aligned are described. The opportunities for relieving these tensions are also discussed and possible directions for future research aimed at addressing these tensions and opportunities are presented.

Keywords: marketing-operations interface; customer journey; product flow; omni-channel; digital business models; assortment planning; inventory control; distribution; delivery; product returns

JEL Classification: M10, M11, M31

Suggested Citation

Bijmolt, Tammo H.A. and Broekhuis, Manda and de Leeuw, Sander and Hirche, Christian and Rooderkerk, Robert P. and Sousa, Rui and Zhu, Stuart X., Challenges at the Marketing–Operations Interface in Omni-Channel Retail Environments (November 11, 2019). Journal of Business Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3485442

Tammo H.A. Bijmolt (Contact Author)

University of Groningen - Department of Marketing & Marketing Research ( email )

Nettelbosje 2
Groningen, 9747 AE
Netherlands

Manda Broekhuis

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Sander De Leeuw

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Christian Hirche

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Robert P. Rooderkerk

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.rsm.nl/people/robert-rooderkerk/

Rui Sousa

Catholic University of Portugal (Porto) ( email )

Rua Diogo Botelho, 1327
Porto, Porto 4169-005
Portugal

Stuart X. Zhu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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