Visualising Trade-offs of Objectives in Omnichannel Management: A Mental Model Approach

Gültekin Cakir

Abstract

The retail industry is undergoing a major transformation process and retailers struggle in implementing a sustainable omnichannel strategy. For retailers, it is of crucial importance to achieve channel integration in order to generate a seamless customer experience. At the same time, balancing profitability while undergoing transition into omnichannel retailing poses a major challenge for many retail managers. These trade-offs can increase complexity and additional difficulties in decision-making. Mental models help to understand complex systems and behaviour and can support managers in decision-making processes. This paper proposes early work and an initial concept of a mental model arranging three critical objectives in omnichannel management: channel integration, customer experience generation, and economic value creation. Through a Venn Diagram approach, the relations between the objectives along with various scenarios of their achievements are illustrated, representing different states a retailer can undergo while following a transition towards omnichannel. Recommendations for actions are outlined for each scenario which can help retail managers to mentally depict dynamic relationships between objectives.

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