Links and effects of channel integration in the prepurchase and purchase stages of omnichannel retailers

Bernhard Swoboda and Nils Fränzel
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 26, Number 3, 2022, pp. 331-354.


Sales channel integration is promising, but consumers likely respond to integrations in various stages of the consumer journey differently. Therefore, it is valuable to analyze how omnichannel firms profit from perceived channel integration effects in stages of the consumer journey and whether they need to account for the increasing online shopping experience. The authors propose a theory-based framework and apply sequential mediation modeling over time to study the channel integration effects in the pre-purchase stage and the purchase stages on repurchase intention through omnichannel retailer quality as a mediator. They rely on longitudinal data obtained in three waves over ten months. The results show only indirect effects of channel integration in both stages. Importantly, the indirect and total effects of both stages differ and are moderated. The findings have implications for managers who want to know how interacting channel integrations in consumer journey stages attracts consumers in light of their increasing level of online experience with a retailer. Theoretically, this study contributes to the application of the accessibility-diagnosticity theory and disentangles the effects of channel integration in two phases of the consumer journey.