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: Value Delivery

Developing and Managing Strategic and Integrated Marketing Channels

In this chapter, we will address the following questions:

  • 1. What is a marketing channel system and value network? (Page 216)
  • 2. What work do marketing channels perform? (Page 218)
  • 3. What decisions do companies face in designing, managing, and integrating their channels? (Page 220)
  • 4. What are the key channel issues in e-commerce and m-commerce? (Page 223)

Marketing Management at IKEA

After more than 70 years in the furniture business, IKEA is still finding new ways to make its affordable, flat-pack products available whenever and wherever customers want to buy. The Swedish company is the world’s largest furniture retailer, with 716 million shoppers visiting 338 stores in 44 nations every year, plus millions more clicking to buy through 13 e-commerce Web sites in specific markets. Germany, the United States, France, Russia, and the United Kingdom are IKEA's largest markets. The retailer also prints 200 million full-color catalogs annually for distribution by mail and in stores. Knowing that many customers browse via mobile devices, IKEA offers a free app for users to view the catalog, mark favorite items, share product photos with friends, access product details and videos, and see how furniture would look in their own homes. Looking ahead, IKEA will soon open the first of 26 large stores it plans for India during the coming decade.1

With the advent of e-commerce (selling online) and m-commerce (selling via mobile phones and tablets), customers are buying in ways they never have before. Companies today must build and manage a continuously evolving and increasingly complex channel system and value network. In this chapter, we consider strategic and tactical issues in integrating marketing channels and developing value networks. Chapter 13 examines marketing channel issues from the perspective of retailers, wholesalers, and physical distribution agencies.

 
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