Customer Channel Migration
Coauthor(s): Carl Mela, Scott Neslin.
We develop a model of customer channel migration and apply it to a retailer that markets over the
Web and through catalogs. The model (1) identifies the key phenomena required to analyze
customer migration, (2) shows how these phenomena can be modeled, and (3) develops an
approach for estimating the model. The methodology is unique in its ability to accommodate
heterogeneous customer responses to a large number of distinct marketing communications in a
dynamic context. Results indicate that (1) Web purchasing is associated with lower subsequent
purchase volumes relative to buying from other outlets, (2) marketing efforts are associated with
channel usage and purchase incidence, offsetting negative Web experience effects, and (3)
negative interactions occur between like communications (catalog/catalog or email/email) as well
as between different types of communications (catalog/email). We further find that, over the four-year
period of our data, a Web-oriented "migration" segment emerged, and this group had higher
sales volume. Our post hoc analysis suggests that marketing efforts and exogenous customer level
trends played key roles in forming these segments. We rule out alternative explanations
such as that the Web attracted customers who were already heavy users, or that the Web
developed these customers into heavier users. We conclude with a discussion of implications both
for academics and practitioners.
Source: Journal of Marketing Research
Ansari, Asim, Carl F. Mela, and Scott A. Neslin. "Customer Channel Migration." Journal of Marketing Research 45, no. 1 (April 2008): 60-76.