Buying a product has never been easier. Consumers can shop onine, over the phone or via mail order, from home or on the go, and if they want to experience, touch and feel, they can also visit a "real" store. Often, one and the same retailer offers several of these options, and multichannel retailing has become common in most product categories. By offering several channels, retailers are trying to reach more consumer segments and create synergies, with stores acting as billboards for the brand, catalogs providing enticing reminders to buy and the Internet providing an ever-present storefront. But synergies do not arise automatically. Different channels can also cannibalize one another, and it is not always easy to predict which effects will prevail. A recent study took a closer look at the interplay among different retail channels and showed that the short-term effects of store openings can be very different from the long-term sales impact.
Related: Adding Bricks to Clicks: Predicting the Patterns of Cross-Channel Elasticities over Time Avery, Jill;Deighton, John
Recent research shows that loyal customers often get upset when a brand associated with men expands to include products perceived as feminine. Senior Lecturer Jill J. Avery discusses the problem of "gender contamination" in this tory, which first appeared on the HBS Working Knowledge website.
Related: Defending the Markers of Masculinity: Consumer Resistance to Brand Gender-Bending Avery, Jill
Marketing companies take on gender contamination, the idea that when women flock to a product, men flee.
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Jill J. Avery
Division of Faculty & Research
Harvard Business SchoolSoldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163