In the last two decades, particularly with the advent of the Internet, multichannel strategies have come to the fore in business-to-business marketing. Multichannel strategies allow firms to reach customers in multiple ways, increasing the firms' reach. In addition, multichannels allow customers to reach businesses by using their preferred channel (e.g., Internet, salesforce, or value-added reseller). The advantages of reaching increasing number of customers through multiple channels (e.g., sales, trial, profit) are partially offset by two potential negative effects of multiple channels. First, multiple channels create conflict that may dissuade some channels' members from carrying the firm's product. Second, with an increase in the number of channels carrying the product, the sales derived from each new channel drops making it difficult for a firm to recover its costs. Based on these considerations, the paper provides a framework that will allow firms to develop optimal channel mix in multichannel environments. We test the framework in the context of a software firm and provide academic and managerial implications.
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