The New Paradigm of the Omnichannel Retailing: Key Drivers, New Challenges and Potential Outcomes Resulting from the Adoption of an Omnichannel Approach

  •  Aiolfi Simone    
  •  Edoardo Sabbadin    


The rise of the Internet, mobile technologies and digital disruption have changed the retail business as well as the implementation of the levers of retail mix and the behavior of shoppers. Online channel has become an appealing channel where retailers can sell their products and services. The proliferation of channels and touch points has affected not only consumer behavior but also companies' business models. Many retailers have started to develop multichannel and omnichannel strategies by adding new channels through which interact with the customers. Retailers are now concentrating on how shoppers are influenced by new technologies and how they switch across channels during their research and buying process. Omnichannel retailing, defined as the conceptualization of the complete integration of all channels, with no distinction between the online and the physical channel, is the new retailing paradigm of today. The topic itself is particularly relevant as technological development continue to disrupt retail strategies and practitioners are debating as to how to respond.  Particularly, managers are worried about how to manage the several touch points, which are now simultaneously available to customers. Concerning with the present research, we attempt to describe this development by analyzing the existing literature about topics that we can classify within the omnichannel paradigm. In order to explain how both literature and business models are moving from multichannel retailing towards the implementation of omnichannel strategies, we follow a blended approach based on literature review, theoretical background as well as some interesting managerial insights resulting from business’ case histories. To address the concerns of managers and retailers about the new challenges they will need to face in implementing an omnichannel retailing approach, we  present a theoretical framework, concerning with the adoption of the omnichannel as an innovative strategy in the overall marketing strategies. To deal with the topic we start from three research questions that guide our literature review as well as our theoretical framework. We investigate what are the key drivers that have stimulated retailers to develop an omnichannel retailing strategy, what are the new challenges that retailers will need to face when they decide to implement an omnichannel strategy in their overall marketing strategy and finally what are the possible outcomes of a correct and successful implementation of an omnichannel retailing strategy. Therefore, our theoretical framework explains key drivers, new challenges and potential outcomes coming from the adoption of the omnichannel retailing in order to help managers and practitioners who might decide to enter the omnichannel retailing.

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